Confidentiality is the absolute first priority when embarking on the M&A sale process!
When preparing your business for sale the top priority is to maintain confidentiality. Alerting your customers and competitors to your decision to sell could be the end of revenue, the end of your value proposition. It will only raise questions about the current stability and future viability of your business – it sends a bad message that will likely lead to your customers to look elsewhere for alternative products for fear that they will have no future support with your product. And they will go straight to your competitors from their concerns that you are struggling to stay afloat.
If your business is indeed strong and growing you need to maintain confidentiality in the sale process, contacting only those potential buyers with the integrity and wherewithal to discuss an M&A deal, while strictly managing the appropriate legal documentation protecting all of your proprietary, confidential information. A legitimate buyer for your business wants to keep it that way too. Only after the deal is done should any announcement be made.
If you are struggling to stay afloat you should still keep it confidential, maintaining a professionally managed liquidation process to maximize value in the sale of those assets there are buyers for. If in fact that is the only remaining option.
Innovative management consultants can prove invaluable in restructuring and re-positioning businesses for another shot at success.
Either way, don’t announce your intentions to the world, it’ll only get in the way.