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The Sellability of Your Business

This presentation discusses the concept of sellability, an owner’s ability to successfully complete the sale of their business at a fair market value. It will explore the seven financial and non-financial aspects of a janitorial maintenance business that determine how attractive it is to prospective buyers, and attempt to explain why some businesses are worth buying at almost any price while others are difficult to sell even when practically given away. When discussing the sale of a janitorial business, one topic usually reigns supreme: price. This seems like common sense; buyers want to pay as little as possible while sellers want to realize maximum value. And in an industry in which corporate acquisitions have fueled several discussions on the subject as prices have been driven to all-time highs, it can be tough to focus on anything else. But what if I told you that price is only part of the equation? In other words, why do some companies generate bidding wars and push multiples to record levels while others that appear similar in size and structure fail to attract offers and are very difficult to sell? Sellability is the concept of measuring the likelihood of a business that is offered for sale actually selling. While price can never be completely eliminated from the equation, it operates under the assumption that both parties in the transaction are rational, acting at arm’s length, and aligned on fair market value. With this achieved, it determines whether a buyer would actually pay fair market value – regardless of whether that is $1 or $10,000,000 – to buy the business. This presentation will discuss the seven aspects of sellability: Financial; Legal; Ownership; Operations; Customers; Employees; and Industry & Market. It will explore the underlying factors that make up each category, and address the most common strengths and weaknesses found in within the industry.

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