Selling Your Business … A Process, Not An Event
Business owner readers of this monthly newsletter acknowledge that when you seriously set a date to sell, there are 4-Ps to get ready – Planning, Preparation, Promotion and Post-sale guidance. This is the roadmap that Rich-Biz Brokers & Advisors, LLC embraces to help entrepreneurs realize peak sale value of their life’s work.
That said, it’s important to recognize that these four steps are a map … not the territory. The territory does not present a nice, neat linear route. It’s likely to exhibit roller-coaster stresses as the sales process plays out. Emotional preparation for both the selling journey as well as life-after-the sale are critical. Rich-Biz Brokers & Advisors, LLC delivers post-sale advice, guidance and exit-strategy counseling beginning with the decision to sell your business.
(Be sure to click here to review or read for the first-time articles that deal with the details of the 4-Ps)
2 Guiding Principles
Here are two guiding principles to succeed in navigating the first 3-Ps. We’ll follow up with the fourth in a bit.
- You have a full-time job running the very business you seek to sell including maintaining and enhancing the value of your salable asset. You do not need to shoulder surprise distractions alone.
- You will not suffer Murphy’s Law (“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”) in each step of your sale process.
Dealing with the first guiding principle, you don’t need a companion in hand-wringing or hand-holding. You will profit from an experienced professional with knowledge and success in interpreting and resolving the inevitable bumps in the road.
Regarding the second guiding principle, here is an outline of some of the things that may occur in each of the first 3-Ps. Remember, your sale will be unique. The following is only a heads-up to common interruptions … most of which are time-related barriers, albeit often emotionally draining. Align yourself with an experienced guide to mitigate diversion by you from your business.
- Obtain buy-in by principal stakeholders, e.g. family, key trusted employee, etc.
- Time to assemble expert advice and tactical assistance to execute.
- When to sell based on market, financial and emotional readiness.
- Identifying buyers’ perception of your business.
- Preparing positive “curb appeal” of facilities; staff; etc.
- Completion of all elements of the critical Six Major Drivers of Business Value
- Obtain realistic pricing based on third-party evaluation
- Seeking and choosing expert advice and sales partner with a proven track record.
- Aggressive, but anonymous exposure to potential buyers
- List the company for sale through wide-spread local network and national contact
Brief Commercial: Rich-Biz Brokers & Advisors, LLC stands ready to help you navigate the shoals of the first 3-Ps.
Post-sale advice, guidance and exit-strategy counseling.
Early on in this article, we noted that Rich-Biz Brokers & Advisors, LLC delivers post-sale advice, guidance and exit-strategy counseling beginning with the decision to sell your business. Here’s what that means.
At the very outset of our relationship, we’ll work with you to determine your motivation … why do you want to sell your business? We share many reasons that others have offered to help you identify your selling drivers.
Those reasons included:
- Health:“My health is preventing me from running my business.” “My business is endangering my health.”
- Family:“My family relationships are threatened because of my commitments to the business.” “Ours is a family business and is causing problems among the owners, my relatives.”
- Partnership:“My partner and I can’t stand each other anymore.” “My partner and I are constantly in conflict over how the company should be run.”
- Retirement:“I’ve given the business all that I can. It’s time to retire my jersey.”
- Burnout: This is at the top of the list of reasons why businesses are sold. Running a small business is often stressful and burnout is common. Smart business owners deal with it before it can impact their businesses – and personal lives. Together we candidly discussed these questions:
- Are you “up-and-at-‘em” each morning … anxious to meet your daily work challenges and victories … or has fatigue set in?
- Are you full of fresh ideas on how to enhance your enterprise, or too bored, worried or just plain disinterested?
- If you’re in a partnership, are you finding more and more areas of conflict and less and less common plans for the future of your company?
- If yours is a family business, does it now enhance your family relationships, or are your personal and home-lives suffering?
- Does your business support your personal and professional objectives in the next 2 to 5 years?
So, once you’ve committed to your reasons to sell, the job of Rich-Biz Brokers & Advisors, LLC is to help you focus on your objective. That means reinforcing your emotional readiness during the sale process and beyond to ensure a satisfying “life after entrepreneurship”.
Some things that will surface before and after the sale of your business:
Who Are You Post-sale? Prior to sale, your circle of everyday human contact was predictable. It included family, of course … but the bulk of your time was spent with employees, customers, suppliers and business colleagues. That will end with the sale of your business.
What Are Your Plans? Your vision for your life following the sale is critical. It’s one thing to mouth the word “retirement” … it’s another to realize that there’s an abundance of time that you probably have not experienced since childhood. So, what’s next? New venture? Volunteering? Hobby? This issue demands your attention. There’s plenty of evidence that fishing, golf and travel may quickly fade as all-consuming desirable options.
Rich-Biz Brokers & Advisors, LLC Will Be There: Post-sale, our continuing commitment to both you, the seller, and the buyer is an ongoing effort to understand how things are going for each party. Our concern always is the satisfaction of both sides of the sales transaction … and to implement improvements in our service.
We will help! Just give us a call or drop an email. We’ll respond promptly!
Note: Be sure to check out our next issue – Post-Sale Guidance … Life After Your Sale.