This is a difficult question to answer. However, it will take as long as it takes but will influenced by a number of key factors including:
- What is your price expectation? How realistic is this compared to similar and recent transactions in your industry?
- How much freedom will we have in marketing your business?
- How unique or ‘special’ is your business?
- How well is your business performing now and how well has it performed in the last two to three years?
- What is the current economic climate for selling businesses in your sector?
- Are you prepared to stay with the business after the sale has completed?
- Do you have good corporate controls and documentation within your business?
- Do you have good financial and management controls within your business?
- Are you prepared to dedicate significant amounts of time to supporting a sale of your business?
- What are your reasons for selling?
- Are you convinced that you really want to sell?
On average, the following guidelines can generally be considered reasonable:
- Information gathering:- 1 to 2 weeks
- Preparation of sales materials & market research to establish a list of target buyers:- 2 to 6 weeks
- Marketing:- 8 to 12 weeks
- Offers:- 2 to 4 weeks
- Negotiation with preferred bidder and signing of Heads of Terms:- 2 to 4 weeks
- Deal execution:- 6 to 12 weeks
- Total:- Between 6 and 12 months