The “Secret” Equation

Optimise Seller Assets & Buyer Motives

The secret to a successful sale is an open secret. It consists of the sum value of the capability of your assets to generate future profits, plus the strength of the various motives of your buyers.


A significant number of businesses fail to sell or sell below owner expectation. The key to ensuring that your business transacts for maximum value is to have built a transferable business — one that can generate future revenue and profit after you leave. This requires a strong and sustainable group of assets including:

The ability of the accounting and financial systems to track, monitor and alert management of performance.
A full product eco-system with healthy margins, recurring revenues and a vision and pipeline for product innovation and development.
The capacity to understand the customer and consistently provide them with the right products and support and service them.
A trained, motivated and well remunerated workforce empowered to make decisions.
Well documented processes that enable optimal utilisation of technology to both expand and protect the business.
The foresight and resources to understand the likely evolution of the market and be able to provide flexible solutions.
Positive brand recognition through quality and credibility as well as media exposure and being perceived as a force for good in the community.
Ownership of protectable, sustainable non-duplicable knowledge including product smarts, and methodologies to ensure continued competitiveness.


Many small and medium sized Australian businesses transact above expectations, particuarly when a large business acquires then. The following are eight motives that would attract a larger acquirer.

If you own intellectual property, access to technologies, databases or methods that can fast track a buyers growth.

If acquiring your business can provide the buyer access to your market to sell product or market test new opportunities for a new product or service range.

Your profitability can be significantly improved upon by the removal of some of your costs, revenue synergies from the buyer and economies of scale across the business. 

The purchase of your business will enable the acquirer to increase their market share, creating additional strength and negotiating power with suppliers, customers and distributors. 

Your acquirer can utilise the channels that you have built and sell to your customers as well as their own.

Your personnel may possess certain expertise that can help your acquirer fulfill their own objectives.

Your product can help your acquirer diversify their product offering and include your products and services in a broader product range.

Acquirers often seek to remove competitive threats by buying them, thereby strengthening their market position.