Dealer Succession Planning

Selling your equipment dealership will most likely be the biggest financial decision you will make in your life. Get it right and you will be able to enjoy your retirement, be financially secure and leave a legacy for your family and your workforce. Get it wrong and decades of hard work will be lost and you will not have the financial security you once imagined.

Our advice to all dealerships looking to sell their business is always view your business from the perspective of a potential purchaser.  Do not have your rose tinted spectacles on.  Be ruthless, look for all of your weaknesses, dig up all the skeletons (because the buyer will find them) and set about getting your business in “showroom” ready condition.

When you are  a buyer in a transaction of any tangible good, you will ask for a certain amount of information.  Buying a house?  Seller says they have put in new windows, a new roof and had a new central heating system installed. Great news!  You ask for the documentation, warranty certificates and service history.  Seller does not have them, must have been “lost in a clear out”….exactly. How many of us would walk away instantly?  Most of us, and those who do not are asking for it.  

That is exactly how you will be perceived if you attempt to sell your company before you are ready.  Organisation chart, sorry we do not really do one….  Last 3 years management accounts? We can’t find them anywhere…    Employee contracts?  We do things via an email and a handshake….

You have just put off 90% of potential buyers before they have even stepped inside your building.

Imagine how impressed you would be as a buyer when after signing the NDA and being vetted you were sent a suite of documents that answered 95% of your questions.  First impressions matter and you have just come across as an organised, disciplined dealership with policies and procedures in place.  Any buyer would be very impressed.

Would you sell your beloved, cherished vintage car without detailing it inside and out?  Of course not.  You would also ensure every service record was present as well as all the receipts for all the parts you fitted. Why? Because it is your pride and joy and you want to obtain the pest price possible for it and by thoroughly preparing the car for sale you have ensured you will achieve that. 

At the Hanss Group we work with dealerships to develop a gap analysis of where their company is in terms of sale readiness.  Often the gaps will be big, but in working with the client we can put them on a path, with a plan to close the gap and get their company in “showroom” ready condition.

We offer a full one day session that involves the owner/principals and any one else in the organisation who is privy to the sale and is crucial to the development of the suite of documents. This is often the Financial Director or Controller.

We work through a comprehensive list of items required and when we identify a gap, that item is prioritised, assigned an individual within the company to source it and a date with which to complete this by.

Often the gaps are more than a document and can be as significant as a lack of a succession plan. This will take more time, effort and HR involvement and this can be worked through over a longer period of time.

Once the initial day session is complete, the client will have a clear indication of what they need to do in order to become ready to exit.  They will walk away with a comprehensive document detailing where their gaps are and a timeline to close those gaps.

The Hanss Group can then re-visit the client in the near future for a further day session and to maintain the momentum in getting closer to the finish line.

The Hanss Group are not business brokers, solicitors or tax advisers. We are not the firm to take your business to market and look for potential buyers. We work with brokers and advisers to get their clients in a “sell-able” state that makes their job easier.

Please contact the Hanss Group today to discuss how we can get you and your business “Ready to Exit”