A business changing hands is a big deal. If you’re buying a business it means you have to write a very large check and you’ve just bought yourself a new job – one where success may not be a sure thing. If you’re selling your business, then you’re about to hand your baby – your blood, sweat and tears – to a complete stranger. You’re also about to be out of a job.
These are some high stakes, and as such emotions can run really high in a business transaction, particularly as you approach the closing table. Guess what? It will probably be very hard to keep from feeling overwhelmed and taking things personally.
Here’s the key to success. As difficult as it might be, don’t take things personally and understand that a decent case of cold feet is completely normal.
Perfectly great business deals fall apart on a regular basis because as the end of the transaction approaches one or more of the parties involved gets a serious case of cold feet, panics and kills their own deal. While there are (on very rare occasions) catastrophic issues that will derail a deal at the end, for the most part a deal that dies near the closing date dies for no good reason at all. It typically comes down to nothing more than cold feet and hurt feelings.
With lots of money changing hands and lots of decisions needing to be made – it can be easy to get overwhelmed and decide that it would be far easier to walk away. The stress of a small business transaction can cause even the most seasoned entrepreneur to crack. Understand that the high stress, raw emotions and second-guessing are coming and that it’s a totally normal way to feel as you approach the end of a business transaction.
Here’s a couple of tips to help you make it to the closing table:
The old adage that it’s best to sleep on a big decision exists for a reason. Knee jerk reactions are rarely productive, so if you’re starting to feel panicked and like maybe this whole transaction isn’t for you – take a breath and step away from it for a minute. Talk to your business broker about your concerns. They’ve been down this road many times, and can help you see the forest through the trees.
No business transactions happen overnight, so the months and weeks that have led up to this point have given you all the information you need to make an intelligent decision. If yesterday you were fine with the deal and overnight you’ve decided it’s a terrible idea – you probably need to go back and think about all the reasons why you made this decision in the first place.
Have patience with yourself. No matter which side you’re on, this is a big decision and it’s completely normal to feel a little overwhelmed. What you shouldn’t do, however, is let that overwhelm cause you to kill a perfectly good deal – one that would have met the goals that you’ve been trying to meet for months.
Are you nervous about buying a business? Do you have questions about what selling your business might be like? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help!
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