7 Steps for Selling Your Trucking Business
Nobody wants to buy a high-risk or unhealthy business. So how can you get from where you are to where you hope to be? The following seven strategies move you closer to selling your trucking business, and selling it for the best price possible with the help of a team of mergers and acquisitions experts. These mergers and acquisitions tips come from a New York University study of 500 businesses in 20 nations, so no matter how large or small your business is, these steps can help you maximize value for your trucking business.
Moving Out of the Weeds
During this stage, you’re probably consumed with the daily demands of running and growing your business. Many owner-operators give little thought to selling at this time. This makes them vulnerable to buyers who may pay less than their trucking business is worth.
Procrastination is not a viable strategy for running or selling a business. Don’t sit back and hope that your business will one day be ready to sell. Begin preparing it today by reaching out to a mergers and acquisitions specialist and get the most value possible from your transportation business.
The Importance of Branding
Many businesses remain perennially stuck in this stage. Unless you can clearly identify exactly what makes your business unique, you may not get a successful sale. Your business must separate from you, succeed on its own merits, and offer something the competition doesn’t. Now is the time to implement clear operational processes and quality controls that make it easier for a new owner to eventually take over.
Growing the Business
You’re the best salesperson for your growing business. It feels good to run a successful enterprise, but this time period is also the riskiest. Now’s the time to begin letting go. Give management more responsibility. Allow people to grow in their roles. Ensure your business is not too dependent on you. Invite people to join you in the business, so that they can continue helping it run smoothly when you’re gone.
Buy in or Get Out
Every business has employees who love to complain. Now is the time to tell these people to either commit to the business or leave. Successful businesses have high morale. This requires getting rid of complainers, and addressing any internal policies or practices that cause complaints. Establish continuous performance monitoring systems, and be willing to accept constructive—and even painful—feedback about how you run your business, and how you can improve.
The Birth of a Franchise
As your business grows, it begins to resemble a franchise. Sustainable businesses can outlive their owners. That should be your goal. A team other than yourself should be able to manage the daily operations. The people you employ should receive consistent performance feedback, as well as incentives that reward them for success. You must also have a succession plan in place to ensure the organization can grow and reproduce itself.
An Exit in View
As you move toward retirement, or toward the next big thing, you may begin eying an exit. At this point, you should be completely comfortable with your team’s ability to run things should you step away. Your systems should also be such that each team member can be replaced if necessary. The business must have a strong balance sheet and operate in the black. You may already begin to hear from potential buyers.
Building a Legacy
When a sale becomes imminent, everything should already be optimized to run smoothly. You should have a wonderful management team ready for a buyout or IPO. If a venture capitalist investigates your company, they should be impressed with how well it is run and should see that all the right people are already in the right roles. Your trucks and offices should be compliant, with rigorous regulatory adherence. Your financial performance should be consistently strong. You now have a legacy. This means if you’re ready to sell, it’s only a matter of finding the right buyer.
We are more than traditional business advisors. Our approach is rooted in more than 60 years of hands on transportation experience and we apply these industry specific best practices to make impactful recommendations for your business. We are trucking profitability consultants and experts who are focused entirely on the Trucking, Transportation, Logistics and Supply Chain industries. When you work with Linq, you are guaranteed real world advice and strategies that have stood the test of time, will save you money, and ultimately enhance your bottom line.