Mistakes to Avoid While Selling Your Business

While the outcome of a successful business sale is well worth celebrating, the process of selling a business can be emotionally draining. As a result, even the most level-headed and experienced business owners can make mistakes. In this article, I’ve outlined some of the key mistakes that business owners will want to avoid.

Expecting a Quick Sale

One of the most significant errors that business owners make when selling their businesses is that they expect a quick sale. Oftentimes, this expectation for quick sale stems directly from burnout and the desire for a quick exit. This point underscores the importance of preparing your business for sale long before burnout sets in.

It is critical to understand that it will often take a period of months or even over a year to sell a business. While quick sales do happen, the bulk of transactions will take time. When you resist the urge to rush and adjust your expectations, it increases your chances of receiving the best price possible.

Failing to Prepare for the Sale

Working with an intermediary well in advance of putting your business up for sale is a prudent move. Brokerage professionals know what steps to take to get your business ready. From finding flaws in your business to organizing your finances, an intermediary can be an essential ally in the process of ensuring that your business is truly ready to go through due diligence and the sales process.

Not Running Your Business Correctly

Far too often, business owners take their “eye off the ball” once they place their business on the market. There is nothing magical about selling a business. Trying to operate a business while dealing with all the often-unfamiliar issues related to sales, can simply be too demanding. Your business must continue to be run in a streamlined manner during the sales process. Prospective buyers will carefully evaluate not just what your business did three or five years ago, but also how your business performed last month.

Failure to Prioritize Confidentiality

The failure to maintain confidentiality can be, as many business owners have learned, a costly and painful mistake. Breaches in confidentiality can result in chaos, as key suppliers and employees become concerned about the future of your company. Additionally, competitors learning that you are considering selling may shift how they do business or approach your largest and most important customers. So, err on the side of caution, and do everything you can to reduce the risk.

Selling a business can be a remarkably complex process and one that merits a good deal of attention. Bringing in experienced professionals who understand what it takes to get a business ready is the most efficient way to avoid every mistake outlined in this article and many more.

Sunbelt’s experienced team of advisors help to ensure a smooth and efficient sales process that results in a successful transaction. To get in touch, call 803-779-2919 or fill out an online contact form.

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