Selling a company: What are typical mistakes and why is consulting so important?

From: Marco Stricker

Head of Corporate Finance, Co-Head of Mergers & Acquisitions Prokurist

Selling a company is a crucial step for entrepreneurs and can have a significant impact on their financial and professional lives. In addition, it is usually a very complex process that requires a lot of preparation and know-how. If you do everything right and everything works according to plan, the sale of the company can bring the owner financial security and offer new opportunities. However, the problem is: without professional support, things can go wrong. In this article, we look at the typical mistakes made when selling a company and the importance of professional advice


    Typical mistakes when selling a company

    Without careful planning and a strategic approach, mistakes can occur that can ultimately threaten the success of the sales process. Typical problems can be named, which occur frequently during the entire process:

    Lack of preparation

    Those who prepare inadequately for the process can make serious mistakes. Careful planning, on the other hand, can increase the credibility and transparency of the company and facilitate the sales process.

    Unrealistic company valuation

    Unrealistic price expectations on the owner’s part are also a common problem. They scare off potential buyers and can lead to disappointment for you as the owner. Here you should resort to a serious company valuation.

    Insufficient company presentation

    First impressions matter – this also applies to the presentation of the company. You won’t get far with a rough outline of the company’s key figures. The essential aspects should already be mentioned during the initial presentation.

    Wrong time of sale

    When is the right time to sell a company? There is no general answer to this question. Basically, you should keep in mind that a company sale can take an average of 6 to 18 months – depending on the size of the company, the industry and the transaction structure. At best, the sale is executed when the company is in a healthy condition.

    Lack of process documentation

    Before a company is sold, its economic, legal, business and tax situation must be reviewed as part of the due diligence process. It often happens that the day-to-day business of a company means that the documentation of such documents is lost.Lack of support
    An independent realization of the sales process without professional support proves to be difficult and many entrepreneurs fail. Thus, a lot of expertise, experience and a broad network are necessary to avoid mistakes and to achieve the optimal sales price.

    Avoid mistakes: Checklist for the sale of a company

    It doesn’t harm to create a checklist to record the most important points for a successful company sale.

    • Allow sufficient time.
    • Formulate clear goals that you pursue with the sale.
    • Choose the right time to sell.
    • Familiarize yourself with important technical terms.
    • Conduct a thorough business analysis.
    • Make sure you have a realistic idea of the purchase price.
    • Ensure transparency during the sales process.
    • Plan the handover as well as the integration of the employees at an early stage.
    • Rely on professional support.

    Advantages of professional advice

    Those who rely on professional advice when selling a company can benefit from several advantages:

    Professional knowledge and expertise
    A professional team of consultants knows the current trends, market conditions as well as best practices for a successful sales process. Crucial here is also the necessary know-how to identify potential risks and overcome potential challenges.

    A broad network of potential investors and experts

    A pool of the right contacts makes many things easier. Potential buyers who best fit your business can be identified and contacted more quickly. You get the chance to achieve the best possible price for your life’s work.

    The possibility of having the company objectively evaluated

    A team of experts can determine a realistic market value. Sound valuation methods and techniques are used for this purpose. Relevant factors in this context are industry trends, the competitive environment and also key financial figures.

    Negotiations carried out with the necessary skill

    Thanks to a solid and long experience in the M&A field, you can benefit from good negotiation skills with a professional team. Potential problems that come into view during the process can thus also be resolved more easily.

    Professional project management

    Rely on expert planning, coordination and monitoring of all necessary steps and deadlines. A professional project team ensures a smooth process and takes care of all administrative tasks.

    A team of contact persons for all relevant questions

    During the sales process, some questions are sure to come up. If you hire a team of consultants, you will always have a competent contact person at your side who can explain the individual steps to you in an understandable way.

    Confidentiality and discretion

    You can be sure that your data and all information relevant to the sale will be treated confidentially and only passed on to serious interested parties. Confidentiality and discretion are the basis of a successful cooperation between an M&A consultancy and its clients.


    Selling a company is an extensive process that, without the necessary expertise, can lead to numerous mistakes that threaten the success of the process. Financial losses are also possible. Anyone who wants to take on this project independently faces a major challenge. Professional advice can make the sale much more efficient and successful.

    Do you need assistance with the sale of your company?

    Are you facing the challenge of selling your company? We would be happy to assist you. We have been active in the field of M&A consulting for over 20 years and can therefore support you with the necessary experience, know-how and a broad network of experts. Make an appointment for a first personal meeting, we are looking forward to hearing from you!

    Any questions?

    Call us or arrange a non-binding consultation


    Marco Stricker

    Head of Corporate Finance, Co-Head of Mergers & Acquisitions Prokurist