The process of selling your startup can be a whirlwind. From organizing your financials to negotiating with buyers, a lot goes into getting the best deal for your company. As a startup founder, you know the ins and outs of your business and industry, but you most likely aren’t prepared to navigate the selling process. That’s why we recommend working with an M&A advisory firm. Specifically, you need a firm run by people who understand what it’s like to be on your side of the deal. Here are 5 benefits of hiring an M&A advisory firm for the sale of your business.
#1: You’ll Save Time
You’re a business owner and that means you know the truth in the old saying, “Time is money.” Your time is valuable and you can’t afford to waste it.
Sometimes, a business owner starts out thinking that it will be easy to find a buyer for their company and negotiate a deal. However, the types of companies that buy other companies often have a dedicated M&A staff — and they’ll have plenty of time to spend on your deal. It can quickly get to be too much.
The first big benefit of hiring an M&A advisory firm is that they’ll coach you through the process so you don’t waste time trying to research everything on your own. Some firms even handle most of the back and forth of selling your company for you. You’ll still need to be involved and bring your advisor up to speed on the unique qualities of your business, but they’ll handle a lot of the legwork — leaving you free to run your business and explore your next venture.
#2: They’ll Bring New Buyers to the Table
It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to connect with potential buyers for their companies through networking. But, of course it’s always better to have more than one option on the table.
M&A advisors have a lot of contacts because most focus on connecting startup founders and buyers for these deals. Finding the right person to sell your startup to is crucial, which makes these connections invaluable for you. Buyers have usually acquired other companies in the past, so they often think they can negotiate the deal to be more in their favor.
Your M&A advisor will help you find someone who won’t try to cheat you in the deal. They can pull from their contacts, access their network on your behalf, and connect you with people you wouldn’t have found on your own.
#3: They Can Help You Overcome Common Obstacles to M&A
Mergers and acquisitions can happen quickly or slowly. When there are delays, they’re often due to some of the most common obstacles faced by both sellers and buyers, including:
- Uncertainty in the global or US market
- Delays in pending legislation
- Negotiation mistakes or missteps
One of the issues with founders who represent themselves while selling their startup is that they lack the experience to navigate the potential pitfalls along the way. Hiring an M&A advisory firm will allow you to sidestep those issues. An experienced advisor, particularly one who’s been on the selling side of an acquisition, will be able to help you predict, avoid and overcome obstacles that could inhibit the success of the transaction.
#4: They Can Help You Negotiate a Better Price for Your Company
Even if you have completed a thorough business valuation and know your asking price and your walking-away point for negotiations, you still might end up leaving money on the table if you’re not careful.
M&A advisory firms will help you strategize a plan for getting the deal you want. They’ll be able to look at your business, gauge the market interest and potential buyers’ interest, and work with you to negotiate the best possible sale price for your company.
#5: They’ll Give You Peace of Mind
The final benefit of working with an M&A advisory firm is that doing so will give you peace of mind during the negotiations and sale of your business.
Let’s face it, selling your business can be stressful even if you’ve dotted all the I’s and crossed all the T’s. There’s a reason that people hire experts to do complicated deals — and after you account for the time and money you’ll save, you can see why it makes sense to have an expert negotiator in your corner.
Keep in mind that the best advisor to represent you is someone who’s got experience on your side of the table. Many M&A advisors represent buyers. They’ll represent you for a price, but it’s important to hire someone who has your best interests at heart.
If you’re planning to sell your startup, the smartest decision you make might be hiring a professional M&A advisory firm to represent you and get you the best deal possible.
Interested in working with a M&A advisor to help you sell your startup? Click here to learn more about how our advisors at NorthStar Venture Partners can help.