Selling a business, like many other things, has evolved over the years. Historically, it was routine to sell to a junior partner upon retirement. However, with valuations so high — and firms often worth millions — junior partners are not always able to afford it or are unwilling to sign a note and take on the debt and risk that goes along with it.
If you’re thinking of selling your firm, now may be the perfect time. There is an abundance of acquirers and sellers, a friendly tax environment, and high valuations. However, it’s important to take the right steps to ensure you get the highest multiple.
Below are several key points to keep in mind when preparing to sell:
- Cultivate a strong team of professionals. An acquirer wants to buy a team-based, ensemble practice. While going solo may have worked for you thus far, it’s not going to cut it if the business is dependent on you or will crumble upon your retirement.
- Diversify your clients. Your income should not depend on a small handful of high-net-worth clients. If one decides to part ways, a large chunk of your business is gone. Consider taking on a wider range of clients to balance your roster.
- Have a growth engine in place. Show you have a model established to draw in new clients and expand your business. A firm with consistent and predictable growth that is not dependent on the market is much more attractive to a prospective buyer.
- Grow beyond boutique. Acquirers are looking for a solid, functioning business that is systematized and has all the necessary departments in place — business development, marketing, portfolio management, etc. Having a full-scale firm signals that little restructuring will be needed to yield a profitable investment.
- Be a fiduciary. Put high quality and high integrity first and foremost. This establishes trust and builds a solid reputation with your client base, which will not be overlooked by prospective buyers
The aging demographic throughout the industry has put acquisitions in the fast lane. To learn more about how we can help support your business, please contact Bluespring Wealth Partners.