There are many things you need to do when planning to sell your business. There are also things to avoid and here are 5 things to avoid so you successfully sell your business.
1. Talking when you shouldn’t.
This may sound obvious but when you sell a business it’s more important to listen and ask questions than continually talk to try and “sell” the business. Often there is more information in hearing the type of questions being or not being asked and the follow up comments. If you are the only one talking that means there is little interest or other negative perceptions that need to be removed so the buyer is comfortable moving forward.
2. Failing to use common sense.
Selling a business rarely happens to the first buyer that comes along. There is a need to reveal information but only after the buyer provides enough information to show they are suitable buyers. This is one of the main reasons to use a broker to sell your business. They are trained and have the emotional detachment to ask appropriate questions to know not only if the buyer is truly serious but more important, qualified to be able to buy, finance, manage and run the business.
3. Poor communication and not listening.
A motivated buyer who is serious about buying your business will ask a series of questions. Often it can be the same question but asked a different way. They are looking to hear a consistent answer and therefore develop confidence in buying the business. For example, an important question could be how many hours do you, as the owner, work in the business? The same question a different way, how many hours each day do you work and is that Monday through Friday or do you work on the weekend? Or another approach, does your spouse work in the business and if so, how many hours do they work and are these hours when you work?
4. Giving worldly advice on subjects or matters not relevant to the transaction.
Politics, sport, religion and how best to run a business are not conversation topics to have with people you want to sell or buy something from. Respect the sole reason that is bringing you together with the buyer. Absolutely keep it friendly and honest.
5. Failing to get expert advice or assistance when it is required.
If you do your own tax returns, file your own legal papers, do your own financial planning, do your own negotiations, are a sales and marketing guru and have plenty of time to waste by people who don’t mind wasting your time; then selling your business without expert help may be a good option…until something goes wrong.