2. Selecting your Sales Team
Selling your business is a huge decision that will affect your entire life. Of course, we all want the best possible outcome from the sale of our business. However, attempting to handle it yourself can be a difficult task.
The deal will require meticulous planning, marketing, and the preparation of specific financial and legal documents needed to properly complete the transaction. The first decision you must make is who you need on your sales team. The decision will depend on the complexity of your business and the amount of time you are willing to devote to the sale. You may be asking yourself whether you need an accountant, an attorney, or an entire sales team, including appraisers, brokers, and consultants. A broker can play a very important role in selling a business, both for entrepreneurs who have no experience with such transactions and for those who have been here before, but prefer to devote their time to run the business.
The Main Benefits of Hiring a Broker
- A broker can focus on the sale as you focus on business performance;
- They handle legal and financial matters of the transfer;
- A broker can be a buffer between you and the buyer;
- They can assess markets to determine the best sale price;
- They can negotiate deals on your behalf with an accountant, attorney.
- A broker can take care of unexpected challenges that may arise.
An appraiser or broker can be especially beneficial for hard-to-price businesses. Brokers can help determine the value of your business, as well as the associated asking price. Just be sure your broker has the proper credentials. A good one will require commissions. However, such commissions will pale in comparison to the value of the services they provide and the post-sale profit they can help generate.
How to Find the Best Business Broker for Your Needs
- Make sure the broker you’re considering handles business sales (as opposed to real estate sales);
- Learn the different types of business brokers, and determine whether you need a mergers-and acquisitions specialist (for a multi-million dollar corporation) or a main-street business broker (for smaller businesses);
- Meet with and interview a few brokers to ensure a reasonable fit. Ask whether they’ve worked before with businesses like yours. You may need to interview several business brokers before finding the right one;
- Discuss their experience and how long they’ve been in business. Get proof of their certification, and ask to see their annual sales records. Find out if they are part of a group or a solo practitioner. Ask how they intend to market your business.
Clarify the relationship with your broker upfront. Do you need them to operate in a fiduciary or transitional capacity?
Confidentiality Is Key!
Your business must still run like a well-oiled machine during sale preparation and throughout the process of handing over the reins. Customers, staff, and especially prospective buyers may spook easily when too much information about the sale of a business is released. Don’t forget to obtain confidentiality agreements with any professional sales agents, consultants, and legal or business advisers on your sales team.