Orchestrating the Perfect Business Sale

This article was originally published by BCBusiness and created in partnership with Pacific M&A and Business Brokers Ltd.

Planning and execution are crucial in this process

One doesn’t normally associate business matters with music, but when it comes to the task of selling a business, Pino Bacinello, president of Pacific M&A and Business Brokers Ltd., is compelled to associate the process with the evolution of an orchestral work—with the professional certified business broker/M&A advisor assuming the role of conductor.

He says: “There are great parallels between a symphony and the successful sale of one’s company. Creating a symphony means more than just having the right instruments. It requires a great composer, exceptional players and a great conductor.”

Bacinello goes on to say: “Like the creation of a great symphony that starts with the composer, successfully selling your business should start with proper planning and preparation, and this should include a realistic and accurate assessment of the market value of your business.”

Bacinello likens the musicians of an orchestra to the business advisors, “all of whom need to be experienced and competent. Advisors could include accountants, lawyers, bankers, investment advisors, insurance planners and possibly others.”

As for their function, Bacinello says: “The accountant is key to providing you with competent financial, tax, and possibly structural advice. The lawyer is key in helping you document things, creating the appropriate instruments to consummate the transaction within the appropriate structure and helping avoid possible risks.”

Continuing the musical theme, Bacinello points out that just as a conductor is critical in co-ordinating the sounds and timings created by the musicians, “the professional certified business broker’s role should be to follow the plan and co-ordinate and orchestrate the advisors.”

As any musician knows, the real work of developing a symphony is during the rehearsal process. Bacinello says the same is true of a business sale: “In a successful sales process, the real work is the preparation, planning and methodical implementation, the outcome being the appearance of a very easy and smooth transaction. Presiding over all of this is the professional certified business broker, who helps everyone smoothly navigate the many facets of the sale and the potential landmines that can derail the transaction or even blow up a deal entirely.”

Finally, this navigation process should include “co-ordinating and managing the advisors to ensure that all objectives are reasonably met and with manageable risk,” according to Bacinello.

Pacific M&A and Business Brokers offers many resources to prospective clients thinking about selling their business, including an in-depth examination of what it considers to be the five main stages of selling, as well as the selling process for new franchises. The five stages consist of:

  • Stage 1: Assessment of the Most Probable Selling Price (Market Interpretation)
  • Stage 2: Marketing Materials & Due Diligence Preparation
  • Stage 3: Marketing
  • Stage 4: Negotiations & Due Diligence
  • Stage 5: Closing

As parting advice, Bacinello stresses that it’s never too early to lay the necessary foundations that will support the sale of one’s business—but it can be too late.

“A time-planned and considered approach will maximize value and saleability,” says Bacinello.