Be present to sell a business.

October 31, 2009

Business owners who want to sell a business need to be present for the years leading up to sale.  What does it mean to be present and what does that have to do with selling a business?  In a recent Women Rock morning conference sponsored by Ellen Marshall and Cori Stengel of Prudential, http://www.prudential.com/view/page/public/159?reqid=24416, Marie Longserre, President of Santa Fe Business Incubator, http://www.sfbi.net/, spoke of “being present” as a characteristic of a good leader.  It is important to not just show up but participate appropriately.

A business owner who is a good leader, one who is present, will also have the best of chances in having a great business sale.

The present leader will be viewed by staff as having contributed to the overall success of the company and be seen as caring about the staff, not only in work performance but socially as well.  Does this mean they all party together?  Not necessarily but the staff will know the leader is aware and concerned about their challenges outside of work, perhaps providing products, services, or flexibility to support those challenges.

The business owner wanting to have a successful company and ultimately a successful business sale will be present in understanding what is going on and respond appropriately.  S/he will know that there are challenges in getting the job done and address these when possible.  S/he will know the financial performance and have outside council or functions that verify.  The reporting will be accurate, comprehensive, in good order, and easily understood.

Quality performance will be valued and the business owner will monitor results and require continuous improvement.  As the sale of a business approaches it will be clear to the prospective buyer that quality is a hallmark, not just lip service.

Dropping in and out of these leadership foci is really not being present and ultimately it will impact the performance and sale of the business.

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