The decision to sell your business is emotional – you’ve worked hard to build a company, hire talent, create compelling products and services, and win market share. When you get to a certain scale, an exit might become more attractive (to you and to the market). But this is also the time when you’re more at risk of making a bad decision. Selling your media business is a process, and it’s crucial that you’re rational, and driven by data and objective outcomes, when thinking about an exit strategy.
Most entrepreneurs realise the value they should have created, the products they should have invested more in, and the people they needed to hire and keep, through the perspective of hindsight. This leaves substantial value on the table when they decide that now is the time to sell.
Having founded, built, scaled and sold several businesses ourselves, there are mistakes we’d pay to go back and avoid. That’s why we wrote ‘Exit Hacks’, to help entrepreneurs understand how to maximise the value of their company.
Exit planning should start yesterday, as it’s the decisions you made 2-3 years ago that often make the biggest impact on your businesses value.
To scale up, you need to move from working in your business to working on your business. Replicate, delegate, extricate yourself from the day-to-day.
The Three Year Value Leap is a process that integrates strategic and financial planning, governance and management process development, new product development and people/company capabilities to optimise both profit and value for a planned exit point.
As your media business grows you’ll need to introduce more complex processes and systems to effectively manage your business and your people. Creating a strong Board is an important step in maximising value and ensuring growth.
It’s a time consuming process that takes more energy and effort than many entrepreneurs think. Getting ahead of the curve and running an internal audit to get your business in shape will save you exponentially more time in the long run.
In addition to creating a competitive process to create urgency and drive up your ability to demand a higher valuation, you should also consider who the right buyer is for your business. This doesn’t always come down to who puts the largest number on a piece of paper.
One of the biggest mistakes an entrepreneur can make is to rush the most important decision process of their working lives so far. It’s important to focus on building a solid 3 year plan that you believe in delivering, and to think about creating value, not simply maximising profit.
Download a copy of ‘Exit Hacks’ to find out how you can maximise your media business’ sale value and define your exit strategy.