Don’t Go it Alone, Retain an Experienced Exit Planning Advisor to Facilitate the Best Sale Possible

So what if you’ve never sold a business before? You know what you want from the sale of yours. You know your business better than anyone else. Who better to lead the charge than you?

Don’t mislead yourself. You may be the worst possible person to sell your company. Why? You may be the person most attached emotionally to your business. You may find it difficult, if not impossible, to negotiate in a detached, dispassionate and effective manner with a prospective buyer.

In addition, many mergers and acquisitions brokers and buyers are experienced and skilled in buying companies just like yours. Make no mistake: most, if not all, sales negotiations get intense at some point. Deals have more ups and downs than carnival roller coasters. There are twists and turns. Experienced advisors can anticipate and deal with these inevitable twists. Few owners have the stomach to endure them without assistance.

Even if your endurance for roller coasters is high, can you ride while doing everything it takes to keep your business profitable? Rarely can owners keep their company at peak performance while negotiating sales. If there was ever a time to stay focused on your company, the negotiation period (often lasting several months) is it. Any drop in productivity, sales, or income can be subject to the buyer’s scrutiny and can scuttle even the best deal.

If you need another reason to remove yourself from playing the lead role in sale negotiations, the more crucial you are to the success of the company, the more likely it is that a buyer will require your continued services after the sale. For that reason, many sellers understand that it may be in their long-term interest to assume a less visible (and thus less adversarial) role during the sale process.

Thirdly, if you allow your mergers and acquisitions advisor take the lead in the negotiations, you can remain detached and in control of the process. You cannot afford to waste this precious “political capital.”

The Controlled Auction is a process that owners simply cannot orchestrate alone. You need experienced professionals who have conducted these types of auctions. Also, should a sales method other than Controlled Auction be the best approach, you will find an experienced advisor invaluable in assessing the marketability of your company, in accurately pricing and valuing your company, in locating qualified buyers and in negotiating and closing the deal.

Put your energy into selecting the best possible advisor rather than into going it alone. Use and experienced exit planning advisor who has  navigated these waters many times, and clearly communicates your objectives. Determine the level of communication you require and trust your advisor’s experience, because while you may depend on others to navigate, you are still the captain of the ship.

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About Risa Baker

Risa is Managing Director of PARTNERS 31. Her natural enthusiasm and years of industry experience will successfully guide your business, whatever its size or specialty, through every aspect of exit planning, from strategy to sale.

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