How to Avoid Deal Killers when Selling Your Landscaping Business

Accurate financial records are essential to your maximum valuation.

You may think you know everything there is to know about your business, but it seems that in every transaction, there are issues that arise that surprise both buyers and sellers. No matter how wonderful your business may appear to be (and don’t we all think our babies are the most beautiful?), the only way to avoid these nasty surprises is to find them and fix them before you put your business on the market.  Sometimes the issue to be dealt with is small but concerning and will have to be fixed.  Other times the issue turns out to be much larger and can result in a buyer stepping back from a deal.   

You’ve heard it said that the best time to begin preparing your business for sale (and yourself for exit) is when you launch the business.  That may be a stretch for all but serial entrepreneurs, but the truth is, the longer the timeline you give yourself to prepare, the greater the chance you have to improve profits, mitigate risks and put your succession team in place. 

For example, buyers will want to know (and will run a test via a quality of earnings review) that your financial statements are prepared consistently and accurately using industry standard guidelines.  If you want to make sure your financials are in tip-top shape, you will want to get started on that project months in advance.  You can start doing that now and then run things going forward using the “cleaned up” version. 

The accuracy of your financials is critically important to your valuation.  Companies that don’t have accurate financials will be devalued.  In some cases, buyers will step away from a company they might have otherwise been interested in if they lack confidence in the financial records.  Keep in mind that inaccuracies in the financials expose the buyer to more potential risk.  More risk, lower price for the seller.   

If you are concerned about the quality of your financial records as seen from a buyer’s perspective, it’s worth checking into.  We’d be happy to have a conversation with you about that topic, preparing your company for sale and/or any exit planning or business sale topics.

For these and any other exit/sales/buying issues you can reach me via email: [email protected] or on my cell phone at: 224-688-8838.  

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Alison Hoffman

has more than 25 years of experience in strategy, operations, mergers and acquisitions and delivering business-to-business client solutions. Her areas of expertise include managing operations for profitable growth, organizational design and strategy activation. She brings a wealth of experience through her work in evaluating, valuing and purchasing over 30 companies, leading company-wide cultural and business integration projects and consolidating best practices among business processes and corresponding computing systems. Read Full Bio