Recently Datasite, a provider of secure data rooms for M&A professionals to store confidential deal data, surveyed over 2,000 of their clients around the world about deal making in 2020 and what it will look like in 2025. One of the key areas they learned about was how time-consuming and critical due diligence has become (and will become).
As many of you know, due diligence is one of the most complex and exhausting steps in selling any company. Dealmakers who have been in the exit planning industry for years often say that a deal is not a deal until it dies three times during due diligence.
The survey conducted by Datasite was very informative, but what it revealed more than anything else is that if you want an optimal exit from your company, at a price and deal structure that is also ideal, you need professional guidance. Here is some of the research they found:
Multiple factors can slow the due diligence process, but the two that do so the most are: incomplete or inaccurate deal documents and information (31%); and inadequate technology supporting the process (22%).
Realistically, even a skilled dealmaker cannot smooth out all the bumps on the deal making road. However, odds go up significantly if you have a professional at your side when you enter due diligence.
For two critical reasons:
In reality, these two go hand-in-hand. It is vital that all your documentation is accurate and your projections are realistic, but it’s just as important to be mentally and emotionally prepared to have every piece of your company dissected and analyzed to a degree you will never have thought possible.
Keep in mind that professional buyers loath risk. They do their research in detail to eliminate as much of it as possible. Their process to do so can be laborious and tedious to business owners, but the reality is if you are prepared you will come out of the process in far better financial (and mental) shape than if you are not prepared.
And how do you prepare?
Hire a professional exit planning firm to guide you. Don’t just take my word for it – listen to what a few of our clients have to say about how critical it is to have professional guidance:
Based on the research from Datasite (and our decades of collective experience in getting over 900 deals closed the last few years), we agree with the following statement:
Hire a professional to help you long before you contemplate an exit.
Most likely you will need quite a bit of guidance to make your business (and yourself) “buyer ready”. That is not unique; most businesses do need this strategic counseling to reach a point of a successful exit. Our award-winning consulting team is ready to work with you on your exit planning process. To learn more, please reach out to us to attend one of our complimentary growth and exit planning conferences:
Carl Doerksen is the Director of Corporate Development at Generational Equity.
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