The Enterprise Value Specialists at Ceibass have had the pleasure of helping many lawn & landscape business owners build value, and sell or transition their businesses. We’ve looked at some unique ways to burnish the value of a business, but what about the basics? How should lawn & landscape business owners organize their thinking so that they are more effective and strategic when it comes to preparing their business for sale?
“Having a plan and then executing to that plan and achieving desired results is a skill that you’ll need to have,” said Tom Fochtman, Ceibass CEO. “But ongoing maintenance and a skill in operational excellence is a must…it’s the blocking, kicking & tackling of our industry.”
So what are some of these basics?
- Financials – be profitable, have a “clean” set of books. Show a consistent track record of success. Know where you make money and where you need to improve by product line.
- Leadership – how is your human element? Your employees drive the growth of your business. What you want to be able to demonstrate is that your business is not a one-man show, that it is sustainable because you have bench-strength. With a weak bench you’ll have fewer potential buyers pursuing you, too.
- Contracts – demonstrate a history of producing customer satisfaction with contract renewals and increased pricing. Make sure that any legal matters with employees & customers are cleaned up. Keep an eye on your customer mix, don’t get too reliant on one customer or customer type. Diversity is good.
- Equipment – up to date, maintained well, in order, with a proven process to maintain, enhance or replace. Stay current with your Capex whether it’s purchases made to maintain existing equipment/operations or purchases intended to foster future growth. Bottom line is poorly maintained equipment is an easy discount.
- Public Relations – make sure your website, marketing, philanthropy, and any public relations (articles), reputation, Better Business Bureau, etc. are up to date and managed well.
Demonstrating discipline and professionalism in these areas will result in a positive impression for any potential buyer of your business.