Gareth Magee, Scott-Moncrieff

Gareth Magee, Scott-Moncrieff

Getting ready for exit: four top tips

If you have a buyer and are about to sell your business, we have five clear common sense tips that will help keep you right and make sure nothing is missed. But that’s NOT what we’re going to tell you about here. Because first you have to get there. With that in mind, here are our four top tips to help you prepare for a successful exit.

1. Start working yourself out of a job
So many early stage entrepreneurs take on many of the jobs required to run their business and, when they are starting out, they feel they need to work themselves into all of them. But in preparing for exit, start working yourself out of jobs. Think of procedures you can write and put in place for the new business owners to make it as easy as possible for them to walk straight in and get started.

2. Start building up a good track record
That means ensuring your bookkeeping is in order, your year-end accounts have clean reports, taxes are all in order and everything is fully compliant. One of the easiest ways to enable this is through an online accounting package such as Xero. For your buyers’ peace of mind, consider having some health checks in areas such as corporation tax, VAT, employer tax and share schemes.

3. Start focusing on cash generation
So much of the early stage journey is consumed with where external cash will come from. But it’s important to think early about cash generation within the business  – nothing will make your company more desirable.

4. Start thinking about your potential acquirers
You should do this as early as possible – preferably at the very start. Who might buy your company? Form relationships with these likely buyers – they may be customers, suppliers, consultants or partners – it’s thinking like this that gets you noticed.

It may seem a little way off but now is the time to plan for a successful exit. 

If you would like any further advice on this, please do not hesitate to contact Gareth Magee.

Gareth Magee is a partner at one of Scotland’s leading business advisers and accountants, Scott-Moncrieff.


T: 0131 473 3500