Preparing Owners for Business Sale – Gauging Motivation is Key
Much of what we do in the business sales profession revolves around preparing business owners and their businesses to navigate a process that could take up to a year or more. Because of the difficulty and complexity of this process, we strive to represent quality businesses with motivated sellers. We have a process to analyze the business, and can typically come to some type of conclusion on the quality of the business fairly quickly. The motivation of the Seller on the other hand, is sometimes another story.
The reason behind the phone call from a business owner to our office often times has something to do with a life event, such as a medical diagnosis, death of a family member, etc., or the fact that a business owner is bored, burnt out, etc. What we have to help them work through is whether or not they are truly motivated to sell, or if they are simply reacting to the event(s) that led to the call to our office.
This distinction of why they are selling is very important, and if not identified correctly early in the process, can lead to deals that never close when Sellers find reasons to prevent pulling the trigger due to unidentified issues and concerns start to appear from nowhere. Now that we have experienced a few of these scenarios, we can look back and realize that there were a number of unasked or unanswered questions that should have been more thoroughly explored early in the process. Some of those questions include:
- Why are you selling?
- What will you do after you sell?
- How will the sale of the business impact your personal life, place in the community, etc.?
- What will you do if you are unable to sell?
- How much money will you walk away with after all of the taxes and fees are paid?
- Will you walk away with enough money from the sale proceeds to meet your goals? What if the answer is no?
- Have you considered how you will replace the perks that the business has been paying for?
- Who are your advisors/influencers? Who will you turn to for advice during the process? (CPA, Lawyer, Family Member(s), Banker, etc.).
While the above is not an all-encompassing list of questions, we have found that addressing these and other similar issues early in the process helps us identify those sellers who are really motivated to sell and those who aren’t quite ready.
“One of the Most Active Business Brokerage Firms in Florida VR Business Sales has been the leader in the business brokerage industry for over thirty-five years and consists of approximately 50 independently owned and operated offices worldwide. VR Business Sales located in Tampa/Apollo Beach was founded in 2012 and offers VR’s exceptional brokerage services to the Central Florida market. We represent a wide variety of business owners operating within a wide range of industry segments. Our office consistently ranks within the Top 10 offices in the VR network, and most recently in 2016 we were the #3 office in commissions earned and had the #1 office owner and #3 sales associate; and in 2017 we had the #10 office owner. Call us at 813-260-3127 to arrange a meeting.”