To sell or not to sell? WHEN is the question, says Marion Bernard

The reasons why a business owner might choose to sell are varied but there is usually a clear rationale for doing so. Often it comes down to capital requirements: either that additional financing will be needed to take the business forward but is not readily available, or at least not on terms that are attractive to management; or, that for personal reasons, the shareholders are keen to realise the benefits of their hard work and cash out.

However, WHETHER to sell is not the only critical decision that a business owner needs to make. WHEN to sell is equally important.

Is now the right moment? When you started your business, you had an ambition and a clear vision. Have you accomplished all that you hoped or is there long term potential still to realise? What might your company look like in 3, 5 or 10 years’ time?

Could you double your workforce, treble your turnover? Could you expand out of your home region through organic or acquisitive growth and develop a national or international footprint.

These could be more than just aspirations.

BGF could offer business owners two bites of the cherry – the means to continue building a business now, enhancing its value for the future, as well as the immediate benefits of some cash out. So if you believe that now is not the time to sell all your business, think about selling some of it and raise money and bring in a partner to help ensure the business continues to grow. Then sell the remainder in the future when it may be worth two or three times more.

BGF’s role is to help owners grow their businesses and in so doing look to increase value.

Many business owners fear that taking on external investment will result in a loss of control, but with us, this is not the case. We buy a stake in your company at a fair price, this is always a minority stake.

As equity investors, we take a calculated risk on the future success of your company and as such are focused on its growth potential. This ensures that the relationship is a real partnership. We bring not only capital, but also a book of contacts and broader financial and operational expertise. All of this will benefit your business and should put it in a much stronger position for a sale in the future.