Business buyers and business sellers have something in common; they typically partake in business selling transaction once in their lifetime. If you are, however, a strategic buyer or a corporate or equity buyer, buying and selling companies might be commonplace. A buyer with significant experience in business buying and selling transactions will have seen their share of failures and successes which can leave the once-in-a-lifetime seller at a disadvantage. Not only will the buyer have a history of experience to lean on during business dealing (selling and buying a business), they might also have a team of mergers and acquisition advisors helping them. This can result in lop-sided negotiating agreements. To help business owners level the playing field and protect themselves in these situations, American Fortune suggests the following selling advice:
1. Selling real estate and selling a business are two different beasts: When selling a business, confidentiality is crucial. A seller doesn’t want to disrupt their employees, customers or suppliers by making them aware of a possible sale. Owners need to go to great lengths to protect the confidentiality of your business information when potential buyers begin inquiring. Our advice is that if you should err, do it on the side of sharing too little rather than too much.
2. Do not let selling your business distract you from managing the day-to-day operations of your business. Plan ahead on selling a business and manage your company at the same time. If you have to, delegate some of your responsibilities. Selling a business can be very demanding; it typically takes about 20% of your typical work-week schedule to work on selling a business.
3. Early in negotiations, ask a buyer for their proof of financing and make sure you are comfortable with the buyer’s arrangements. Selling or buying business can often come unraveled late-stage because a buyer thinks they have adequate financing when they don’t. All buyers should be able to show the seller all their financial resources to make the deal. Buyers should also make their financial statements available (unless the company is large and successful and would have no trouble funding the deal). Our advice is that you make buyers provide a copy of their credit report. Honest, trustworthy, financially responsible individuals should not hesitate to provide you this information.
4. Even though due diligence is frequently initiated by the buyer’s business brokers or advisors, sellers should be sure to conduct their own due diligence. Is the buyer a good fit? How much experience do they have in your industry? Once they purchase the business, what are their goals and plans for it? It is very important that in selling a business the seller do just as much screening as the buyer. Because a potential buyer will likely employ qualified business brokers and advisors to assist them with their due diligence, its important the seller do the same. Hire professional help to insure that is selling your business your best interest is protected and considered adequately. Our advice is that sellers should also consider retaining accounting and legal professionals.
5. Review the buyers purchase history. It would also be wise to inquire about their previous financing contracts or financing backers. Talk to a previous owners about their business selling experience and asked them how the transaction went and how the business has performed since the acquisition. Was the buyer easy to work with? Did they do everything they said they would?
6. In selling your business you should take a pulse on the chemistry between you and the buyer. Do you find communication easy? Have there been big problems giving and taking information? How easily are questions answered? If the seller is staying with the company for an extended period of time, it’s also critical that he/she is comfortable with not only the buyer, but also with the new management team.
7. Selling a business with very successful results takes much expertise, experience, creative ingenuity and exceptional negotiation skills. So it is prudent for a owner selling a business to obtain solid selling advice from the right advisors such as a mergers and acquisitions firm.
To learn more about business selling advice click on this link: fortunebta.com/mergers-a-acquisitions/business-sale-services/
American Fortune Business Intermediary Services have helped clients with selling and buying advice, performed business valuation services, exit strategy planning services, mergers & acquisitions advisor services in the following areas of the USA: Columbus Ohio, Atlanta Georgia, Lexington Kentucky, Bowling Green Kentucky, Nashville Tennessee, Memphis Tennessee, Cincinnati Ohio, Dayton Ohio, Toledo Ohio, Los Angeles, Cleveland Ohio, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Baltimore, Maryland, Indianapolis Indiana, Chicago Illinois, Detroit Michigan, Flint Michigan, Tampa Florida, St. Louis Missouri, Kansas City Kansas, Des Moines Iowa, Minneapolis Minnesota, Louisville Kentucky, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Dallas Texas, Fort Worth Texas, Denver Colorado, San Francisco California, Salt Lake City Utah, Phoenix Arizona, Lexington Kentucky, Los Angeles California, San Diego California.