Putting the house in order

When selling, tidy up.

When you’re selling your house, you tidy up, clean everything, put out flowers and try to show the potential for the new owner. You have the title ready for them to see, and allow the buyers to bring in their own building assessors to ensure the piles aren’t crumbling.

In the months before you put your house on the market, you often do those little jobs, such as painting the windowsills, or fixing the broken door, that only take a few days but can add a lot to the sale price.

When you’re selling your company, in whole or in part (raising investment), why is it so often people seem surprised that investors would also prefer a tidy house?

Fixing up the little things: creating a contract register and ensuring all your employees have contracts, ensuring all your foundation IP is in the name of your company, creating a list of all your trade secrets and your competitive advantage, having all your accounts in order and easy to read, having a clear list of all your customers and cash flows.

Get all your papers in order so you can show buyers around and show them the potential. No-one wants to have to dig through piles of rubbish under the house to be able to check on the foundations.

What would you recommend a start-up has in their “information for potential investors” file?