We get it. We’re business owners too.
As a business owner you need to be decisive. You need to be able to react quickly. You need to be driven, strong-willed and persistent. You need to be very Type A.
While this strong personality has served you well in your role as a business owner, it can be a major hindrance when you switch gears and become a business seller.
Why? Here’s what a business seller needs to be: Patient. Thick-skinned. Willing to overlook personal offenses. Again, patient.
See the issue? Here’s another one: most business buyers are Type A too. We bet you can guess how well it goes sometimes when you get two very strong-willed entrepreneurs in a room and try to discuss very large sums of money. It can get ugly.
There are definitely times where a clash of personalities can kill a deal – but if you are serious about selling your business you can keep your deal on track by mentally preparing yourself for what’s ahead. Here’s some pointers:
Pretend to wear the buyer’s shoes
It can be difficult to see things from the other side of the table, but it is extremely important to the future of your deal that you do so. A buyer is about to write you a very big check, and they are naturally going to be very apprehensive and very suspicious. You are going to get low-ball offers because if you were in their shoes you would want the best deal possible too. They are going to pick your business apart and ask a million questions because anyone making this big of a financial decision should. Keeping their perspective in mind will help you understand why they do what they do.
Have unbelievably thick skin
Your business is your baby – your blood, sweat and tears. You’ve not only made a financial investment, you’ve invested your life and yourself to make it what it is today. To a buyer your business is nothing but cash flow, and this vastly different perspective means that you are going to get your feelings hurt when a buyer reduces your baby to nothing but numbers. Remember that the purpose of selling is to get a financial return on your monetary and personal investment so you can move on to another chapter in life. If you can keep your eye on what your goals are after the closing table (and have thick skin when it comes to offers and buyer questions) – you will be fine.
Remember that it’s not going to be your business anymore
The person who buys your business is absolutely going to change things. Probably a lot of things. Type A people are control freaks by nature, so dealing with potential changes once you hand over the keys can be excruciating for some sellers. Don’t let your control freak issues derail your deal by refusing to work with buyers who want to make changes. Again, the key is to keep your eye on the prize – the next chapter in life.
We know it can be tough to let other people into the business you’ve worked so hard to build, let them poke around and pick it apart and then tell you right to your face that they’re going to change everything. Selling your business is tough, but so was owning it and building it into the success it is today. Your next venture in life is waiting for your undivided attention, so keep a cool head and you’ll get there.
Are you thinking about selling your business and are apprehensive about dealing with buyers? Would you like to know what businesses like yours have recently sold for? Leave any questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.
12995 South Cleveland Avenue, Suite 249
Fort Myers, FL 33907