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Top 10 questions of entrepreneurs when selling their company

Top 10 questions of entrepreneurs when selling their company

You’ve probably seen many lists of the top 10 questions of entrepreneurs when selling their company, but maybe you haven’t found the answers you really needed. The decision to sell involves financial, emotional and strategic considerations. That’s why it’s normal to have doubts. All entrepreneurs have them when the possibility of selling their business becomes a reality.

If you have decided to sell your business, it is normal to have those doubts. The good news is that the questions you are asking yourself are probably the ones we have already answered for our clients.

In this article, we will answer the top 10 questions when selling a company that entrepreneurs who are thinking of selling their company ask themselves. Not just the most frequent ones but also the most concrete ones.

Table of Contents 

Top 10 questions of entrepreneurs when selling their company

Among the top 10 questions when selling a company, entrepreneurs have personal, economic and operational concerns. Let’s take a look at them below.

1. How is the confidentiality of the company’s sales process guaranteed?

Depending on the market in which they operate, it is natural for entrepreneurs to be concerned about keeping the news of the sale strictly confidential.

In the Anglo-Saxon world, selling the company represents a triumph and is a mark of success. On the other hand, the perception is very different in the Spanish market. An entrepreneur may fear that selling is perceived as a sign of decline or failure.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Normally, companies that are sold are companies with a proven level of success and great growth potential. That is why they find buyers.

“I am concerned that my company’s name will be compromised in the marketplace.”

Moreover, for the entrepreneur, the sale represents a strong financial return. This can be a great reward for a lifetime of hard work.

Knowing these different perceptions of the transaction, and its impact on the entrepreneur and the market, is the responsibility of a good advisor. This M&A specialist understands the entrepreneur’s needs and does not judge them.

On the contrary, they can shield every aspect of the entrepreneur’s concerns.

In the case of the sale, confidentiality is guaranteed through proper NDA procedures and the correct selection of potential buyers or counterparties. Conflicting counterparties are avoided. The expert advisor focuses on qualified financial and industrial investors.

In addition, other phases are controlled, such as exchanging documentation using technology, such as a Virtual Data Room.

Find out more about how we guarantee confidentiality: Confidentiality in the sale of a company.

2. How do I know the buyers you introduce to me are the best?

The selection of counterparties is a critical process. The difference in the selection of the best counterparts lies in access to certain key resources:

  • The best databases on the market.
  • Knowing how to guarantee maximum traceability of contacts and control of these by the client.
  • Maximum transparency of the entire process through monitoring tools. At ONEtoONE, for example, we have our platform, CLARITY. Through it, the client can consult the status of their mandate at all times.
  • Having an international network with contacts in all sectors’ most important M&A markets. This guarantees access to the buyers who can pay the most, who do not necessarily have to be local.

The choice of strategy will depend on the type of company, the sector and the personal preferences of the entrepreneur.

Top 10 questions for entrepreneurs when selling their company

Resources to find the best counterparts

3. What can I expect from the operation?

Selling the business can offer financial benefits, risk reduction, new opportunities, freedom from liability and the possibility of leaving a lasting legacy. For each entrepreneur, the expectations and possibilities are different.

The first and most obvious effect is that the sale provides considerable financial realisation. After years of hard work and dedication, selling the business can generate a significant return on the investment.

By doing so, the entrepreneur can secure personal financial stability or take advantage of new investment opportunities.

In addition, selling the business can free the entrepreneur from the responsibilities and pressures of running the business. This results in a significant reduction of stress and workload. Selling allows the entrepreneur to enjoy a better work-life balance.

The sale also provides the opportunity to pass control to a new owner who can continue to develop and grow the company while the entrepreneur can explore new interests or projects.

4. Will I have to stay on to run the company after the sale? For how long? What will happen to the employees and my family working for the company?

Among the top 10 questions, entrepreneurs ask themselves when selling their business is often a concern for their future and that of their team.

In our experience, there are no redundancies in the sale of family businesses. On the contrary, the buyer tries to motivate the management team to stay on.

Planning a smooth transition, ensuring the retention of key employees and ensuring continuity of customer service are essential aspects for the buyer. In doing so, it seeks to minimise negative impacts.

All the keys to a good sale in 11 keys to preparing for the sale of your business

As for the seller, showing the availability of some continuity helps a better sale. Commitment to permanence over time reassures the buyer of a transition without losing rhythm in production. This is a crucial element in building trust between buyer and seller.

At the end of the day, tenures do not usually go beyond 18 months or two years at most.

Finally, it is crucial to communicate clearly and transparently about upcoming changes, providing reassurance and maintaining the confidence of key stakeholders.

5. What happens to the company’s assets, such as the office, warehouses or storage?

There are two types of assets that a company owns: productive and non-productive. You will need to manage each of them differently.

  • Productive assets are those assets necessary for the activity of the business, for example, specific machinery in a factory. This normally falls within the sales agreement.
  • Non-productive assets are those that are not part of the company’s production process. It is preferable to remove them from the perimeter as soon as possible.

Real estate assets (warehouses or buildings where the company’s activity is carried out) are considered non-productive assets. Buyers are usually not interested in purchasing real estate assets.

 “What happens if I have my second home in the company’s name?”

If the assets belong to the company, the usual practice is to spin them off from the company. The seller itself can buy the asset as an individual or through a holding company.

This obviously has several tax implications. Therefore, each asset has to be analysed to calculate the tax cost of the spin-off. If the demerger is carried out in good time, two years must elapse before these assets are considered tax neutral.

Finally, the purchaser may ask to lease the non-productive asset even if not interested in buying.

6. I have a lot of liquidity in the company. What do I do with it?

Surplus cash is also a question that creeps into the questions of every entrepreneur who wants to sell his company.

The company’s liquidity neither increases its value nor hurts the sale process. If there is a lot of liquidity, it is best to “get rid” of it.

The simplest way to distribute surplus cash is via dividends.

More on the company’s financial structure: How should you prepare the financial structure for the sale of your company?  

7. What can I do if the company’s stock is bloated?

At certain times, such as when interest rates are so low, entrepreneurs may have decided to invest in buying goods or filling the warehouse instead of keeping money in the bank.

It may be that the sales process coincides with one of these times when the company’s stock is “bloated”. What to do with this surplus is one of the most frequent questions entrepreneurs ask themselves when selling their business.

The buyer understands that the working capital is what is necessary to continue the business.

However, if there is a surplus, the best thing to do is to reduce it as quickly as possible to demonstrate that the company’s working capital is lower than its historical level and to pay it out in dividends when liquidity is available.

Given that the average duration of operations can vary from 9 to 18 months, time is sometimes enough. Sometimes it is not. Sometimes you have to prove that these stocks are indeed inflated and that you can easily liquidate them. And that is simply a question of time.

8. Can I start the sale process without the agreement of all the company’s shareholders?

In companies with multiple shareholders, it is common for different views and objectives to exist among the shareholders. Even family relationships sometimes complicate these situations greatly.

Some shareholders may be interested in selling the company. Others may not. Even if they agree to sell, they may have different opinions about the right time to sell.

My brother doesn’t want to sell, but I think we can convince him, can we start the process without him?”

Strictly speaking, a shareholder can begin the sale process by seeking potential buyers and evaluating options without requiring the unanimous consent of all shareholders.

However, the ability to close the sale of the company depends on the corporate governance structure and the provisions set out in the company’s bylaws. The by-laws set out the rules and procedures governing important decisions, and the sale is one such decision.

Therefore, the final decision to sell the company may require the approval of a majority of shareholders, depending on the applicable contractual or legal provisions.

Thus, it is not advisable to start the process knowing that a shareholder disagrees upfront. That shareholder will then have very high bargaining and decision-making power. Even if the transaction is delayed, it is advisable to have the mandate agreed upon by all parties involved.

9. Is it important to know if there are relevant operations in my sector? How can I find out which ones?

Knowing the relevant operations in the company’s sector is essential for a successful sale. This information is vital for several reasons:

  • To obtain a proper valuation. You will be able to understand the context in which the company finds itself and assess its relative position in the market. A more accurate valuation of the company is then possible. The company’s real value can be determined by considering its financial performance, competitive position and growth potential. This is the way to establish a fair price.
  • To generate attractiveness for buyers. Buyers interested in acquiring a company usually have a good knowledge of the sector in which it operates. By being aware of relevant industry operations, the seller can effectively communicate your business’s unique and valuable aspects. They can highlight their competitive advantage and growth potential relative to other companies in the same industry.
  • To identify potential strategic buyers. Potential synergies or shared strategic interests can be identified by knowing which companies are active in the sector and have made recent acquisitions.
  • To prepare the due diligence. During the sales process, buyers often conduct thorough due diligence or audit of the company. With information about the industry, the seller can anticipate potential areas of interest or concern for buyers and prepare accordingly.
Top 10 questions for entrepreneurs when selling their company

Four benefits of knowing what relevant transactions have taken place in my sector.

All this information provides a great advantage in the negotiation with the buyer.

To have this information, it is necessary to have access to the best databases.

A professional advisor has such access, and his market knowledge allows him to interpret the data in the most advantageous way for the transaction.

10. Why do I have to pay you as a consultant? If I get a good offer, I sell. Isn’t it better that you present me with targets and take a position with the buying side?

It could do so, but that turns the transaction into a bilateral process. A bilateral transaction is a transaction between a seller and a single buyer.

In this type of transaction, the buyer is the one who pays the advisor. Therefore, the advisor will try to lower the transaction price as much as possible, which is a conflict of interest.

Experience has shown that buyers pay 20-30% less the sale price in a bilateral process than in a competitive process. The seller saves fees at the cost of a lower price and worse conditions for the sale.

The expert advisor: the best source of information to answer every entrepreneur’s questions when selling their business.

The questions listed above are some of the top 10 questions when selling a company entrepreneurs often ask themselves when considering the sale of their business.

By addressing these questions and seeking appropriate advice, entrepreneurs can be better prepared to make informed decisions and achieve a successful sale process.

Selling a business can be a complex and stressful process. It involves personal, financial, legal and strategic aspects.

A specialised advisor will assist you in contacting and negotiating with all shareholders. In addition, he or she will inform you of all legal and contractual obligations and requirements during the sale process.

Also, they have up-to-date information on competition, regulatory changes, industry risks, and other factors that may affect a buyer’s company assessment.

Selling a business is a significant decision that requires careful planning and consideration. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are considering it. We are here to help you. At ONEtoONE, we can help you. Get in contact with us now.


Las 5 preguntas de los empresarios que quieren vender su empresa

Top 5 questions for entrepreneurs who want to sell their company

There are things that we often only do once in our lifetime, and perhaps wanting to sell your company is one of them, so when an entrepreneur considers selling their company, they have a lot of doubts. Even as many as when they founded it. At ONEtoONE, after more than 18 years advising on the sale and purchase of companies, and with thousands of sales orders, we have compiled the 5 most common questions that our clients have asked us when selling their company.

We all want to minimise mistakes when making important decisions in our lives. How much will it cost me to sell my company? Is this the right time? Who can I rely on to help me earn as much as possible? And, above all, is it the right time to sell? Yes, now more than ever, it is. We clear up your doubts so that you don’t miss this opportunity.

1. How much is my company worth?

Short answer: whatever a buyer wants to pay. Long answer: it depends on how you balance the concepts of value and price and which buyers you can reach.

Strictly speaking, the price of a company is the amount for which two independent parties agree to carry out a purchase and sale transaction, and this amount is fixed during the negotiation process. This happens after an analysis of the company’s figures and the market. To do this, you need to know how to access this information and weigh it up.

To get the best price possible, you need to know what the value of the company is, which is a subtle concept.

In order to clarify the balance between the value of your company and the price you can obtain, a professional valuation is an essential first step.

The right buyer will understand what your company is worth and will pay what it deserves. In general, foreign companies trying to enter new geographic markets are willing to pay more. However, contacting such buyers can only be achieved with an international network.

A professional advisor will know which of the various valuation methods is right for your business. He also will be able to get the highest possible price for its value.

Read more about: How to get the best price for my company.

2. When is the right time to sell my company?

The time you choose to sell will make a huge difference to the price you can get. Is it the right time to sell my business?

Matching personal, business and economic factors at the right time is the key to knowing when to make the best decision. The time you choose will also influence the time it takes to successfully complete the sale.

You need to know how to spot a window of opportunity. At the moment, there is still a lot of liquidity. Large financial and international groups are looking for growth through acquisitions.

But keep in mind that windows of opportunity also close. It may be a long time before another one opens. All indicators seem to point to a future recession. Those who do not sell now may not be able to sell at current prices for years to come.

If you believe that your personal motives and your company’s current momentum are aligned to maximise the value of your company, the time is now.

Read more about: When is the best time to sell my company?

3. How do I sell my company?

You are undoubtedly a specialist in your business and your industry, but entrepreneurs usually only sell their businesses once in a lifetime. If you know how to manage your business, an advisor knows how to sell it in the best way.

Buying and selling a business is a science in itself. You have to know the timing, the process, the prices, the state of the market and mastering negotiation. Also, you need to know how to handle the paperwork and documentation. In addition, you have to know how to find the buyer who can pay the most.

You are probably not familiar with the stages of a sales transaction or the most common concepts. Once you have decided to sell your company, a process begins that will be led by your advisor, who will guide you through the initial phase of documentation and valuation of your company, the search for the ideal buyer, the due diligence process and finally the negotiation of the sale and purchase agreement.

Several concepts are decisive for the success of the operation. Some of them are the confidentiality of the entire process and the exclusivity of the advisor, who will guarantee confidentiality.

Your job during the sale, which may take a long time, is to focus on your company in order to strengthen its value. Maintaining its profitability will determine the price and the closing of the transaction.

Read more about: How to sell a company 

4. How much does it cost me to sell my company?

This is one of the first questions entrepreneurs who think of selling their company ask themselves. It does not have a simple answer as it “depends” on many factors, among others, on the advisors that come into play.

It should be clear to you that for a once-in-a-lifetime transaction in which you have no experience, it is more advantageous to rely on professionals. Having at least one M&A advisor, a lawyer, and a tax advisor are the professionals we recommend.

As for the first one, advisors in the sale and purchase of companies usually work with a fixed fee and a success fee. This advisor is of vital importance because he will ‘create’ the operation. Their fees are usually a percentage that will depend on the size of the transaction; the higher the transaction value, the higher the fees, so the alignment with the client’s interests is maximum. Success rates can range from 1% for large transactions to 6% for small transactions.

As for lawyers and tax advisors, they usually enter the transaction when there is already a first agreement between buyer and seller. Their fees are usually fixed for the amount of time they will need to spend to underpin the transaction. Again, depending on the complexity of the transaction, their fees can vary in a very wide range, nowadays, between 25,000 and 100,000 euros.

If you have ever heard the saying “being cheap can be an expensive mistake”, you will find no better application for it than in the case of the sale of a company. You may save some money if you don’t hire these professionals, but the benefits you get from their services will more than cover this expense.

Read more about: How much does it cost to sell my company?

5. Who can I trust to sell my company?

You have dedicated your whole life to your company. You have built up your wealth with it. When it comes to selling it, you are not going to put it in the hands of someone who does not understand its importance and what it means to manage your wealth.

You wouldn’t go to a family doctor if you needed a cardiologist, even if the cardiologist charged more or lived further away. Just as you would not put your health in the hands of a non-specialist doctor, you would not put your wealth in the hands of someone who does not know how to move it without making a loss.

Selling a company is a technical and financial job with a lot of research and strategy behind it. When dealing with such matters, we need to be able to trust the person in front of us. Make sure you trust for the right reasons. Sure, you can trust the family lawyer or a lifelong friend, but not place on them the enormous responsibility of carrying out a complex transaction that they have never done before.

It is worth spending some time looking for and finding someone you can trust to sell for the right reasons. And in this type of transaction, ask yourself, what arguments justify your trust? You can certainly rely on an advisor who:

  • Has proven and successful experience in selling a business.
  • Understands your family, financial and personal.
  • Has your best interests at heart.
  • Has access to buyers who can pay more and better.
  • It is legally and contractually bound to handle the transaction with confidentiality.
  • Treats you humanely and honestly.

The reality is simple: to sell your business, you need the help of a professional who specialises in business sales.

The value provided by specialist business sale and purchase advisors will be reflected in the price you get. To do this, they will help you get your business properly prepared, locate the highest paying buyer wherever they may be and help you manage the paperwork in the right way, as well as preventing any mistakes you might make.

Read more about: The role of the advisor in the sale of a business

About ONEtoONE

ONEtoONE Corporate Finance is a global advisory firm specialising in the sale and purchase of companies in all sectors. Our successful experience with more than 1,700 mandates supports us in advising on any issue related to the details of transaction closings.

If you are interested in considering the sale of your business and need professional advice, please do not hesitate to contact us. The window of opportunity is open – we’ll help you get through it!

Preparar la estructura financiera de la empresa para la venta

How should you prepare the financial structure for the sale of your company?

As a business owner the financial state of your business is what tells you how well its doing. Because of this, it becomes a key factor in our measuring the success of our companies. Equally, a buyer will be wary of the financial state since it’s one if not the most important piece of information about your business. Preparing your financial structure is pivotal to determine your company’s value so you need to be extra careful when evaluating this crucial pillar of your company.

At ONEtoONE, having worked more than 1,800 mandates, during our experience, we’ve identified some of the mistakes that business owners make when preparing their financial state with the wrong advisor and with no advisor at all.

Elements to take a look at when preparing the financial structure

Balance sheet

Balance scoreboard


Key Performance Indicators


Financial factors

A balancing act

The information provided by the scorecard makes it possible to focus and align management teams, business units, resources and processes with the company´s strategies.

A balanced scorecard is a tool that facilitates management decision-making. It includes a coherent set of KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that provide managers and area managers with an overview of the business or their respective areas of responsibility.

In case you do not currently have one. We suggest that now is the time to prepare one to help your team focus your company´s efforts in the same direction.

Measuring financial performance

As the name suggests, KPIs or Key Performance Indicators are just that, a group of metrics used to assess the overall performance of a company. KPIs aid in determining a company’s strategic, financial, and operational accomplishments, predominantly in comparison with those of rival firms in the same industry.

Record keeping, processing, cleansing, and summarizing are the foundation of KPIs. The data might pertain to any division across the whole organization and could be either financial or not in nature. A KPIs’ objective is to clearly convey outcomes so that executives may make better knowledgeable decisions.

Revenue and profit margins are often the main focus of key performance indicators linked to the financials. The most reliable of all revenue metrics, net earnings, measures the amount of income that is left over as profit for a specific period after taking into account all of the company’s costs, taxes, and interest payments for that particular term. Some examples are of financial KPIs are: Liquidity, profitability, solvency and turnover ratios.

Ask yourself if your company has identified its KPIs and how often are analyses carried out.

Financial factors

When preparing the financial structure of your company, you should prepare the following financial factors:


Create a corporate yearly budget and monthly and quarterly closings. It would be advisable to mention that you maintain a monthly account audit. Estimate potential budgetary deviations and consider the reasons behind them.


If the business is in debt, you must characterize that debt as owing money to banks and other financial organizations (leasing, bondholders, invoice discounting…). Debts with partners and debts with clients differ from one another. In general, advances are seen as debt. To make it obvious how the debt will be repaid when the time comes, you must formalize the debt through loan contracts.


Evaluate the properties that are impacted by business operations. It is common knowledge that businesses control the land on which their offices are located. It occasionally even owns assets that are not required for business operations. Separating real estate activity from productive activity is necessary, and the corporation will be charged market rent.

Surplus Management

How is the maintenance of the company’s surplus management done? A cautious style of management is typical, in which the gains from prior years have stuffed the treasury rather than being dispersed. It is essential to do a thorough analysis of the working capital, often known as the actual cash requirements for the functioning of the business. The amount that can be distributed to the partners prior to the transaction must also be made explicit.


When it comes to treasury, cash pressures are often a sign that something isn’t functioning properly. Bank loans can ease tensions, but it’s important to identify and address the root of the issue before using them. This may be accomplished in a number of ways, including by studying the cash flow (or cash flow). Manage your box by, if feasible, billing your consumers in advance to create a positive cash flow cycle.

No more preparation headaches

The information in this article will help you avoid the errors that are commonly made by unadvised business owners. Likewise, we’ve identified errors during the whole preparation, negotiation and closing phases of the sale. We have condensed those errors in our free three-e-book series “Errors during the sale of a company”.

About ONEtoONE

ONEtoONE Corporate Finance has offices in Europe, the United States, Latin America and Asia. We are a global advisory firm specialising in the sale of companies like yours. All our human and technological resources, databases, experience and processes are focused on helping our clients sell their companies at the highest possible price. We help you strengthen your legacy, so you can focus on what matters to you in this new stage of your life. We can’t change the past, but we can improve the future.

Are you ready? It’s your time, we’re here to help!

are your employees working conditions important when preparing your business for sale?

Why are your employees working conditions important when preparing your business for sale?

When the time comes to sell your business there are many things that you will need to consider and prepare in advance. One of the factors that is often overlooked is the importance of your employee working conditions. Why are your employees working conditions important when preparing your business for sale? Keep reading to find out.

Focus on your workforce:

Presenting a well organised and dynamic workforce to potential investors or buyers is essential when trying to close a sale. It is crucial that you have all your employees regulated, i.e., pay overtime, per diems, etc. Analyse the possible employment of freelancers or the status of partners who provide services in the company. Buyers look for well-organised companies and do not want problems to arise because of any labour irregularities. All possible sources of problems detract from the attractiveness of your company and therefore can lead to complexity in the payment of the price, in the form of contingent payments, escrow accounts or lowering the price.

Find out why you should prepare your business for sale as early as possible here

Have you become the “orchestra man”?

“The orchestra man” in a company means that everything depends on you and all desicions come from you.  Instead, you should professionalise your company by having a structure that allows you to distribute responsibilities so that in turn, everything does not depend on you. If you don’t already have one, hire a general manager to manage the company and report to you as president or CEO. This will allow you to make a much smoother transition when the buyer, a financial investor or an industrialist enters the company. When the buyer observes a very hands-on company management, the deal often falls through, especially with international buyers.

If you would like to find out more ways to prepare your business for sale, click here

The labour aspect in a service company is especially relevant for the sale of the company. As long as everything is in accordance with the current regulations, you will avoid possible contingencies in the sale process. Remember that the objective of preparing your company for sale is to eliminate obstacles that may hinder the process. Furthermore, it would help if you created a management team with attractive incentives for the fulfilment of objectives and with personal development plans to keep them loyal to the company. It is also advisable to involve key executives in the sale because you will need them to offer the best face to the investor and ensure that the company is in the best hands.

How can you prevent executives from leaving during the negotiation phase?

When preparing your company for a sale, it is encouraged to prevent executives from leaving during the negotiation phases of the sale, as this could be devastating to the buyer’s perceived value. One measure we have implemented on occasion with the entrepreneur has been to inform key executives of the sale idea and reward them with a percentage of the transaction value, encouraging them to collaborate to improve financial ratios during this period.

To sum up, it is clear that when the time comes to present your business to potential buyers or investors, having an organized workforce is an essential component to the success of the sale

How can digitization help with the sale of your company?

How can digitization help with the sale of your company?

The recent pandemic that we have been through has caused a significant change in business models. Specifically, it has accelerated digitization in all types of companies and their processes.

Technology advances faster than we think, and it is essential for companies to identify in which direction they should go. For this reason, it is crucial that, no matter how successful your company is, you have a vision and the right strategies to develop your company’s full potential and take it to the next level in this new landscape.

Digital transformation and technological trends can multiply your company’s benefits and increase its value for potential investors. So, how can digitization help with the sale of your company?

6 Main benefits of the digital transformation of your company for its sale

1. It allows better optimization of your process

The most precious resource for any company is time. Wasting it leads to delivery delays, lost customers, and planning disruption. Digitization can optimize these processes. Using the right tools for your company, you will avoid these unforeseen events.

Doing a good study of the type of technology you need to optimize your processes is always recommended.

Your work team will increase its productivity and, therefore, the profits of the company will increase.

2. Automation of your processes

In all companies, there are necessary but repetitive processes.

Currently, thanks to developers and technological tools, we can use systems that perform these tasks simply by programming them.

An automated process implies increased productivity, higher work standards reflected in the quality, easy fault detection, faster correction, and reduced possible human errors.

3. Incentive work team

Often, a work team is not as productive as expected because it does not have the necessary tools or does not know they exist.

Once these resources are available, it will be beneficial for the company and open a window of opportunity for the team. Employees will be able to add more value to the company.



4. Greater adaptation to market changes

Digitization contributes a lot to the efficiency of your company’s production processes, making the response to customers much faster.

Entrepreneurs often think about the difficulties of carrying out technological innovations: resistance to change, the need for staff training, the time required to adapt processes to new changes, etc. What they fail to see is the excellent long-term benefit from the investment of that time and effort.

The adaptation of the means of production, distribution, and customer service is a necessity imposed by the market and an opportunity to increase the profits and value of the company. For both the entrepreneur and the company, the integrated technological elements for process optimization will increase the company’s value, whether it is to take the company to the next level or sell it

You might be interested in reading: Maximize the price of a company

5. Create new business opportunities

The renewal of your company at a productive level allows new business opportunities to arise. You will be more competitive in the market, and you will have a broader range of possibilities when investors are interested in buying your company.

6. Cost savings

Achieving the most significant benefit with the least possible expense is one of any company’s main objectives, and the use of technologies helps to enhance this objective.

The use of data stored in the network and the automation of processes of all kinds are examples of reducing business costs.

There are significant benefits to be obtained from the digital transformation of a company. If the objectives are the sale or the search for investment, you must consider that every investor performs Due Diligence. It is a necessary audit of the company’s financial, legal, commercial, labour, environmental, and business aspects to be purchased.

Therefore, a digitized company with organized processes and good productivity and efficiency makes the buying and selling process phases easier and more fluid.

Digitization can often be complex; however, the benefits it provides to your business must be taken into consideration, as it will make it a more reliable and attractive company.

Preparing your company for the sale is a fundamental factor to consider. Digitization will mean that your company’s life cycle will be longer, and your brand will be more established.

If you are considering the sale of your company and you need professional advice, do not hesitate and contact us without any commitment:

4 elements to look out for when finding the right M&A advisor for your company sale

Selling a company is a huge step for any entrepreneur that requires thought, preparation, and time. Having an expert M&A advisor is essential as it plays a significant role in the amount of value created in the deal. Therefore ensuring you have picked the right one for your company is critical as many M&A advisors are not effective.

In this article, we explore the 4 key elements you should keep in mind when finding the right M&A advisor for you.

1. Understands your business

Your M&A advisor must have a factual understanding of present and future industry trends, enabling technology, and interdependent industries to raise the value ceiling significantly. With this, they can design an optimal collection of investment candidates when selling your company

2. Finds the best investors when selling a company

A great investment advisor will identify the investors and firms who are most interested in a client’s offering. The advisor will swiftly find the most advantageous matches for each customer using analytical approaches to create a well-defined target profile.

3. Leverages global reach and local insight

An experienced advisor should leverage a vast international investor network that conjoins numerous industries. Your advisor should then leverage access to other valued M&A colleagues with a thorough understanding of financial markets, industries, and companies in each region globally.  This enables them to open conversations with new investors and corporate networks who ensure a significant interest in the deal.

4. Sees business in a personal light

A skilled investment advisor is fully aware that M&A success is reliant on people’s willingness to embrace and support you before and after the transaction. It is essential to find an advisor who understands how important your company is to you. This way you can ensure the best possible outcome for you and your business.

You might be interested in: Why give exclusivity to an advisor in the sale of my company?

As you can see there are many things to keep in mind when selecting the right M&A advisor for the sale of your company. At ONEtoONE we can help make the decision a little easier with our team of expert advisors who will guide you through the process every step of the way using a tailored service to create competitive interest and maximize value.

Do's and Don'ts when selling a company

6 do´s and don’ts when selling a company

Selling a company is one of the biggest decisions in the life of any entrepreneur. But to get the best result and, above all, the best price for the sale, there are a number of do’s you must address and don’ts you must avoid.

Read on to find out the 6 do’s and don’ts when selling a company!

3 don’ts when selling a company:

1. Don´t forget to carry out a reliable valuation of your company

Failure to carry out a reliable valuation of your company  means that you won’t know how much your company is actually worth. Subsequentially, you will not be able to reasonably argue a price to your potential buyers. You could be asking for a price that is above your means, or you could be oblivious to the fact that your company’s true worth is greater than what you are asking for.

2. Don’t proceed with the sale of your company without a professional strategy

A smart seller must consider why they want to sell their business and how to clearly face the selling process. If you’re not clear on this, it can be detrimental when it comes to selling your company because the buyer might notice odd things about your attitude and become concerned. They can mistake your insecurity for insincerity, leading the buyer to question you and your company. This raises their risk perception and, as a result, lowers the value they see in your company.

Having a professional strategy is crucial to a successful sale although it is difficult to do this on your own. Professional advisors can help you every step of the way to ensure you get the most out of the sale.

3. Don´t negotiate with a single buyer

When a single buyer realizes that you are negotiating solely with them, they may take advantage of the situation. They’ll begin to play with time, extending deadlines and demanding for more and more concessions. As a result, it’s critical not to make the mistake of selling your business to the first company or investor who approaches you. This decision should not be made without a comprehensive study and analysis of all possible offers and prospects.

A professional advisor would know the best way to find the best potential buyers and would help you in this kind of negotiation.

 3 do´s when selling a company:

1. Do be prepared to take your company off the market and professionalise the selling process

During a company’s sale process, you may learn that there are no potential buyers or that there are buyers who are willing to pay less than your minimal price. In this circumstance, you must be prepared to take your company off the market and continue operating it, creating value for one or two more years before trying to sell it .

“A professional advisor can focus on the selling process while you put your full focus on your company, so it doesn’t lose value during the time of the operation. This is the best way to ensure you don’t miss out on the best deal for something you’ve been working on your whole life.”

2. Do keep the interests of the minority shareholders in mind

First, agree on the sale with them and include them in the process from the beginning. A good agreement between the co-owners needs and expectative will ensure the more successful result possible in the selling process.

3. Do face the company’s intrinsic obstacles

Once personal obstacles are clarified you should face the company´s obstacles. With professional advisory you will know how to face the unavoidable steps in the selling process. Regularizing contingencies, hiring prestigious auditors, clarifying the company structure, avoiding long-term obligations, establishing a competent and cohesive workforce, and defining and documenting business procedures will be used to overcome these challenges.


If you want to know what mistakes to avoid during a company’s selling process, click and read our article10 mistakes when selling your company – ONEtoONE Corporate Finance


If you are thinking of selling your company and want to ensure you follow the do’s and don’ts and make the most of the sales process, do not hesitate to contact us without any commitment: 







Do you know how to prepare your business for sale?

Do you know how to prepare your business for sale?

Imagine that one of your friends tells you he will run a marathon tomorrow, but he hasn’t trained a single day. What would you say to him?

It is likely that phrases like “you’re crazy, it’s dangerous for your health” or “without doing any preparation, it’s reckless” would come out of your mouth. You would be right. Preparation in racing is essential.

It is the same in many other facets of life, such as preparing your business for sale.

Table of Contents 

11 key points to preparing your company for sale

1. When preparing your business for sale, the more attractive you make your company to the buyer, the more you can ask for and the more you will get for it

As advisors in mergers and acquisitions of companies, we usually indicate that preparation is behind 90% of the success of a company sale. When an entrepreneur decides to sell a business, we often find companies are not prepared for an optimal sale, so it would be advisable to spend time to resolve any ‘weaknesses’ that we find before the sale because these factors will certainly reduce its value and/or hinder the sale process. Logically, this takes time, and unfortunately, on too many occasions, the entrepreneur no longer has it.

Provided you have this time, preparing to sell your business one to two years in advance is advisable. The aim is to focus on improving the company, which will increase its value, make it more attractive to buyers and increases the likelihood of success. It is also important to remove obstacles that could hinder the sale and minimise its negative impacts and equity consequences.

You might find this interesting:  How long does it take to sell a business?

The work done during the preparation of the sale of the company focuses on identifying the critical aspects for improvement, acting on them, and reducing the possible risks that a potential buyer would perceive today. Throughout this article, we indicate some aspects you should work on to prepare your business for sale.

It is time to get the company in shape to seduce investors. The “training” begins.

2. What products or services do you have in your portfolio?

The first thing to do is conduct an extensive analysis of your products or services. Analyse what your costs are, the margin you apply, etc. Ask yourself if diversifying your portfolio of products or services makes you more competitive and attractive to an investor.

Work on the differential elements of products that are difficult to copy, patents, exclusive area contracts, specific qualifications from the public administration, etc. Buyers can highly value any of the above. To do this, it is recommended to reflect on whether there are barriers to entry in your sector and see if you have key elements that will enable a buyer to overcome these barriers.

Linked to your portfolio of products and services, you should analyse whether they can be exported. That is, if they can be sold/offered outside your borders. Nowadays, many investors are looking for a product or service portfolio that is diversified in terms of customers and geography. They are looking for the product or service to be saleable in markets they operate in, often globally in the case of multinationals. If you have not done so, try to analyse the foreign market (for example, your neighbouring country) to see if it is beneficial to have new alternatives to commercialising your products or services.

Try to be product-oriented and not service-oriented. Even a service company can standardise them into an efficient product.

3. Preparing your business for sale: do you have control over your stock if you sell products?

To prepare your business for sale, it is best to keep a monthly inventory of your stock as up-to-date as possible and at market value.

If you have unaccounted stocks, you must regulate them if you do not want your company’s value to be reduced during the sale negotiation. Keep in mind that the buyer is not going to pay for unaccounted inventory. There may be tax contingencies, so this would open up “hot” negotiation points in selling the company.

Avoid stockouts. Plan your purchases and the stock you have in the warehouse so that any unforeseen event does not lead to a stockout with customers left out of supplies. For example, during the 2020 pandemic, some companies had to stop production due to the shortage of raw materials because they did not have a safety margin in their warehouses.

If you have not already done so, invest in good software for management control. Small and medium-sized companies usually find opportunities for improvement in day-to-day management with solvent software.

Overcome resistance to change on your part and the part of your employees. Good software is an investment that pays off in profitability, efficiency, and management control.

Click to contact ONEtoONE

4. The importance of knowing who your customers are when preparing your company for sale

Here, the quantity and quality of your clients are key to an investor’s attractiveness. If your client portfolio comprises only a few companies, consider whether it is appropriate to look for alternatives.

New services or products

Create new products or services that allow you to have a diversified client portfolio and not depend on just a few. The investor will ensure that the company’s future is not compromised at the time of your exit and that they remain in charge of the company.

In addition, when selling the company, excessive dependence on one customer may lead to a reduction in price or a conditional payment in the future, depending on the maintenance of that customer.

Ideally, ensure no customer accounts for more than 15% of your income statement.

Qualify your customers

You should also analyse the quality of your customers. To do this, break down the margin you obtain with each one of them.

We have worked with companies where reducing sales by eliminating unprofitable customers resulted in an absolute margin improvement.

How you charge your customers is also important to prepare your business for sale. If you charge for your services in advance, for example, in the form of bonuses, be careful about the correct allocation of sales.

Sometimes we see that companies recognise the entire bonds as revenue when they sell it, and, in reality, they should recognise it when they provide the service. Failure to do this correctly can result in profit adjustments for the year that affect your margin and EBITDA. This can affect your company’s value.

Remember that company value will be key in negotiating the final sales price.

5. What about your suppliers?

In the same way, we talked about customers. The same applies to suppliers. It is not convenient to depend on just a few. Have alternatives to any rise in raw materials, any change in contract conditions, etc.

Look for alternatives to be able to face price increases of materials. In today’s environment, we see more and more industrial companies facing a generalised price increase in raw materials. Rising fuel and electricity prices accentuate this.

Companies with a more efficient material supply strategy (a more significant number of suppliers) and a repercussion of a price increase to customers will be able to defend margins better.

6. Preparing your business for sale: what condition is your machinery in?

If your machinery is obsolete, try to find a way to renew it and maintain it properly every year. If an investor has to make large investments in fixed assets (CAPEX) when entering the company, he will probably try to deduct it from the price he offers for the company.

7. Is your corporate structure suitable for the sale?

If you know you want to sell your company, as part of the sale preparation, we recommend hiring a tax advisor who is an expert in company sale and purchase transactions. You need to have an appropriate corporate structure according to the operation you want to carry out.

There are many corporate factors that you must contemplate when you prepare your business for sale that will affect it fiscally:

  • A holding company forms the corporate structure.
  • The sale of assets instead of shares.
  • The inclusion of real estate in the company.
  • Dividend policy before the sale.

You must have a tax plan for the operation between 6 months and a year before starting the sale of the company.

Factors with fiscal implications that you need to consider when preparing your company for sale.

Factors with fiscal implications must be considered when preparing your company for sale.


On the other hand, family factors will also affect the sale and, in some cases, even prevent it. Some examples are companies with many shareholders, some even untraceable, companies in the hands of the “generation of cousins”, or in which its shareholders are at odds. Identify as soon as possible any possible family conflicts and put them on the table as soon as possible, and let yourself be advised and mediated by expert lawyers in these types of family conflicts.

8. The working conditions of your employees are also key when preparing your company for a sale

Company’s structure

The first thing to do is analyse whether you have become “the orchestra man” in your company. Does everything depend on you?

If that is the case, you need to professionalise your company. Create a structure that allows you to distribute responsibilities and in which everything does not depend on you. If you don’t have one, hire a general manager to manage the company and report to you as president or CEO.

This will allow you to make a much smoother transition when the buyer, whether a financial investor or an industrialist, enters the company. The deal often falls through when the buyer observes very hands-on company management, especially with international buyers.


Focusing on your workforce, you must regulate all your employees, i.e., pay overtime, per diems, etc. Analyse the possible employment of freelancers or the status of partners who provide services in the company.

Buyers look for well-organised companies and do not want problems to arise because of any labour irregularities. All possible sources of problems detract from the attractiveness of your company. Therefore they can lead to complexity in the price paid in the form of contingent payments, escrow accounts or lowering the price.

The labour aspect in a service company is especially relevant for the sale of the company. As long as everything is in accordance with the current regulations, you will avoid possible contingencies in the sale process. Remember that the objective when you prepare your business for sale is to eliminate obstacles that may hinder the process.

Key employees

Also, it would help if you created a management team with attractive incentives for the fulfilment of objectives and with personal development plans to keep them loyal to the company.

It is advisable to involve key executives in the sale because you will need them to offer the best face to the investor and ensure that the company is in the best hands.

When you prepare your business for sale, it is desirable to prevent executives from leaving during the negotiation phases of the sale, as this could be devastating to the buyer’s perceived value.

One measure we have implemented on occasion with the entrepreneur has been to inform key executives of the sale idea and reward them with a percentage of the transaction value. This will encourage them to collaborate to improve financial ratios during this period.

9. Do you have a clear strategy for your company?

Improvisation is not a factor that attracts investors’ interest. Do not define your strategy “on the fly”. Small and medium-sized companies often do not have a strategic plan.

Strategic plan to prepare your business for sale

A strategic plan defines some crucial points:

  • Where the company is.
  • Where it wants to go.
  • The objectives to be achieved.
  • The means to achieve those objectives.

Therefore, draw up a strategic plan containing all these, including a business plan for 3 to 5 years. Within your business plan, try not to generalise. Focus on doing a few tasks very well and not too many regularly.

You must involve your employees in this strategic plan, making them aware of it, defining the company’s overall strategy, and specifying it at lower levels that will take the form of action plans (departmental or of the different areas).

When you put your company on the market, any investor, whether financial or industrial, will ask for a realistic and credible but also ambitious business plan on which to base the company’s future.

This will help you give credibility and generate interest in the investor. Keep in mind that the buyer will have more resources and will accelerate the growth of your company.

Strategic plan’s compliance

When you prepare your business for sale, you must monitor the degree of compliance with the strategic plan starting from the operational management of the defined action plans to see its coherence and deviations.

In this way, buyers will see that the projections are being fulfilled when you are in the sales process. This will have a triple effect:

  • Give investors confidence.
  • Lower risk of the transaction.
  • Increase your company’s value.
Prepare business for sale. Strategic plan compliance

Advantages of having a strategic plan when selling your company.

Competitive environment of your company

Your competitive environment is essential.

Be sure to analyse your competitors during this process. Try to track your competitors’ performance annually and compare yourself with them.

It is crucial to make an industry comparison. You need to identify if you are growing at the same level as the industry.  Are you below or above? Are your margins aligned with those of the industry? If not, try to find the reason behind this situation.

You have to know what your role in the market is to be able to negotiate the sale of your company.

10. How is your company doing financially?

Preparing the company for sale requires a thorough review of its financial status. This extends across many areas, from real estate assets to the company’s cash surplus.

Balanced scorecard

A balanced scorecard is a management tool that facilitates decision-making. It gathers a coherent set of indicators (KPIs, key process indicators) that provide top management and area managers with a coherent vision of the business or their area of responsibility.

Do you have a balanced scorecard for the financial control of your company? If not, now is the time to do it.

The information provided by the scorecard helps focus and align management teams, business units, resources, and processes with the organisation’s strategies.


Although it sounds logical, preparing annual, quarterly, or monthly budgets is important. Preparing an annual budget at the end of each year is necessary for the successful planning of the company. Also, for setting short-term objectives.

In addition, keep control of your accounts monthly, calculate budget deviations and look for their origin.

Debt’s managing

Seek to define your company’s financial debt. It is crucial to be clear about what is part of the company’s debt. We refer specifically to the debt with a financial cost to banks and any other institution (leasing, bondholders, invoice discounting, etc.).

In this sense, it is also necessary to differentiate debts with customers, such as advances, that are generally considered debt.

Another issue that you must manage is debt with partners. If it exists, you must formalise it through loan contracts so that it is clear how it will be amortised when it comes.

Real estate assets

The company frequently owns the asset where it is located. Sometimes, it even owns unnecessary assets for the company’s operation. Analyse the real estate assigned to the operation of the company.

It is always advisable to separate the real estate activity from the productive activity, charging a market rent to the company.

Surplus cash

One point that it is recommended to review is the surplus cash. In small and medium-sized companies, it is common to find a conservative profile, where the profits of previous years have not yet been distributed and have increased the cash flow.

At the company’s point of sale, it is necessary to extensively study the real cash needed for the company operation (working capital) and have a clear idea of the amount that can be distributed to the partners before the sale.

Finally, avoid cash flow tensions. Manage your cash, if possible, by charging your customers in advance, generating a positive cash flow cycle.

11. Valuate your company before facing the sale process

The valuation of your company is an essential step during the sale of a company.

The valuation will allow you to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the company from a financial perspective. These strengths and weaknesses are translated into numbers and affect the company’s value. This is especially important for preparing the company for a sale process.

You may be surprised by how the value changes when you touch some elements, for example, paydays or stock days. It will help you understand how potential buyers tend to value the company. This way, you can maximise the price by taking steps before the sale that will affect the valuation.

You must take time to understand the different valuation methods. Also, the values of companies similar to yours that have been sold. This way, you’ll have a logical orientation of your value range depending on your actions.

You might find this interesting:  The usefulness of the business valuation process. 

The importance of preparing your business as well as possible for sale

During the final stages of the sale, the potential buyer will always perform an audit or due diligence of the company’s financial, legal, commercial, labour, environmental, and business aspects. Therefore, anticipating possible contingencies that may arise in the due diligence is essential to prepare your business for sale.

On the other hand, there is a lot of information to prepare for the buyer’s review. Anticipating its preparation will speed up the subsequent review process and alert you to possible deficiencies in the information.

As you have seen, you cannot go out to sell without first preparing yourself. Start training now if you want to reach your goal and sell your company. Preparation will be the key to your success.

Are you considering the sale of your company and need professional advice? Do not hesitate to get in touch with us or fill out the form below:

The search for investors for the sale of your company

Every company has an optimal time to be sold, and it is vital to make an effort to know and be aware of it so as not to regret it later.

As advisors, we start working with a company one or two years in advance of a sale. We prepare it to improve its value, make it more attractive, attract more buyers, increase the probability of success, remove obstacles that would hinder the sale, and minimize the tax impact and equity consequences.

One of the main objectives of the preparation is to identify the critical areas for improvement, act on them, and reduce the potential risks that a possible investor currently perceives. The more attractive you make the company to the investor, the more you can ask for and the more you will receive for it.









Reasons for the sale

There can be many reasons why an entrepreneur would consider the opportunity to sell their business.  Here are some circumstances that may make a sale or investor search desirable:

  1. For personal reasons: The businessowner is preparing themself for retirement, they want to do something different in their life, change of business or increase dedication to other more profitable companies that require more attention, due to health problems.
  2. For familiar reasons: Disagreements between family members over management, lack of interest or preparedness of children to continue leadership.
  3. For corporate reasons: Conflict of interest among shareholders, financial investors wanting to exit, different financial capabilities among partners.
  4. For economic reasons: The company needs a new injection of resources, technological obsolescence, lack of access to growth capital, receipt of a good offer for the company, the value of the real estate assets on which the company operates is higher than the value of the business.
  5. For competitive reasons: The entry of a powerful competitor, growth, relocation, loss of human capital, the company has maximized its potential in its market, the loss of essential costumers, a stage of peak value in the sector or the appearance of substitute products.
  6. For legal reasons: There are changes in the sector’s regulatory environment or tax and fiscal policy.

10 Keys to attracting investors

Having listed the circumstances that may lead an entrepreneur to sell their business or to look for investors, it is now necessary to list the ten key points that will help you to attract investors.

1. Understand what you want and what you are aiming for. Our objectives give us direction, but our expectations give us the strength to negotiate.

2. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. 99% of success is due to preparation. During the process, you must work out the opportunity it represents for the buyer: What are their economic motivations? How much do they expect to earn from your company? What do they want it for? What do they intend to do with

3. Reach an agreement with the “best” alternative investor you have. If you lack alternatives, you lack negotiating power, and the buyer will take advantage of it to get constant concessions. How do you know if that buyer is the right one? Is it the one for whom your company creates the most value or who can pay the most for it? Only a sound methodology for searching for alternatives will allow you to find out.

4. A good negotiator asks a lot, talks little and listens well. Share information, but above all, get relevant information. Ask twice as many questions as your counterpart, request clarification of answers and summarize what they have heard to check that they have understood correctly.

5. A good negotiator builds trust and never lies. They do not create expectations that they will not fulfil and they keep their promises. They earn the respect of the other party during the process because they are reliable.

6. Create the optimal conditions for a good “negotiating framework” before meeting the other side at the negotiating table. Having the right people at the table achieves the above. It would help if you did a mapping of the interests of all the parties involved in the negotiation. Is there anyone who might torpedo the operation because they have other interests? How can they be convinced to help?

7. Identify the actual decision-maker. In addition to the acquiring company’s interests, there are other interests to consider, including those of the people negotiating. You have to find out who is making the decision and their interests, their needs, and what they themselves are looking for. Do they have the authority to close a deal?

8. Show interest in the interests of the other parties. This will make them care more about your interests too, a win-win situation. Building empathy helps to create a favorable climate for negotiations. Be strict in your demands and understanding of the other parties. Negotiation is a game of information, and information gives you power. You should seek to understand their needs rather than their wants.

9. Power is a very relative concept. In negotiation, power will depend on your alternative investors and the alternative opportunities of the other party. Don’t forget that 50% of negotiation is emotion. You must understand and control your emotions towards the talks.

10. A good negotiator can make the pie grow, instead of fighting for the biggest piece. They maximize its value by helping both parties achieve their goal. The first step is to believe that it is possible. Negotiation is an information game, which is why the best negotiators focus more on receiving information than giving it. If you know how to dig deeper into the other party’s needs, you will discover things that are very important to them and do not entail a high cost for you; you can exchange them for things that are essential for you and that have little significance to them.

First contacts with investors

To embark on finding the best investor, the seller must have a team of specialist advisors who can advise and guide them throughout the process and help them make the best decisions. If a seller dares to sell their business without any help, they are likely to fail.

As a professional expert, the advisor makes the first contact with the potential buying company’s decision-maker. This person is usually, depending on the company’s size, the owner, the CEO, the Managing Director or, in larger companies, the Corporate Development Director of the relevant division.

Making a personal contact with an investor is not easy and requires a lot of effort:

  1. Identify them.
  2. Know how to overcome filters, be consistent in calls.
  3. Interest them.

When we speak, we outline the type of transaction you are proposing and why you see it as a precise fit with your company’s competitive strategy without ever identifying the company. If the investor is interested, a blind teaser is sent across.

If there is interest, their reasons for investing are analyzed, and an explanation of their investment capacity is requested. If they are not interested, we also ask why, as this will give us clues as to whether we are approaching the search for investors correctly.

If their response is positive, a confidentiality agreement is sent to you, guaranteeing the proper use of the information to be provided by the recipient.

This stage is slow due to the professional nature and lack of time for discussions and the significant follow-up effort required to get a personal interview with them. One reason for having advisors is that they free up the seller’s workload by taking care of the sales process themselves.

Once the signed confidentiality letter has arrived, and we want to move forward, we arrange a meeting for the delivery and presentation of the sales booklet.

For potential, foreign buyers, we contact them directly. However, we will also provide a blind profile of the company that we are selling to investment banks. Furthermore, we also have relationships within other countries to identify other companies or investors in their areas that we have missed.

The advisory team’s mission is to research potential investors and what their track record has been in other acquisitions: prices, multiples, payment formulas, as well as understanding the strategic rationale for how this acquisition would fit their growth process. It is also essential to answer the following questions: How has their company developed this year? What has been their trajectory and history? In which geographical areas are they present? Who are their customers and suppliers?  What is their growth strategy? Knowing how to answer these questions will give us the advantage of being able to improve exposure.

Investors for each stage of a company

Suppose you, as an entrepreneur, are looking for investors. You will need to approach different types of investors depending on your company’s stage of development, as shown in the following image.

  • Seed capital:

Seed capital consists of betting on a business idea when there is not yet a business structure. The idea of a new company is the result of an entrepreneur’s fascination, concern or obsession. The usual way to raise capital at this early stage of a new business project is to rely on family and friends. People who trust the founders, who believe in their ability to take their idea forward and are willing to support them and are aware that it is tough to find an investor.

  • Start-up:

Start-ups are companies that are starting to function, taking shape and attracting their first customers. In many cases, the founders have put in everything they have, the company is growing, and everyone is demanding more investment. The founders do not have the resources to finance the company’s growth; they have no support from financial institutions as they have no way of providing guarantees and they need investors to put up the money. Otherwise, the company will not be able to continue to grow.

In this situation, when the project is robust and well-executed,  new types of investor may appear:

    • Business Angels: Figures with an increasing presence in our country, usually a former entrepreneur or a private investor committed to investing in start-up business projects, with contributions of between 200,000 and one million euros. The business angel has the scope to achieve a higher degree of diversification with their equity by participating in different projects. In turn, it helps entrepreneurs to have access to a larger pool of funds for growth.
    • Pledge funds: These consist of a group of professional investment experts that bring together a few entrepreneurs in an investors’ club. They pay a fee to the club, and the professionals identify and select exciting investment projects.
  • Capital development

For a company to pass the start-up stage, at least three years must have passed since its foundation.

The company is now already a reality, as there is a growing business structure. Most commonly, at this stage companies generate less cash than they need to finance their growth. This is a natural phenomenon because companies first have to pay money to source products. To recoup the investment, they will have to sell them and wait to cash out, so the more they grow, the more they have to spend first.

If you do not find investors, your success will be the death of you.

This is particularly serious for companies with a low profit-to-sales ratio, as profits do not cover the funds needed to finance growth, and the more the company grows, the more the cash flow is depleted. If they want to continue to grow, they need investors.

  • Family office

It is an office created for the comprehensive management of a family’s wealth: this office takes care of its financial, real estate and business investments, its taxation, its succession, and its general financial planning.

Family groups that have sold companies will be looking to invest in other companies to benefit from reinvestment deductions. If a company has made capital gains on divestment, it will tax at 30% (general corporate tax rate). However, it can reduce this taxation to only 18% (saving tax on 12% of the capital gain) if it reinvests during the following three years in a company, purchasing a stake of more than 5%. This tax opportunity is a clear incentive for family offices to invest in other companies.

  • Leveraged transactions on mature companies

During this stage of the company’s life, growth is less pronounced. It is entering a phase of maturity, where it can even comfortably pay out dividends, with stable earnings generation.

At this stage, private equity funds specializing in debt buyouts appear as potential buyers or investors. These are funds that take advantage of the ability to leverage (also called leveraging) the company to offer a higher price to the seller.

Companies that generate stable profits and have little debt are of interest to these funds, as they will use debt as leverage to buy.

They try to put little capital and a lot of debt into the operation by offering as collateral for the banks the future cash flows that the acquired company will bring in. Predictable and recurrent flows are necessary for the bank to lend more money.

NEWCOs (New Company) facilitate purchasing operations.

The importance of having a business structure

The company does not necessarily have to have a closure stage. Once we reach the maturity phase, we must structure it for continuity over time.  To sell a company, it needs to have a business structure that allows it to be independent of its owner.

The company must have a life of its own. The founder or owner should be, albeit important, a passenger in the company. Only then does a sale to another group of companies or a management team accompanied by a private equity firm make sense.

This is relevant because, in many cases, the entrepreneur is the company. When they want to sell it, they do not realize that the company is worthless without them, because the entrepreneur themself plays such an important role that they take away the value by leaving.

When this occurs, there are two alternatives if the owner wants to leave the business and give it continuity. Either prepare the company for sale by providing it with a corporate structure or break it up by selling it in parts (machines, warehouses, stock, etc.) and terminating or indemnifying the contracts you have, whether they are labour or business contracts.


About ONEtoONE

At ONEtoONE, we are experts in finding national and international investors, and we know how to locate your best partner. Our investor search team, supported by the best and most comprehensive international databases and analytical capabilities, can identify and contact more than 300 investors worldwide on each transaction. We focus on your company by understanding the aspects that will help you maximize the deal’s price, once we locate those investors with whom you are most comfortable and who best value your company’s potential.

Why give exclusivity to an advisor in the sale of my company?

If you own a company and you are thinking of selling it, you may have wondered whether you can face the process on your own. Who can you trust? Where can you seek advice? Who can you rely on? Is it worth investing in giving exclusivity to an advisor for the sale of your company?

Below, we are going to explain why it is necessary to have a professional advisor for sell-side and buy-side advisory, and how the exclusivity you grant them will drastically influence the sale time of your company and, above all, the price you will obtain for it.

Difference between advisors and brokers

Exclusivity is giving a single advisor – or a single advisory firm – exclusive control over the negotiation, the search for potential buyers, and the overall process of selling a company.

Within the world of commercial sell-side and buy-side advisory, there are different types of advisors. You can find either brokers or professional advisors.


A broker is a person you hire to sell your business in exchange for a percentage of your business. In this case, you will not give any exclusivity and the process will not be confidential. The broker will spread the word that your company is being sold because that is what you have commissioned them to do, and very quickly the whole market will know about it.

You may even think that by having more than one broker you will get more and better offers, but this is a serious mistake. Two brokers may claim that they have found the buyer, creating an unresolvable conflict.

The broker is in charge of indiscriminately launching the sale offer to the market. They look for a buyer, and they will find one, but not necessarily the best one or the one who can pay the most for your company. It is in the broker’s interest that the transaction proceeds as quickly as possible so they can collect their percentage.

«Remember that a broker will look after their profit more than yours.»

Professional advisors in sell-side and buy-side advisory of companies

Professional advisors bring enormous added value that directly benefits you in the sale of your company. They carry out a properly planned, organized, and structured operation from start to finish, with confidentiality assured.

Granting them exclusivity means that they contact not the first buyer that comes along, but those who are interested in buying your company and can pay the best price, while assuring you that they can afford to pay. A professional advisor has the necessary knowledge to recommend to you not to sell at a certain moment if they believe that the offer is insufficient and that they can obtain a higher price.

Their mission is to protect the business owner and prevent the possible loss of value of the company during the sale process, which can happen if the sale process is disclosed indiscriminately. A professional Advisor will ensure complete confidentiality, as this can have a positive impact on the final sale price.

Likewise, an Advisor will not contact anyone you do not want them to. A broker cannot guarantee that, as their offer is indiscriminate.

«A professional advisor will always try to get the best price for the sale of your company, even if that means waiting for the right offer.»

Exclusivity to an advisor in the sale of a company. Professional Advisor and broker

The importance of confidentiality in the sale of a company

As we have said, granting exclusivity to an advisory firm has a major benefit for you: it guarantees confidentiality.

But why is confidentiality so important? For the simple reason that if word gets out that the company is being sold, it could reduce its value. This will hurt the final sale price. You may also not want your competitors to know about the sale of your company.

If you do not grant exclusivity you cannot enjoy confidentiality. You can not expect several brokers to compete to find a buyer and at the same time do so confidentially.

Ensure the confidentiality of your advisory team by signing a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).

Find out more about the processes advisors use to ensure confidentiality: Confidentiality in the sale of a company.

The benefits and value of having an advisor in the sale of your business

Once you have contracted a firm specializing in the sale of businesses, they will assign a team of between four and six people to the sale of your company. This team could be bigger if the process is carried out at an international level and the firm utilises offices in other countries.

The Phases of the sale then begin.

This is where you will see the value of giving exclusivity to an advisor and the time they dedicate to:

  • Carry out a company analysis.
  • Prepare documentation: information memorandums, blind teasers…
  • Carry out a company valuation.
  • Conduct a database and market analysis.
  • Find companies across the world that could have synergies with yours. This involves analyzing their financial statements and past acquisitions.
  • Discard those that don’t fit: Determine the decision-makers in those corporations and find their contact details, a job that takes hundreds of hours.
  • Contacts: The heads of businesses interested in purchasing your company are contacted. The opportunity is explained to them and they are sent all the necessary documentation: blind teaser, NDA and Information Memorandum.
  • Negotiation: Here begin the requests for a host of information about your company in all different formats, a cross-checking of data, meetings, and visits that can last for weeks and culminate in an Indicative Offer. This process is repeated depending on the number of companies being dealt with.

We are still at the halfway point. The advisory team will have committed more than 1000 hours of work across analysts, managers, database teams, search teams, directors, and partners. At least 50% of the work remains until the transaction closes.

The sales process can take time and the end of the operation comes with the closing of the transaction.

Professional advice on the sale of your company

A professional firm specializing in sell-side and buy-side advisory, with trained and experienced advisors, cannot take on the project of selling your company and making such an investment into it without a reasonable expectation of getting paid for it.

«For your professional advisor, your profit on the sale of your company is their profit. Their incentive is that the more you earn, the more they earn.»

To ensure this optimal outcome, all serious advisors require a period of exclusivity. In return, they will work with the tireless commitment of their teams of experts in accounting, finance, negotiation, strategy, legal, and tax, including advisors across international offices.

All this dedication deserves your loyalty to your advisors in return. Your relationship with them should be based on trust and transparency. They will work exclusively for you so that you get the maximum benefit. 90% of their remuneration will come from the closing of the transaction. Therefore, maintaining a relationship of trust and reciprocity until the closing of the sale is vital, both for your interests and theirs.

Avoid risks by giving exclusivity to an advisor who specializes in sell-side and buy-side advisory

If you are considering the sale of your company, the best option is to give exclusivity to an advisor with real experience and work with them professionally.

They will help you prepare the company for sale, and decide on the best way to approach and which candidates to contact. They will devise the best strategy for your interests:

  • Taking the process seriously.
  • Preparing robust documentation.
  • Valuing the company.
  • Identifying which companies would fit as buyers.
  • Finding the ones that can pay the most.

Giving exclusivity to an advisor who works for you as part of your team, and has a commitment on both sides, prevents you from making mistakes. It also substantially increases the chances of selling the company and getting you a much higher price.

«Only professional advisors can create a competitive process and negotiate the different offers for the sale of your company, guaranteeing you the best result.»

When you start the process of selling your company different kinds of profiles. You may encounter brokers who will tell you that they can work with you on a non-exclusive, success-only basis and that you will only pay them if they succeed in selling the company. This is a serious risk. This type of broker will work only to close the deal at whatever price, as quickly as possible.

You will sell your company only once. Turn that transaction into a reward for a lifetime of job and wealth creation. You only need patience and the best professional advice.