If you are thinking about selling your business, and this is the first time you will be entering the business marketplace, then you probably already know there will be a lot to learn before you get to a closing table. This is part one of a series that will let you in on the practical knowledge you would typically get by going through the process on your own and making every mistake possible – only you have the benefit of our experience to help you navigate this complex road. Here are the things only experience can teach you about selling your business:
You Need Help
Many first time business sellers think that selling their business will be a walk in the park, so why would they pay someone a commission for something they can do on their own?
Most entrepreneurs are very smart people, and they are great at running a business – but running a business and selling a business are two completely different animals. The selling process is complicated and full of possible mistakes that could end up costing an owner far more than they would ever pay in commissions. There are even mistakes that could end up destroying your market share forcing you to liquidate your assets and close the doors.
The best way to get the biggest return for your investment is to employ the services of an experienced and knowledgeable business broker.
Why? The most important thing a business broker brings to the table that you absolutely can’t do for yourself is a business broker has the ability to confidentially market your business.
Why is this worth paying for?
If you are a seller trying to sell your business on your own, how do you find buyers? Maybe you put a sign in the window, put an ad in the paper or online, maybe you ask around to try to find a buyer by word of mouth. Another way you might try is having your real estate agent put your business into the online listing service. The real estate agent who sold you your house will go about selling your business the same way. They will take pictures, get a quick business synopsis from you and then broadcast that information on listing sites and to everyone they come across.
All of these methods to find buyers are very dangerous to both the future and saleability of your business.
When the whole world finds out your business is for sale a litany of bad things can happen. Your entire staff could quit and take all of their regular customers with them. Your clientele might go elsewhere as a business for sale is often perceived as a business one day away from closing it’s doors for good. Vendors may cancel contracts or your competition will use the information you have broadcast about your business to move in for the kill.
All of these scenarios mean your business will lose money, staff and customers. Hopefully they don’t also mean such major losses that you are forced to close the doors.
How do you avoid this? Enlist some help. A good business broker will put together a comprehensive marketing package and confidentially list your business with multiple business listing sites. They will make sure buyers who are interested in your business are capable of buying your business, are not just fishing for information and have signed the appropriate non-disclosure agreements (that will enforce legal repercussions if a prospective buyer discloses your business to anyone they shouldn’t).
All of these protections will ensure you business sale stays confidential and your business stays protected.
Are you a business seller who has tried to go it alone? Do you have more questions about what a business broker can do to help get your business sold? Ask us! Please leave us a comment or question here, and we would be happy to help.
Want to read part 2 – You Need Time? Click here.
Want to read part 3 – You Need Organization? Click here.
Want to read part 4 – You Need Reality? Click here.
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