When my lawyer looked at me and said, ‘Kim – congratulations, you’ve successfully completed the deal,’ I felt numb. I was speechless and devoid of any feeling. In fact, if it wasn’t for my body I would have evaporated into the air. I had survived my business sale completion day!
After spending months of negotiating, emotional ups and downs in addition to visualizing my freedom I suppose I never took the time to consider how I’d feel the moment I sold my ½ of my business. I remember signing several pieces of paper, watching my lawyer for cues on what to say and not say. And I remember thinking how odd it was that my ex-business partner (the person buying me out) was trying to make small talk throughout the completion procedure.
After a few moments of feeling numb, I hugged my solicitor, left his offices, got in my car and still felt numb. I kept telling myself that ‘the transaction occurred…the money is in my bank…I’m out…I’m free, it’s time to celebrate’ yet emotionally I couldn’t feel anything.
Over the next few days, I started to feel again. I was so fearful that the transaction would never occur that I forced myself to remain unemotional about it. And when it did happen I think I went into some sort of emotional shock!
Anyway, that being said, preparing for the actual business sale completion day is worth setting time aside for. And I mean that from an emotional and practical perspective. The night before the big event, consider the following 5 preparation suggestions.
5 Ways to Prepare for your Business Sale Completion Day
1. Packing list. Some Completion Days can last for days. There are very business times and then there are times when you’ll be sitting around doing nothing. Consider packing clothes, toiletries, special food you like (snacks), a good book to read and anything else to help you throughout the day. Also, prepare your clothes, driving instructions and timings before you go to sleep so that you can wake-up and get to the Completion Offices with the least amount of stress as possible.
2. Negotiation Sticking Points. Are there any outstanding negotiation points that have to be resolved before the deal is done? Where you stand on them? Don’t leave this to chance. Take the time to consider what you will and will not settle for. Visualize various scenarios and focus on how you’d like any sticking points to be resolved. Doing so will better prepare you for the real thing!
3. Completion Day Process. Do you know the stages that are necessary to complete? Many solicitors will tell you that they’ve got everything taken care of, but sometimes it’s nice to know where you are in the process. There’s a load of required documentation and legal papers to sign. If you know the process you can check it off as things happen. By doing so you’ll feel a higher sense of control if you understand what’s actually happening.
4. Consider the post-completion tasks. Usually when entering a Completion Day, many business owners are more interested in completing rather than considering what happens after the deal is done, but keep in mind there are quite a few admin issues to take care of. Things like paying the advisors, diarising future consideration payments and expiry dates for restrictive covenants are just a few. Be prepared to complete, handle after completion tasks AND the next suggestion…
5. Visualising the perfect completion process. It may seem a bit air fairy but you have more chances of getting what you focus on. By focusing on the perfect completion process you’ll train your mind and body as to what you want and how you want it. Furthermore, you might avoid my experience of numbness. Remember to think about the celebration and how you’ll feel once the deal is done and dusted.
This article offers a quick and general outline on how to prepare for your business sale completion day. If you’d like a ‘template’ that will guide you through the whole process, outline what to pack, how to prioritise negotiation points, what will be needed for the post-completion admin in addition to how to visualise a perfect business sale completion day, please check out our pack, “The Seller’s Completion Day Checklist Pack.”
Kim Brown, Co-Founder of Business Wand, helps business owners navigate their way through the start to finish process of selling a business. Her specialty is to help owners cut costs and increase profits prior to sale. To understand how you can sell your business quickly for the highest sales price, purchase the book, “How To Sell A Business: The #1 guide to maximising your company value and achieving a quick business sale”