Selling a business is usually a long, stressful process. If you try to do it on your own, it drains your time and attention from running the business you’re trying to sell. At the time when increasing business value is of the utmost importance, you’re forced to spend most of your time and energy finding a buyer and managing the sale.
That’s where an experienced intermediary can pay big dividends. There are many areas where the expertise of a business broker or M&A advisor pays off:
Confidentiality. If you try to sell your own business, it won’t be long before everyone who matters will know. Employees, customers, suppliers and bankers get nervous, and competitors try to take advantage. A business broker will protect your company’s identity and contact only approved buyers through a blind profile that describes the company without revealing its identity.
Business Continuity. Selling a business is time-consuming for an owner who already is probably wearing many hats. By taking on the additional load of selling the business, essential functions will get less attention and possibly damage the business. While a broker is working on the sale, the owner can maintain a focus on running the business.
Reaching Potential Buyers. Business brokers have the resources to reach a large base of buyers. They can screen potential buyers for financial viability and other qualities that identify them as serious prospects.
Marketing. A business broker can present your company in the best light, to maximize the ultimate selling price. He or she understands the key values that buyers want and can help identify changes in the company that would lead to a better price.
Valuing your Business. Putting a value on a business is harder than pricing a house. Every business is different, with hundreds of variables that have an impact on the value. Business brokers have access to transaction databases that can be used as guidelines or reference points. But the best way for a seller to feel assured that he got the best deal is to have several viable bidders for his business – a scenario that is much more likely with the resources of a professional business broker.
Balance of Experience. Most corporate buyers have purchased multiple businesses, while the typical seller has been involved in only one or two sales. An experienced business broker can level the playing field for a business owner making his one and only business sale.
Closing a Deal. Since the business broker’s sole function is to sell the business, his involvement generally shortens the time between offer and closing. The faster the sale, the lower the risk of employee problems, loss of customers, and competitors’ interference.
Utilizing the services of an experienced, professional business broker allows the owner to focus on running the business, lessening the risk of a drop in business value during the sale. A sale facilitated by a business broker helps maximize sales proceeds by involving a large universe of buyers in a confidential, competitive bidding process.