Selling Your Business – What do you expect?

Business Brokers Know, When selling your business you should expect all sorts of things including the unexpected.

Selling your business is a complex people oriented endeavor.  To do so properly takes experience and it takes lots of time.  Ideally business owners begin the preparation process to sell their businesses and to increase business valuations when they start the business.  But, realistically few do that.  Some, begin to prepare five or ten years before the sale but most decide to sell at the last minute because they need a change, or because of their health, or other immediate reason.

What to expect when you sell your business?

Expect that the process is going to take a lot of time.  Information need to be gathered.  Things need to be cleaned up (often both your documents and your physical plant).  Buyer prospects need to be talked to (and talked to some more).  Any business broker or successful seller will tell you selling your business takes a lot of time.  Lots of outbound phone calls to prospects.  Even cold calls.

Expect that the process is going to take a lot of patience.  Prospective buyers are going to say things that you don’t like about your business.  They are going to wonder off and need to be brought back to deal.  The crux of the matter is you or someone (usually a business broker) need to put a lot of time and patience into selling your business.

Expect to need professional sales tools and information packages.  Teaser one pages, confidential information packages, draft indications of interest and other documents and information packages need to be put together properly.  There is a fine line that must be balanced to properly market the business and provide necessary legal disclosures.  Finally effective ads must also be placed to attract buyer prospects.

Expect to work to maintain confidentiality.  It is important to keep the sale process quite until you decide.   This is hard to do if you are on the phone in the middle of your office will prospects all day long.

Finally, you should expect the unexpected when selling your business.  Sometimes it is the buyer that negotiates and negotiates and negotiates but they do buy.  Sometimes it is an unexpected problem in due diligence like missing inventory.  Sometimes it is a financing setback.  In any event there are always surprises.  Will you know how to address those surprises?

So, expect the unexpected and good luck when it comes time to sell your business.

Gregory R Caruso, JD, CPA, CVA
Business Brokerage, Business Valuation
Baltimore, Maryland, Trenton, New Jersey
gcaruso@harvestbusiness.com