Our Business Consulting advisors answer a recent question one of them received, below:
Question: I’m considering a possible sale of my business. How do I know if my company is ready for a sale?
Answer: For leaders exploring an external transition, it is important to start with a clear vision. Identifying why you are selling solidifies your goals, which in turn brings clarity to how you can achieve them. We teach our clients to establish this clarity before pursuing a strategy, and to begin by examining Organizational Clarity, Leadership Clarity, and Relational Clarity as they relate to both their organization and a potential buyer.
Organizational Clarity involves six areas, including Corporate Clarity, Structural Clarity, Role Clarity, Process Clarity, Communication Clarity, and Brand Clarity. Corporate Clarity is crucial in this process because it involves the mission, vision, and core values of your organization. If you are serious about preserving these in a transaction, you will want a clear understanding of them in your business and you will want to ascertain if your potential partner has the same level of clarity in their organization.
When evaluating a potential strategic partnership, it is also important to look at that company’s Leadership Clarity and how it corresponds to your company’s approach. How do they lead their people? Are they servant leaders? Do they inspire their team members? Do they care about their people? How do they show it? These are just some of the questions we ask in evaluating the merits of a strategic partner.
Relational Clarity is key to healthy organizations because it is the foundation for how employees will treat one another. It is built on the basis of trust and vulnerability, which allows for a true sense of team to be created. The effectiveness and productivity of a team depends on the relational clarity established in group behaviors and expectations. As you analyze a potential acquisition, pay particular attention to this aspect of the acquiring company.
In terms of finding someone to help you through the sales process, the technical aspects of assessing and executing a deal are fairly standard, and many advisers can fill this role. Here again, clarity of vision will help you to make decisions. We believe the primary reason clients choose to work with Ronald Blue Trust is because of how we think about the process and its Kingdom impact. Our clients want someone with a shared worldview who will operate with integrity from start to finish. This shared view fosters trust and provides a common framework for thinking through why you want to sell, what you want to accomplish, and how you will proceed with being a good steward of what the Lord has entrusted you with. Because being on the perceived “losing” side of a deal breeds resentment, we take a win/win approach in negotiations, with the objective that all parties walk away feeling positive about the experience and the outcome.
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