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Selling your Business - Lessons from the Dragon's Den

In every Dragon’s Den episode you see pitches where the gap between the valuation presented by the entrepreneur/s and the perceived value by the Dragons is staggering.

The reason is simple - the entrepreneurs have a dream and a vision and they assign a value based on where they hope their business will be in a few years. The Dragons look at the present value and a real growth plan, not wishful thinking.

This is not limited to television - many owners who look to sell their businesses run into the same problem. What they think their business is worth is not even near what potential investors are willing to pay for it.

This article is not about valuation techniques - there are plenty and it is advisable to talk to a professional to get it right. The focus here is on how to make the business sellable at a price that is worth all the time and effort you spent building it.

The key is planning, and it has two elements:

  • Plan to sell - unless you own a very successful business that is already worth what you want to be paid for it you need to consider it will take time to get it to this point so make a decision well in advance

  • The actual plan - how to spruce up the business

The first two stages of a growth plan are the motivation and the goal, and they are already there: cash out by selling the business for £x within Y months/years. It's a great starting point since many times businesses struggle to exactly define what they want to achieve, and why.

The next step, as every GPS will tell you, is finding your current position. This is a bit more complex and takes some work. Get a deeper view HERE.

Once the current position is determined it is time to create the execution plan. This is done in 2 stages:

Things rarely happen spontaneously. If you want to sell your business for an amount that will respect the time and effort you put into it and allow you to comfortably move on you need a plan. If you feel you can do it yourself feel free to use this free guide. If you don’t, help is at hand.

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