If you’re looking to sell, it helps to know what you want. That’s why it’s best to start any sales process with the development of a sale or divestiture project plan. This plan should clearly define the parameters of the business or assets you are planning to sell, outline your specific objectives for the sale, identify key value drivers that could attract buyer interest, and document any risks associated with the sale or divestiture process. The plan should also outline the implications of anything that might be left behind following the sale (e.g. stranded costs, restructuring requirements).

It can help to engage a third party to assist with developing and managing your sale or divestiture project plan – an advisor with extensive experience in the sales process who can help look at your existing business using an objective and rational lens. In the case of owner-managers who have put a lifetime of sweat equity into a business, it can be difficult to evaluate the true strengths and weaknesses associated with a business. A third party advisor can walk you through the process and help you make the decisions needed to put your business’ best foot forward during a sale. Importantly, with ever increasing levels of cross border M&A, you’ll want an advisor that is part of a large worldwide network to help expose your deal to potential buyers in more geographic regions.