To successfully sell a business, you should be educated in the process.
You should also surround yourself with a team of experts, including a professional business broker or agent, that help guide you along the way. There are many myths associated with the process of selling your business and some of them can actually cause deals to fall through.
Don't let your sale be comprised, be aware of these common misconceptions related to the process of selling your business.
Myth #1 - Lenders aren't lending so I will have a difficult time selling my business
While it is true that the scope of business purchase financing has changed, lenders are still granting loans to qualified buyers. The key to a buyer getting a loan is preparation. As the seller, there are several things you can do to help with the process, which I'll discuss in myth #2.
Myth #2 - It is the Buyers responsibility to deal with business purchase financing
It's true that the bulk of the responsibility to secure financing falls on the buyer but as the seller; you can help the situation by getting the business pre-approved for financing. This will give the business credibility with other lenders and will hopefully make your buyer's quest for business purchase financing easier. The other thing you can do as a seller is to offer some sort of financing yourself. It is becoming standard that business owners hold some portion of the note on the sale of their business. It shows lenders that the seller truly believes the new owner will be a good fit and it helps the buyer out by allowing them to not have to borrow as much from the lender.
Myth #3 - Confidentiality is not important, the more people that know my business is for sale, the better
This couldn't be further from the truth. I understand how someone could believe this as it makes sense in a traditional sales mentality. However when it comes to selling your business, maintaining confidentiality is important for the health of the company. You don't want to alarm employees and customers. People get nervous when they hear about a change in ownership. Keeping the sale confidential will allow you to tell them when the time is right.
Myth #4 - I have to sell everything that goes along with my business including the real estate
This is not true either. In fact, many sellers do just the opposite. They sell the business but maintain ownership of the real estate as a means of collecting some residual income. The downside to doing this is that you then become a landlord and you are still somewhat connected to the business, so as a seller you need to decide what you want your role to be after you sell the company.
Myth #5 - A good to time to sell is when the business starts to slow down
The best time to sell your business is when it is doing well. While it may be hard to walk away during that time, you will benefit financially from being able to show prospective owners that the company has more room for growth. You also want to present your business to potential buyers at a time when it is most attractive, not when sales are slumping.
About The Author: Peter Siegel, MBA is the Founder (of BizBen.com) & the Director Of the BizBen California Network (founded in 1994!) consisting of business buyers, owner/sellers, business brokers, agents, intermediaries, and advisors (there are over 90,000 users, and 8,000+ listings posted on BizBen.com). To join (FREE) the BizBen California Network, phone Peter Siegel direct at 925-785-3118 - get signed up for business for sale listings (Email Alerts) before they hit the market, view requests from serious business buyers - wanted notices, notices about upcoming FREE online webinars on the topic of buying and selling California small and mid-sized businesses and much more! Call Peter Siegel (BizBen Founder) today at 925-785-3118 for assistance.
|Helpful Resources To Assist In Selling And Buying California Businesses|
|Joe Sandbank, Esq. - Legal Services
I have provided legal counsel to business buyers, sellers and brokers for over 17 years. With prior experience as a business broker and SBA loan officer, Joe brings both a practical and legal approach to all aspects of the business acquisition process.
|Elizabeth McGovern: Escrow Services - SF Bay Area
McGovern Escrow Services, Inc., is a leading independent escrow company. We are a trusted partner with our clients, assisting them through the tangled bulk sale & liquor license transfer process. We provide attentive, quality & innovative customer service. Phone Elizabeth McGovern at 415-735-3645.
|Helen Yoo: Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - Southern California
New Century Escrow, Inc. is a fully licensed & bonded independent escrow company. Over 20 years combined experience in handling bulk escrow transactions. Multi-lingual staff that speaks your language, including Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese. Call Helen Yoo direct at 626-890-1151.
|Willard Michlin, CPA, Certified Fraud Examiner, Due Diligence Services
Willard Michlin, CPA #106752, offers buyers step by step training & assistance in doing Due Diligence Services when they are thinking of making an offer, or are in process of investigating a business purchase. He helps to determine the actual net profit even when there is cash. Call 805-428-2063.
|Janet Carrera - Escrow & Bulk Sale Services - SF Bay Area
Redwood Escrow Services, Inc. is a full service, licensed independent escrow company. We are EAFC Fidelity bonded, fully insured & licensed with the Department of Corporations. Committed to offering our clients the most comprehensive variety of escrow services available. Phone Janet at 510-247-0741.
|Diane Boudreau-Tschetter: Escrow And Bulk Sale Services
California Business Escrow, Inc. is a full service independent escrow company serving all of California and has expertise in a wide range of escrows. Our team prides itself on providing an exceptional escrow experience. For more info phone Diane Boudreau-Tschetter at 888-383-3331 or 209-838-1100.
|Brad Steinberg, Broker - Laundromat Specialists
PWS is the leading laundromat broker in California. Since 1968 PWS has brokered over 2,500 laundromat sales. With over 90 employees dedicated to the coin laundry industry, PWS has 18 licensed agents, a 3 person in-house finance department, 10 service technicians and a 20 person parts department.
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