No one ever said selling a business was predictable. The truth is every sale is different. Even the reasons behind business owners deciding to sell businesses vary tremendously. If you are getting ready to sell, it’s important to be aware of the various aspects that could catch you off guard. If you are prepared for the unexpected, you’ll be mentally ready for the sales process, which often does not go as planned. Even the smoothest and most streamlined sales encounter a few road bumps along the way.
When it comes to the price structure for a potential sale, many business owners have numbers in their minds that are unrealistic. As a result, a potential offer could be far less than what they expected, and this causes conflict and delays. Your merger and acquisition advisor will prepare you with a thorough valuation so you can have a clear idea of the fair market price of your business. Be sure to ask any questions you might have so that you feel fully informed when it comes to prices.
Throughout the sales process, confidentiality must be carefully guarded. Otherwise, this too can interfere with a sale. Your M&A advisor will have effective strategies to help maintain the highest levels of confidentiality. Even with the best safeguards in place, there is a small chance that a rumor could begin to circulate and word could get out to your employees, customers, or supplies. In case this happens, it’s important to have a contingency plan in place to quell the rumors.
Oftentimes, business owners of privately owned companies forget that their minority stockholders have rights too. You will not be able to sell your business without dealing with all parties involved. When you get a “fairness opinion,” it can go a long way to convince your shareholders of the best price and terms. Even if your shareholders are members of your family, they will have to be successfully dealt with before the sale goes through.