It can be very difficult to sell your business. It’s a place that’s been your home away from home. You’ve put in your time, your energy and your money and now the time has come to pass on the reins to someone else. If you are selling your business and that person will be a stranger, it can sometimes be very difficult to let go and walk away.
Mental preparation is an aspect of the business sale process that most sellers don’t consider – but it can be crucial to getting a deal done.
Why do I need to mentally prepare?
Most entrepreneurs and business owners have strong personalities. The type of person who can successfully own and operate a business is a person who has the drive and passion to succeed. As a business owner, you know what it takes. Guess what? Business buyers are entrepreneurs too. They will probably have a strong personality as well. It can sometimes be very difficult to work out a complex deal when the personalities on both sides are equally tough.
It can be tempting to let personal clashes between you and a potential buyer escalate – but keep reminding yourself that it will make it easier for you in the long run if you do your best to maintain a positive relationship with a business buyer.
What if I don’t like the buyer? Why do I have to be nice?
It can take a long time to get a business from initial offer all the way through to closing. Think weeks and months, not days. You also need to tack on a training period that will happen after closing, so you will probably have to work with this person for an extended period of time. Another thought? Once the transaction is over, the business brokers are no longer going to be there to act as a buffer. The one-on-one time with your buyer can be excruciating if you aren’t getting along – so it is in everyone’s best interest to keep the relationship amicable.
What if I don’t want to stay on and train them?
There are very few business transactions that don’t include a training period. The good news is most training periods are only a couple of weeks. It would be foolish for someone to walk in on day one and try to take over without knowing how the business is run. If you have employees or clients, you owe it to them to get the new owner up to speed before you walk away. It can be tough if you and the buyer aren’t on the best of terms, but the transition for your staff and clientele will be far less stressful if it appears that the relationship between you and the buyer is good. So for yourself, the future of the business and the sake of your staff be as nice as possible to the business buyer.
How can you stay focused on being nice?
Keep reminding yourself why you are selling. Whatever life will look like for you after the sale, keep focusing on that goal. Your time with the business buyer is short – and you can weather the storm.
Are you considering selling your business and are worried about having to hand over the reins? Would you like to know more about how a training period works? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.
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