Who Should Buy Your IT Business?
Deciding who should buy your IT business is a critical decision that’ll have a material impact on the future of your business, your employees, and your potential for wealth creation. As an owner-operator, you’ve put your heart and soul into building your firm. You’ve made countless sacrifices and taken significant risks.
Now that it’s time to sell, you’ll want to make sure that it’s to the right buyer who’ll continue to grow and nurture it. Here are five things to consider:
Be picky. Push your M&A advisor to identify a buyer who shares your values, vision, and long-term goals. The buyer should be able to leverage your company’s strengths to create synergies and add value to their existing business.
For example, if your IT business specializes in mobile app development, you may want to look for a buyer who has experience in e-commerce, social media, or digital marketing. This way the buyer can use your expertise to expand their reach into new markets.
A buyer with a good reputation will help your business gain even more credibility and access new markets. This will also help attract and retain top talent as employees today demand to work for a reputable and established business.
Be smart. The buyer needs to have the financial resources to fund the acquisition, invest in your business, and support growth. The buyer’s financial strength will influence the purchase price and deal structure.
For example, a buyer with significant cash reserves may prefer to pay for your business with more cash, while a buyer who requires financing may structure a longer earn-out. Either way, requiring “proof of financing” is not only your right, but it’s your responsibility.
Be authentic. The buyer should share your company’s culture, values, and working style. It’s essential to find a buyer who respects your history, brand, and employees.
Cultural fit can also affect the integration process and, ultimately, the success of the acquisition. If the buyer’s culture clashes with yours, it’ll lead to a tumultuous integration process and poor post-acquisition performance. This will negatively affect the odds of you achieving your earn-out.
Reputation and Brand
Be protective. Whether a private equity firm or a strategic, the buyer must have a strong reputation and a well-known brand in the IT industry. A buyer with a good reputation will help your business gain even more credibility and access new markets. This will also help attract and retain top talent, as employees today demand to work for a reputable and established business. And don’t underestimate the value of a strong Corporate Social Responsibility program.
Be selective. The buyer needs a clear vision for integrating your business into theirs, and a plan for achieving synergies and growth. The buyer must have a plan for retaining key employees and maintaining customer relationships. It’s important to find a buyer who has experience integrating acquisitions, and a track record of successful post-acquisition performance.
Selling your IT business is a complex and time-consuming process, but it’s also rewarding. Successful transactions provide a path for owner-operators to unlock value, and allow a new chapter to unfold.
If you’re ready to sell, let’s talk. With more than 250 closed transactions, our firm can help navigate the M&A process and identify the best possible buyer for your IT business at the highest possible value.