Working capital drives your business. When buyers acquire a company, they expect working capital to be included.
As business owners get successful and comfortable, many get lax about working capital. They establish a habit of fast payment, slow collections, and maintaining excess (or even obsolete) inventory. Go into a sale in this condition, and you’re basically giving away money.
Working capital becomes a sticking point in many negotiations, so the sooner you minimize working capital the better. Plan to make adjustments at a minimum of 1 year prior to sale.