Small business ownership can be tough. We know because we’ve owned businesses ourselves. The long hours, the sole-responsibility – sometimes you feel like just locking the doors and walking away.
Don’t do it! Walking away keeps you from getting a return on all of the investment of time, money and energy you’ve put into your business. Selling your business, on the other hand, gives you a chance at both continuing the legacy of what you’ve built by keeping it open after you’ve left – and walking away with some money in your pocket as well.
Yes, it takes patience – but you can see it through. It typically takes somewhere between 9 to 12 months to get a business from listing to closing, but this time frame is entirely dependent on the type of business, the buyers currently in the market, the efforts of the business brokers involved, the efforts of the seller and the characteristics of the business itself. Some businesses sell right away, others take longer than 12 months. The only way to know how long it will take to sell your business is to give selling a try.
It also takes flexibility and a good dose of reality. We’ve had clients walk away from decent offers – think hundreds of thousands of dollars – because the offer wasn’t for the full price of the listing and/or they were too burned out to go on for the few more weeks that a buyer wanted for a due diligence period. They locked the doors and left all of that money on the table.
Unbelievable, right? Walking away with something (especially a decent amount of money that comes fairly close to what you were looking for) is far better than walking away with absolutely nothing. It is also far better to hang in there for a little while longer and walk away check-in-hand.
We’ve also known folks who refused to try to sell because they didn’t want to pay a commission to a broker. Sure, if you sell your business with a business broker – you have to pay them a commission, but the amount of work it takes to get a business transaction successfully through to closing makes paying for a broker’s help invaluable and a completely sensible business decision. In fact, using a good broker is typically the difference between selling successfully and not selling at all.
Worried about how much the commission would be? Negotiating the broker’s commission rate is something you get to do before you list, so if you don’t like the number you can absolutely walk away. Before you do, however, realize that the chances of a business seller successfully getting to closing on their own is usually slim to none – and if you try to go solo you will more than likely be leaving a lot of money on the table.
The perplexing part for us? Why would a seller walk away from a decent return on their business investment just because they don’t want to pay someone to help make that happen or because they can’t have the bit of patience it would take to get the deal done?
Don’t lock the doors. Call us instead and find out how much you might get for a business like yours, and how long it usually takes us to get a deal to the closing table.
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907