Selling Your Business 101

Selling your business to the first buyer who comes along, no matter how enticing the offer, is not enough. In today’s market, many sellers can get multiple offers. Sometimes they go with a buyer who doesn’t offer the most money. Factors such as cultural fit, the terms of the deal, and much more, can ultimately affect how well the deal proceeds. They can also have far-reaching effects on how you spend your time. Consider how being incentivized to stay with your company for another two years can affect your retirement plans.

A cardinal rule of effective sales is that it works better to under promise and over deliver. When you promise something and then take it away, deals can explode. Sellers at every level have to contemplate the following decisions:

  • Financing: Can you offer seller financing, or are you willing to accept less cash?
  • Do you hope to make a quick exit, or aid a transition?
  • Staffing: How will the buyer treat your staff? Is there a good cultural fit?
  • Legacy: You don’t want to leave and see your company implode. What are you doing to protect your legacy?
  • Ownership: Do you want to sell the whole business, or maintain an ownership stake?
  • Trust: How is your relationship with the buyer? Do you trust them?
  • Real estate and property issues: Does the buyer want your building? If not, how soon can you get rid of it or get a new tenant?

Even if you know what you want, you might not be able to get it all in your business sale. A skilled M&A advisory firm can ask the right questions to help you determine what matters most. They may even raise issues you never considered, or help you uncover an alternative approach that offers you the results you want.

The benefits of using a business broker or M&A advisory firm include:

  • Privacy. The right advisor will protect your company’s identity, contacting approved buyers via a blind profile. They’ll then ensure negotiations only happen under the guidance of a rigid non-disclosure agreement.
  • Finding potential buyers. M&A firms and business brokers have a wide network, and may be able to access buyers you don’t even know about.
  • Continuity. Selling a business demands time and effort. An M&A team frees up both, allowing owners to continue running their businesses as the advisor pursues the sale.
  • Marketing. The right advisor presents your business in a way that appeals to potential buyers and addresses their concerns. M&A advisors understand key value drivers, and can highlight these in a way that raises the sale price.
  • Valuation. Owners have a hard time objectively valuing their business. After all, their business is their baby. Business brokers rely on experience, comparables, and transaction databases that can serve as reference points. They can also increase the chances of a bidding war, since after all, value is ultimately in the eye of the beholder (or bidder).
  • Leveling the playing field. Most buyers have purchased many businesses. Many sellers only ever make a single sale. You’re a novice. Do you really want to go toe to toe with experienced outsiders? An experienced M&A advisory firm helps level the playing field, ensuring you get a fair deal.
  • Closing the deal. The sole job of the advisor is to sell the business. This increases the odds that the deal will close, and that it will do so in a reasonable time frame. Faster sales mean less risk and fewer chances for valuation to slide downward.

About Creative Business Services
Since 1979, Creative Business Services has specialized in the sale of businesses and companies throughout Wisconsin. We have the experience to assist you in the difficult process of selling or buying your business or company.

Creative Business Services is a leader in the growing and dynamic business brokerage industry, providing its team of professional brokers with tried and true tools and methodologies to help buyers and sellers get businesses transferred. In addition, Creative Business Services offers its affiliate brokers the most advanced technology to manage their offerings and buyers, to generate professional reports, and to outperform the competition.