How to boost your operational efficiency and maximise your business value when it’s time to sell

If you’re considering selling your business and haven’t considered an exit strategy, you’re not alone. Among the various work responsibilities we all face, so many business owners leave their exit plans to the last minute. Before you dive into your business’s financial health and record-keeping, legal compliance, customer and supplier relationships, and marketing efforts, it’s important to consider how you can boost your operational efficiency. Our unique insights and tips are designed to help strengthen your business processes and procedures, to maximise your business value when the time comes to sell your business.

Streamline your processes and procedures to boost your organisational efficiency

Streamlining your processes and procedures can enhance your organisational efficiency and increase your buyer appeal. By demonstrating these efficiencies, you’re giving prospective buyers the confidence they need to pick up your business following your exit. After all, you don’t want prospective buyers putting your business in the “two hard basket” before they’ve even considered your financial plan. Service Blueprinting sessions are a valuable tool to uncover unforeseen bottlenecks, inefficiencies, and opportunities for optimisation and automation within your business. Not only can they help you prepare for your exit, but they can help you write a succession plan and grow your business. 

Our tips:

  • Sign up for a Service Blueprinting session (like ours) to evaluate your service efficiencies and develop an action plan under the guise of an online business manager. Consider outsourcing tasks that aren’t central to your business’s core competencies to free up your resources. 
  • Implement a Just-In-Time inventory system to minimise excess stock and reduce holding costs. Use inventory management software to optimise and save time analysing stock levels and reorder points.
  • Invest in software that tracks, automates, and centralises your routine tasks and deadlines, such as accounting, project management, inventory management, and customer relationship management (CRM). 

Create clear and comprehensive SOPs that prospective buyers can implement with ease

No matter how ready you are to sell, preparing an exit plan can be an emotional process. Reviewing your procedures and operations can help you take a step back and objectively assess how your business runs. It can help you distil any overly complicated processes and procedures prior to documenting them into clear, concise SOPs that prospective buyers can use and learn from. It demonstrates to prospective buyers that you see real value in your business and that they should too. Creating multi-purpose SOPs is a real win-win for business owners who can share their documents with prospective buyers and employees to save time and reduce employee training and admin costs. Keeping your SOPs up-to-date throughout your operation will reduce the time it takes to review your processes and procedures once you decide to sell.

Our tips:

  • Create a clear one-page SOP document (example templates here) that summarises your core processes and procedures. It should be easily understandable and avoid convoluted language. 
  • Flesh out your one-page SOP document into a comprehensive manual that details your processes and procedures.
  • Move towards a paperless office environment by digitising your documents and records. This will improve your document retrieval speed and reduce your physical storage costs.

Elevate your SOPs by observing your team and requesting their feedback 

Many business owners with strong technical or business backgrounds can document their processes and systems effectively. However, as a business owner, you can take your SOPs to the next level by observing your team members at work, documenting their processes, and detailing unique insights for prospective buyers. Building a skilled team with strong collaboration skills can help you define your core processes and procedures. Requesting feedback from your team can help you decipher what is and isn’t working in your business and further enhance your operational efficiency. Fresh insights and knowledge will maximise your business value and demonstrate to prospective buyers how your processes and procedures operate in the real world.

Our tips:

  • Cross-train your employees with skill sets across multiple roles to ensure flexibility and continuity during the transition. Cross-training can also reduce the risk of business disruption after key team members leave. 
  • Encourage team members to provide honest, constructive feedback and suggest improvements to your processes and procedures. This will help you uncover operational inefficiencies and develop creative solutions. 
  • Use software to define, track, and document your KPIs (e.g., sales conversion rates, customer acquisition costs, employee productivity) to demonstrate your performance.

If you’re considering selling your business and need some extra support to get you there, we’re here to help. Contact our team today.