WE SELL AND PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS TO THE WORLD
THINKING ABOUT SELLING YOUR BUSINESS?
HOW TO KNOW WHERE TO START?
Know that the quality of the decisions you make will determine the outcome you achieve. At the end of the day the choice might become a ‘no brainer’ if you take a few minutes to consider the following factors prior to making a decision:-
How to Sell Your Business
When you make the decision to sell your business, you face some equally as important, if not strategically critical, considerations. What you decide will ultimately determine the outcome you achieve so don’t go down the path of selling your business without first arming yourself with all the necessary information to be able to do so without compromising your objectives.
Let’s take a look at some of the initial decisions you may face and how your response could impact not only on your ability to sell your business within a reasonable time frame, without unnecessary stress or risk of potential litigation if something was to go wrong, but also on the price you may achieve at the end of the day once the business has been sold.
Should I sell my business myself or hire an expert to help?
For most people this decision is a ’no brainer’! If you decide to sell the business yourself, you will have to come up with a realistic appraisal of the market value of your business and ultimately be able to justify that valuation with specific reference to the sale of like businesses in close proximity in more recent times. Do you really know what a fair market price is for your business? Next, you will have to find a way to promote your business to potential buyers and attract their interest. You could advertise online, but then you are signing up to be available 24/7 to deal with enquiries. Will you really have time for that whilst continuing to run and operate your business? How many times would that phone ring just when you have a staff member within hearing distance or just when you are immersed in something really urgent?
Confidentiality is usually another major concern when you try to sell the business yourself. To protect your business interests, you need to be cautious when it comes to disclosing information to interested parties. When someone calls, how will you maintain that confidentiality when you really have no idea who you are talking to? The first thing they will want to know is the identity of the business and how hard do you think it will be for them to make the connection between your name and the identity of your business? Do you really want the name of your business and the fact it is for sale out there in the public domain for one and all – staff, suppliers, customers, competitors, etc. – to add to social media and the gossip columns? What if the person you’re talking to turns out to be a competitor who only wants to gain an advantage by getting the details of commercially sensitive and confidential information?
Obviously, there are some major advantages to hiring an expert to help you sell your business. But the real question still looms – what kind of expert should you hire?
Where do I find expert help to sell my business?
Now that you’ve decided to work with a professional, you have a few more choices to make. You could opt to work with a lawyer, an accountant, a real estate agent, or a business broker. Which professional will give you the best results for the best price?
Option 1 – Accountants and Lawyers
You probably already have a good accountant and a trustworthy lawyer in your contacts list. But should you rely on these professionals to sell your business? One of the biggest deciding factors here will be balancing risk versus cost. Does it really make sense to pay an hourly fee for help to sell your business without any guarantee whatsoever that your business will actually sell?? How many hours could it potentially take to finalize the deal? Sounds like a professional’s dream client – a client with an unlimited budget without obligation to achieve an outcome – getting paid for trying!!
Time is another big concern. Does your lawyer or accountant really have time to be available 24/7 to answer enquiries about your business? Even one missed call could be a lost sale. If business marketing is done properly, you could conceivably receive 100 to 200 individual enquiries. None of these guarantee a sale, but all of them will cost you money when you are paying an accountant or lawyer on an hourly basis. Finally, did you know that it is actually against the law for accountants, who are not registered real estate salespeople, to sell businesses as such, so that whilst this should severely limit or eliminate their role in the process if it doesn’t then they probably need to clock up the hours as this will be, in all probability, their last client before being prosecuted, struck off and required to fund the substantial financial penalties that a court will invariably impose!
Option 2 – Real Estate Agents
Real estate agents are usually experts in closing a deal so this seems at first like a viable option. There’s just one big problem… Selling a business is entirely different from selling a home. There are numerous factors to consider…. from understanding your business and ensuring confidentiality throughout the marketing process….. to negotiating the deal in a manner that provides you with the best tax structure (after all you don’t want to end up with an unnecessary tax liability on the sale of your business or with a purchaser who prior to signing the deal either doesn’t have the requisite financial capacity to fund the deal and / or the requisite skills to operate the business (all factors that will not only see this deal be unsuccessful but will, in all probability, leave you with a pile of unnecessary professional costs) … to managing the due diligence process eliminating requests for either unnecessary and / or non-relevant information (all of which again can be a complete waste of time and money if not managed properly)…. through to settlement and beyond. You wouldn’t hire a car salesman to sell your house, so why would you hire a real estate agent to sell your business? All sales experience is not equal.
Option 3 – Business Brokers
At this point, it seems the obvious solution is to hire a business broker who has both the knowledge and expertise to connect you with potential business buyers. These professionals are trained to sell businesses so they should know the process inside and out, giving you a real market advantage.
Now the only real question is where will you find the right business broker to achieve the outcome you want for your business? You will have no shortage of options as business brokers seem to be around every corner. But don’t choose the first one you meet or you could end up regretting doing so if you haven’t first thoroughly checked the broker’s credentials.
Many business broker will make unsubstantiated claims to fame…
- I’ve sold more businesses (than your plumber)
- I know more buyers (than your neighbour next door)
- I sell businesses faster (than your 8-year old nephew)
- I know more buyers (than the lady who does your hair)
- I have a bigger database (than a 5th grader)
Making promises is one thing, but will the business broker actually deliver?
Ask yourself these questions:-
If these companies are so successful, why do they have so many unsold businesses advertised on their website?
Why do their listings sit dormant for months or even years with no offers?
Choosing the Right Broker is Critical
Finding the right broker is the most important step you will take when you want to sell your business. The last thing you want is to become another statistic, another unsold business sitting (apparently neglected) for months on a website, being just another business constantly being devalued by being long term exposure of inability to find a buyer at that price and thus vulnerable, at best, to relentless low ball offers. Can you imagine what that would feel like? What would it do stress wise to your plans, your lifestyle, and your family?
Experience Matters When You’re Selling a Business
If you hire a typical brokerage firm, you might not have much say in which agent you work with. Are you prepared to accept the business broker assigned to you? Do you want the brokerage’s best business broker or the rookie who just joined the team? Do they charge more for their best broker and less for the newbie who is still learning the ropes? Maybe the firm allows anyone in the team to access your confidential information and to use their limited knowledge of your business to talk to any Tom, Dick or Harry who say they are looking for a business like yours! How will they constantly update everyone’s records and keep up with all the tyre kicker’s enquiries? Who will be your go-to contact for updates on the progress of your business sale?
We Sell and Promote Your Business to the World
Your business is your legacy. You’ve put in years of hard work and financial investment to get it to this point, so you need someone trustworthy to handle the next step. You need an experienced professional to sell your business to a buyer who will recognize and embrace its inherent value going forward and ensure that all your hard work and effort is reflected in its ultimate destiny of continued success.
If you’re serious about selling your business, you need a company with a proven track record of success. That’s where Jeff Bracegirdle’s team at RE/MAX Business Brokers enters the picture. We sell and promote your business to the world, giving you faster turn around and a seamless experience from the first moment to the last.
Meet Jeff Bracegirdle
Hello, my name is Jeff Bracegirdle. Not only can I talk the talk, but I actually walk the walk. I genuinely care about my clients!
As the founder of New Zealand’s RE/MAX Business Brokers team in 2007, I have from day 1 personally led our team to success. We are currently the top-ranked commercial and business brokerage team in the world (outside the US and Canada) and have held that title for seven years and counting! As a part of the world’s largest real estate company with 7,000 offices across 100 countries, our network of resources is unparalleled by any aspiring competitor.
As a business broker, my number one priority is working with my clients to achieve their goals. So I just have one question for you as a business owner…
What do you want to achieve?
It’s a simple question with a complex answer. Selling a business is motivated by many dynamics and considerations and each one impacts what you hope to achieve at the end of the sale’s process. After working with businesses of all sizes, I have gained the experience to help you achieve your objectives.
Maybe you’re biggest concern is selling your business quickly. Maybe you are more interested in achieving the best possible price. Perhaps your top priority is to ensure the business continues on to success and your valued and loyal staff continue in employment after the business is transferred to a new owner.
Knowing what your objectives are from the outset enables us not only to better work as a team, but also enables us to professionally deliver the results you are looking for. As strange as it might sound – for us, selling your business to that first Tom, Dick or Harry who walks in the door, without consideration of what you want to achieve, in order to simply achieve a quick buck in commission, is not what we are about!
Why do you think we have such a limited number of businesses listed for sale on our website? The simple answer is, as our results show, we don’t accumulate them we actually sell them! We can tell you without any exaggeration whatsoever that it isn’t because we can’t list businesses for sale – anyone with an ounce of ability can do that! It is because we are upfront, open and honest with our clients. We aren’t financially motivated to tell you what we think you want to hear – if we don’t think we can achieve your objectives in the selling of your business then we won’t waste your time by being less than 100 % honest with you at the outset. We list what we sell.
Take the Next Step to Sell Your Business
If you’re serious about selling your business, let’s take an honest look at your options. Call us today to discuss your goals and objectives and to find out how our top-selling business brokers can help you make that dream a reality.