How to Sell Your Business

BCBusiness + Business Transitions Forum | Someday, you might be ready to sell your company. But do you know what it takes?


BCBusiness + Business Transitions Forum

Someday, you might be ready to sell your company. But do you know what it takes?

Selling a business is never an easy or simple process. The former CEO of Canpages, Olivier Vincent understands that very well.

In 2006, he created the successful phone-directory company. Four years later, Canpages had annual revenues of $104 million and was employing 600. A year later, the corporation was sold for $225 million.

Although Vincent agrees the process can seem daunting at times, the rewards can be great and life-changing.

For business owners considering a transition, Vincent will be a guest speaker at the upcoming Second Annual Vancouver Business Transitions Forum. He will speak about his experience and offer insight on how to best prepare yourself in order to maximize the chances of success. 

Olivier Vincent

The Parisian-born Vincent comes to the table with a wealth of experience in the industry. Over the years, he has founded more than nine companies and start-ups, including LocalSphere. He grew Canpages into the second biggest player in Canada by ramping up Canpages’ online presence, its media and advertising sales and e-commerce capability.

“Although we focussed on the online presence, we kept a print product but we made it a lot more affordable,” says Vincent, now the president, CEO and co-founder of LocalSphere.

If Vincent has one key piece of advice it is this: Before you start evaluating the worth of your company, the savvy entrepreneur recommends that you have a really good CFO.

“A CFO is your best friend. He/she will give you good numbers for what your revenue and profit numbers can be in the future (with no emotion in them),” he says. “Then, make your business desirable, build interest … I did a few interviews to create buzz for Canpages, which generated interest from a number of media companies.”

Having said that, he does caution against sellers getting too greedy.

“Greed isn’t bad, but being too greedy might result in the loss of a fair sale price,” Vincent adds.

So how does one know when the time is right to sell?

“We felt the business had reached a temporary level of maturity (traditional media slowing down and digital media in rapid growth but not majority of revenue yet),” Vincent explains. “And the offer from a strategic competitor was very appealing.”

The Second Annual Business Transitions Forum happens November 29 and 30th at the Westin Bayshore Hotel in Vancouver.

“There is nothing like this forum in North America,” says David Tyldesley, Vice President, Cube Business Media and co-creator of The Business Transitions Forum. “What makes BTF different is that we’ve brought many competing advisory firms under one roof so the business owners in attendance will get a variety of diverse opinions about in one place. The conference offers a comprehensive overview of selling a business from start to finish, paying close attention to topics such as increasing business value, tax and legal considerations, family business succession strategies and more.”

For more information or to purchase your tickets please click here. Early bird deadline for tickets is October 28th.


Created by BCBusiness in partnership with Business Transitions Forum