You’re in the homestretch of selling your company. You’ve signed the letter of intent and the buyer is about to take a deep dive into your business. Welcome to the due diligence process. Now what?

As a business owner, you’re trying to get a deal done at the same time as running your company.  Being able to manage the workload and ensure a successful transaction can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. The easiest way to be efficient and minimize any stress during the process is to have a solid plan.

Maximize your Time

As we often say, once the letter of intent is signed, the work begins. Meet with your team, assign tasks, and set up a virtual data room to organize documents. Ask the Buyer to send over their initial due diligence request and have your team focus on a list of necessary items to get the process started. Upload the information into a data room with separate folders for financials, legal, operations, environmental, benefits, human resources, insurances, etc. Each of these folders should have subcategories that can be populated for specific items that the buyer wants to evaluate.

Have a Plan

Never go into the due diligence process without a plan. Whether the plan is coming from you or your team, it’s smart to set milestones, goals, and have weekly updates. Having a coordinated effort will help prevent your deal from drifting and will provide sufficient time to resolve any issues that may arise during due diligence. Be sure to work shoulder to shoulder with everyone helping you seal the deal. Seeking help and having the support of trusted advisors, like Osage Advisors, enables you to provide what the buyer is looking for and get you to the finish line.

Communicate With Your Employees

Now’s the time to be transparent with key employees – including those in senior management, customer service, and quality control. Key personnel are important to the deal so that the buyer sees your company is being managed appropriately. These employees lead your company to success just as much as you do and, as such, are a vital part of the team. The buyer will want to get to know them and gain deeper insights into their capabilities to ensure the business continues to thrive under new ownership.

Don’t Let Time Drag On

As we say in the trade, “time is not your friend when you’re trying to close a transaction.” When time drags on, the greater chance there is for something to go wrong. There have been plenty of instances where a deal is negotiated but the seller delayed getting key employees involved and the data room organized. It’s important to stay ahead of the game rather than chasing it. If it seems like you’re waning, it may be because of outside constraints such as your advisors, or the buyer’s, being backlogged with other deals and not having the resources to focus on yours’s. You can limit this sort of negative impact if you communicate with your advisors early in the process and get as much done quickly and efficiently as possible.

While all this may seem overwhelming, you will get through it successfully. Simply maximize your time with a good plan, communicate with your employees, surround yourself with the right support and don’t let time drag on. These are the key elements of getting through the due diligence phase successfully and closing on the sale of your business.

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