15Dec/140

Does Your Client’s Business Have Curb Appeal? by John Warrillow

John Warrillow is the founder of The Value Builder System™, a software platform and methodology business coaches use to help their clients improve the value of their business.

Let’s say someone is in the market for buying a house and they go to view one that has been advertised? How does it look on the outside? The inside? What about the location? What is their general impression?

Like a house, your client’s business projects an image to potential buyers. When a potential buyer comes to see their business for the first time, the “curb appeal” of the business can either attract a buyer or cause them to walk away from it.
Does your client need to improve the curb appeal of their business? Here's a three-step plan to help them improve their odds when a potential buyer comes knocking at their door:

1. Fix Any Leaky Faucets
Perhaps, like many other business owners, your client started their business from scratch with one or two employees and now they have 20 people working for them. But do they have the appropriate HR infrastructure in place for that size of a company? Perhaps they even take pride in their informal management style, but it can prove to be a liability when it comes time for them to sell.

Make sure your client’s human resources policies are at least as stringent as those of the company they hope will buy their business. Some basics they need to have in place:

  • A written policy making it clear they forbid any form of harassment or discrimination;
    •    A written letter of employment for each staff member;
    •    A written description of their bonus system;
    •    Written policies for employee expenses, travel and benefits.
  1. Assemble a Binder                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      When you go to buy a house, you feel more confident if the owner has the instruction manuals for the appliances, information on where they were purchased, and who to call if one of them breaks down.

 Similarly, when a potential buyer looks at your client’s company, he wants to see that they have their business information in order. Documenting their office procedures, core processes, and other intellectual capital can help your          client attract more bidders and a higher price for their company, while also lowering the chance of the deal falling apart during due diligence.

If your client wants to attract a buyer, whether now or at some point in the future, they need to create a binder for their business that includes instructions for basic functions, such as:

  • Opening up in the morning and closing down at night;
  • Forms and step-by-step instructions for routine tasks;
  • Templates for key documents;
  • Emergency numbers for service providers;
  • Billing procedures for customers;
  • How their company is positioned in the market and their marketing tools.
  1. Document the Intangibles
    Intangibles for house buying might include: Is the house near a good school or daycare? What kind of neighborhood is it? What kind of commute are you looking at to get to work?

Your client’s business also has intangible – and often intellectual – assets that a potential buyer needs to be made aware of, such as:

  • Proprietary research they’ve conducted;
  • A formula for acquiring new customers;
  • Criteria they use to evaluate a potential new location;
  • Their unique approach to satisfying a customer.

 

As with selling a house, a company's curb appeal can go a long way toward closing a deal.

 

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John Warrillow is the creator of The Value Builder System™. He is also the author of The Automatic Customer: Creating a Subscription Business in Any Industry and Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You.

If you wish to reproduce this article in any material form, you must first contact WABC for permission.

Posted by WABC

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