Selling a business is likely to be the largest and most important financial deal any business owner will ever make. If you are thinking of selling your business for whatever reason, you should understand the business selling processes and how you can best get through and successfully complete a sale.
If you are already seriously considering selling your own small or medium-sized business, one of the first things to think about is whether you need advice, guidance and help. You may have discovered already that what you are intending to do may well take you into unfamiliar territory – that of the business sales industry.
In this sector you will find many business brokers, business transfer agents and consultants, offering to professionally take you through the complexity of your business sale from the initial enquiry to completion and the after sales support and tidying-up. Many of those seeking to offer you their services clearly signal in their promotion and advertising that the whole business selling process can be stressful, complicated and if not completed with due diligence, costly.
Trawling the business brokerage and transfer market highlights some of the key selling points and inducements offered by brokers and agents, such as – having someone you can trust, with experience and a track record; empathy and understanding; safe-hands and the specialist expertise to guide and support you through what they describe as difficult and adversarial negotiations.
If you feel that going through a broker or agent may be necessary, talk about wanting to sell with business colleagues and other people you know and trust. If the feedback suggests that it would be best to engage a third party, beyond your existing service and support providers, then you need to explore the market and ask some questions before getting too far down the line. Key questions might include:
- Do they understand and have experience of handling the sales of my type and size of business?
- Do they have a relevant and successful track-record and what do other clients say about them?
- Do they offer skills and expertise in all aspects of the sales process?
- Will they give me dedicated support?
- Do their fees offer value for money for the services I need?