When you are in the thick of selling your business, you will be answering buyer questions, broker questions, attorney questions, accountant questions…the list goes on. It is also important that you ask a few questions of your own, especially of the person who may buy your business.
What kinds of things should a seller ask a buyer?
The person buying your business will be taking over for you and hopefully continuing all of the hard work you’ve put in during your time as owner. It is important to find out a few things about this new person, especially if you are going to be offering seller financing. You will need to be able to trust that this buyer has what it takes to keep the business open long enough to pay you back. Here are a few of the questions a seller should ask any potential buyer:
Have you ever owned a business before? If yes, then what happened to that business? This question will help to establish that this is a person who knows the kind of commitment of their time and energy business ownership requires. If the buyer has never owned a business before, don’t be tempted to write them off. Many people have the drive necessary to own their own business. Remember that at some point you were a rookie business owner too.
Do you have any experience in this industry? Why do you want to own a business in this industry? It is always ideal, although not absolutely necessary, to buy a business that is within your knowledge base because it allows you to start with experience under your belt instead of at the ground floor. This question will help you determine from the get-go what kind of training and consultation periods are going to be required for this buyer.
How do you plan to finance this business? Would you require seller financing for this business? Are you a cash buyer? These questions should have already been asked and answered by the business brokers involved long before your first meeting with a buyer, but it is always good to get an answer straight from the source, especially because circumstances may have changed since the question was last asked.
As you move through the process of selling your business, just remember that you have the right to ask questions too.
Are you a business seller who is curious about the kinds of questions a seller should be asking? Do you have questions about what kinds of answers you should be looking for? Please leave us a comment or question here, and we will be happy to assist you.
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