Selling your business – An emotional roller coaster
The process of selling a business can be somewhat traumatic. First the excitement as you find a buyer and sign an agreement. A sigh of relief thinking that you are near the end. But next comes the “due diligence” when the buyer has the opportunity to do a full investigation of the business. And if they do not like what they see, the right to walk away. This may seem unfair but its necessary and right that the buyer should know exactly what they are getting into. Due diligence can sometimes feel like someone is going through the drawers in your house. But you can make it easy for yourself.
Prepare the documents which will be need in advance. It always gives a buyer a feeling of security if they get the needed documents in a timely fashion rather than piecemeal and begrudgingly. A thorough due diligence is in everyone’s best interest. The satisfied buyer is much more likely to close the deal. Down the road a meticulous due diligence will help to protect the seller should the business fail. The buyer will not be able to come back and claim any information was withheld.
I always make it a point to warn the seller of the possible emotional toll of a sale. For many owners the business, “their business” is like their child. Its something they created, nurtured and watched grow. Many times, they literally put their blood, sweat and tears into making it a success. Often close relationships have been built with the employees, customers and vendors. The business is in fact a part of the owner’s identity and it can be hard to let go. So, I try to prepare them for that.
When I first meet a business owner to discuss selling their business. Top of my list of questions is “what do you plan to do next”. Sometimes the answer comes quickly. “I want to spend more time with my grandchildren”. “Travel the world in a sailboat”, “move to Hawaii”. All good answers that show the owner is prepared for the transition.
I like to see that the owner is already planning the next phase of their life. If not, I tell them it is time to start doing just that. You do not want to wake up the day of a closing and realize in a panic that you do not know what you are going to do next.
Just as the day comes when your child moves out. The day will come when you must hand your business off into someone else’s hands. Choosing the right Business Broker to help can make all the difference. At Quorum Business Advisors we have the experience and skills to help you with this difficult transition. Call us today.
Anthony John Rigney is Broker and Owner of Quorum Business Advisors, LLC. A Board-Certified Intermediary, Accredited Business Intermediary and licensed Real Estate Broker he serves the business owners of Florida and select other States.