Trying to sell your business on your own, having not done it before, can be fraught with danger! As the old adage goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know!” There’s always the chance that you luck your way through, and all hail to you if you manage to do so. But what I know for sure, as an experienced business broker, is that most do not sell or sell well. You (as the owner) eventually use a broker after trying unsuccessfully. In many cases, all that’s unfortunately been achieved is that it takes a whole lot longer to sell; and by potentially taking your eye off the business ball, the numbers may then reflect the distraction (which is not good for sale purposes). So why consider using a business broker from the outset?
- We are licensed to assist in the buying and selling of businesses at the State level.
- We have insights, gleaned over many years, into specific industries or type of businesses.
- We maintain confidentiality of buyer/seller.
- We act as a buffer between the buyer and the seller.
- We have a working knowledge of accounting, financing, legal, marketing, etc., to avoid unnecessary surprises in a transaction.
- We play the role of the ‘conductor of the orchestra’ and even the ‘project manager’.
If trying yourself is what you want to do first, then watch out for these common mistakes to avoid when exiting–by not:
- Focusing on the bigger picture
- Doing your own research of your own market
- Thinking through the ‘risks’ – almost impossible to be ‘risk free’
- Entertaining a willingness to accept risks, example: Special conditions that can ‘kill the deal’
- Regarding the probability of things going wrong
- Reviewing the seriousness of quantifiable damage
- Budgeting for upfront costs
- Adapting ‘generic due diligence checklist/template’ to your needs or size of the transaction, example:Using a checklist suitable for multi-million dollar enterprise on small businesses
- Deeming it worth the extra expense to seek input from accountants and solicitors with your particular industry expertise, while maintaining an existing relationship with your accountant or solicitor
- Being sure of who or what professional to seek appropriate advise from
- Understanding the limitations of what the professional advisors can provide
- Giving appropriate instruction to the professionals engaged
The following are 5 tips to help enhance the sale price of your business. By answering these 5 questions, you are seeing your business popping on buyers goggles. Is your business:
- Saleable? (i.e. not revolving around you)
If the answer is no to any of these, then you/we have got work to do. Contact me.