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#236: Preparing for the Sale

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Monday, February 8, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I am consulting with a company that anticipates being sold in a year or two. I am a business strategist in my niche market and the owner has requested that I keep a potential sale in mind whenever I make recommendations. Do you have any advice?

What the owner is probably saying is that you should be thinking about how to ensure that the company will be worth as much as possible at the time it is offered up for sale. Here are some considerations for your planning:
  1. Avoid any unnecessary high-risk projects.
  2. Avoid recommendations that involve long term commitments that a buyer might not want (e.g., real estate, contracted services, etc.).
  3. Consider identifying and evaluating potential replacement executives should the owner want to depart upon sale.
  4. Help the company prepare the various key constituencies for an impending sale (i.e., customers, vendors, employees, investors, etc.)
  5. Do anything you can to protect the firm's brand and intellectual property through firming up patents, copyrights, trademarks, etc.).
Tip: You want the company to look good at the time of sale. It should be operating soundly and in a cost-effective manner, employing talented and happy people and free of any unnecessary commitments.

© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  client relations  consulting process 

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Comments on this post...

Patrick Lefler says...
Posted Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Here's a case where it makes perfect sense to ask the owner to be very specific. What may seem obvious to the owner may not be so obvious to the consultant (and vice versa). You've listed five potential considerations for planning. Make sure that the owner is on-board with those five and better yet, get the owner to prioritize them in case conflicts between the points may arise.

Don't assume...ask!

Patrick Lefler
The Spruance Group
Permalink to this Comment }

Andreas Thomson says...
Posted Friday, February 12, 2010
I encounter this question, or a variation on it, frequently. My first piece of advice is to set-up (and start using!) Google Analytics. Google Analytics offers an easy to use, reliable way to monitor traffic which is what most people care about when asking how popular their site is.

I also encourage clients to start thinking about their website attracting potential clients – not just “visitors.” All the visitors in the world don't matter if none of them have a need for your services or worse – they don't get what you do or know how to take the next step with you. I recommend to my clients that they should focus more on attracting the right traffic and what happens to them once the arrive on your site, than over-all popularity.

Andreas Thomson | Putting Websites to Work
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