In a few months, I will have been helping families sell their businesses for 15 years!
After almost 150 transactions, I often think I’ve seen it all. Even though my success record has been very good, there have been failed transactions. But, of all the transactions, there has always been one underlying factor – trust. Trust for the Buyer, the Vendor, and for the Advisors. So how do we build trust to ensure that we can make deals and sell businesses?
For a Vendor, my suggestion is that if you are thinking of embarking on the sale of your business – GET THE SKELETONS OUT OF THE CLOSET AND PUT THEM ON THE TABLE! Because many Vendors haven’t been through the business sale process before, they often think that they can hide something. Perhaps it’s a sinking gross margin or a piece of equipment that is being band-aided and will need to be replaced shortly. What they don’t realize is that the professionals that come in and perform due diligence after an offer has been accepted, KNOW what to look for and FIND the skeletons. One mis-represented piece of information could destroy the trust of a Buyer and may kill the whole deal or at least delay it as everyone starts to dig deeper into records and representations. It is much easier to deal with issues up-front. Your advisors should be able to overcome most issues by a creative deal structure or simply by the way the issue is presented.
For a Buyer, just because you have the cash doesn’t mean you make the rules… don’t ever forget that the Vendor might be selling off their life’s work that they love and have nourished into it’s current form… a child of sorts. Being humble and treating everyone involved in the process with respect is paramount for a Buyer. Also, doing what you say you are going to do, in the time you said you would do it, is critical. I have seen a number of deals go south because the Buyer can’t get due diligence done in the time promised and never understood how stressful the process can be to a Vendor. The Vendor gets frustrated and doesn’t grant extensions.
At The Alberta Business Exchange, we work closely with Vendors and Buyers to ensure that everyone understands how to maximize the chances of making a deal. We stay within our professional expertise and bring in a host of experts to ensure that we can make the ‘best’ deal for everyone.
Let us Become Your Business Sale Advisor
In a nutshell, our transaction advisory services are focused on you—your questions and concerns, and the emotions you experience throughout the process. We become another of your trusted advisors, along with your accountant and lawyer, someone who understands you, who you can lean on when you need help.