Staging a Business for Sale

 I had a recent discussion with a friend about “staging” a company for sale.  If you watch HGTV, you’ve probably seen shows dedicated to home staging – preparing a house for sale by highlighting its strengths and downplaying weaknesses.  You may have heard of folks going through this exercise and discovering they like living there much better and canceling the listing.

Staging your home mostly involves doing simple things that you know need attention – eliminate clutter, repurpose rooms, add complementary furnishings, replace antiquated hardware, and make obvious repairs. For a business, staging might involve getting rid of obsolete inventory, writing off non-performing assets, renewing customer contracts, or introducing complementary products.  

 But why wait?  If you know of areas within your business that need attention, address them now and enjoy the benefits long before it is time to sell.

Your comments?

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One Response to Staging a Business for Sale

  1. Leo Sadovy says:

    I suppose it differs from fixing up a house in that with regards to the house you can make it disappear completely, whereas with a company, cleaning up the balance sheet (non-cash items, anyhow) simply moves it to the earnings line of the P&L; a lot like moving the junk from the living room to the garage. In the end it depends on where you want to have the conversation, and I expect that most would want to show a track record on the income statement and keep the exceptions sequestered on the balance sheet.

    When it comes to cash items (short-term staging items only), I’d take the same sort of approach – does the cash look more attractive on the balance sheet out in plain sight where they can see it, or buried in some R&D investment or marketing budget, and once again, I’m guessing you’d want to make it easy on your suitors to value the cash.

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