Business sellers need to realize the troubled current
market is favorable to buyers with capital looking for a killer deal. Sellers
should act quickly to launch the selling process. There are vital steps to take — and
crucial realizations to face — in preparing for this
Resolve current problems as soon
and as thoroughly as possible.
If the business is a partnership,
both parties should agree about the major decisions to be made
in the selling process. Hopefully, in cases where the business is a partnership,
a buy-sell agreement is firmly in place.
Financial records must be accurate,
up-to-date, and impressive indicators of the owner's business ability.
Some buyers may be willing to buy potential, but they don't want
to pay for it. In fact, sellers should be open about all aspects
of the business that might affect the sale; otherwise, once the
real facts are revealed (as they inevitably will be!), the sale
may be lost.
Sellers must understand from
the beginning that they may have to help finance the sale.
business broker, in qualifying potential buyers, will also assess
their financial credibility and their ability to run a successful
business, thus helping to take the understandable fear out of seller
Sellers should also seek the
advice of a business professional in determining price.
broker will apply industry-tested valuation methods, and will incorporate
those intangibles to be ensure that the business will not be under-priced.
At the same time, the business broker will point out to sellers
how the price is dictated by the marketplace and that realistic
pricing is an absolute must. Most buyers, faced with an out-of-sight
price won't wait for it to drop--they'll just go elsewhere.
In marketing the business for
sale, sellers benefit many times over from the guidance of a business
The business broker who lists the particular
business for sale represents the seller and works toward completing
the transaction in a reasonable amount of time and at a price and
terms acceptable to the seller. The broker will also present and
assess offers, and, at the appropriate juncture, he or she can also
help in structuring the sale transaction itself. The broker and
the seller become a team, involved in a relationship of mutual trust,
with the common goal being the successful business sale.