The building maintenance sector is a secure industry, with homeowners and property managers in constant need for repair work and potential renovations.
Construction companies have reported the biggest fall in new work since 2009, amidst the uncertainty of Brexit. However, as maintenance companies mainly deal with pre-existing buildings, your business proposition will still attract potential buyers.
To get the best possible price for your business, you need to time the sale perfectly. To attract more interested parties, monitor current sector trends and statistics and review your current turnover and profit figures to ensure both aspects correlate well.
Many business owners will make a five-year plan before they start their enterprise; you should also plan your exit strategy a few years before you put your company on the market. You need to factor in the volatility of the UK’s current economic climate.
As the unpredictable cloud of Brexit continues to loom over the UK, the amount of building and re-development projects has slowed. Be aware that this could affect the number of new entrants to the sector and limit the interest for your business sale.
Consider hiring a broker or consultant who can advise you on when is the right time to sell, and how to maximise your business value. A broker may also have a list of potential buyers and will act as an impartial negotiator during the sale proceedings.
Selling your business with contracts in place will make the proposal more attractive to potential buyers who are keen to run a profitable business immediately. Make sure your clients give written consent for the project to be transferred to a new owner.
If you have built up a strong reputation with different clients and suppliers within the building sector, than your company name, branding and logo could increase your sale price. Consider including any trademarks and copyrights within the proposition.
If your company has been included in framework agreements, or on tender/preferred supplier lists, this can also add significant value to the business. The more repeat business you have, the more appealing the proposition will be to potential buyers.
Skilled tradespeople are in short supply in the UK and, with an estimated drop in migrant workers post-Brexit, a reliable team could be an invaluable asset to potential buyers. Follow the correct proceedings when informing your staff about the sale.
Prepare for sale
You may decide to draw up confidentiality agreements to stop your sale proceedings from being known by your competitors. Any interested parties will be issued agreements prior to the sales memorandum.
Building companies are known to have ambiguous accounting and financial records. You need to get your books in order and make sure your supply chain arrangements are recorded correctly, otherwise, your financial status could appear worse than it is.
Do you plan to sell expensive machinery and equipment with the business? If so, arrange to have these assets serviced and make any necessary repairs so you can include the monetary value of all your equipment and machinery in the sale price.
If you decide to hire a broker, try to find someone who has experience working within the building and construction sector; they will have a more fruitful list of contacts. Also, consider your own network of contacts that you’ve accumulated over the years.