Lots of small business owners have the goal of selling their company sometime soon, but few plan for it. How do you maximize your return when the time comes? How do you get from initial interest to term sheet to getting paid on closing day? Who can help you?
On The Small Business Radio Show this week, I talked to Mark Achler who is Managing Director of MATH Venture Partners. He teaches Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business. Prior to MATH, Mark was the Senior Vice President of New Business, Strategy and Innovation for Redbox and was an early employee at Apple.
He is the coauthor of an amazing new book that I think every entrepreneur should read called “Exit Right: How to Sell Your Startup, Maximize Your Return and Build Your Legacy”.
Here is what we discussed:
- How fundraising impacts and early valuations affect your exit. Why getting very early high valuations hurt you later and the effect of a “down round”.
- How building trust with potential acquisition partners takes time. Rarely do you meet a buyer and a month later they sign an agreement to purchase your company.
- When the right time is to begin the sales process and how to identify key stakeholders who will make it happen.
- How to come to a fair valuation that all parties can agree on.
- How to keep come as the CEO during the process and who can help.
- How to go from interest, to signed term sheet to actually closing the deal (and getting paid).
- Why and how the CEO should take care of their team in the sale either through stock options or stay bonuses.
- Why successful integration is critical after the company is sold.
I highly recommend this book. Listen to the entire amazing interview with Mark Achler.