Tuesday, 1 November 2011

How Outside Influences can hamper a business sale.

Selling a business takes many twists and turns.  During the preverbal dating stage relationships between buyer and seller are delicately created.  After buyers have dialled into a specific business of interest, they will meet the seller in order to speak candidly with the seller and find answers to their questions.

When a buyer is still interested in purchasing the business after a discussion with the owner, the broker will help draft an offer. Once an agreement is settled on, there begins the process of the buyer and seller fulfilling their conditions and contingencies within the deal, in order to close the transaction successfully.

Unfortunately, there are a number of reasons why a business sale doesn’t close successfully.  Some deals unravel because of the buyer or seller, and unfortunately some are caused by third parties.  The reasons are numerous but most can be resolved.

Landlords may become difficult to deal with when it comes time to transfer the lease or grant a new one.  This strangest example is of a high profile restaurant deal that fell apart because the landlord didn’t like the menu.

Sometimes, both buyers and sellers may receive overly aggressive advice from outside advisors.  Advisors should always remember and work towards the goal of putting the deal together, not erect roadblocks to derail it.  Something as innocent as a letter from a lawyer just prior to closing can break the chemistry between the principals.

Accountants can also influence a deal.  For instance, rarely have I met a buyer’s accountant who thought his client didn’t pay too much for a business.

Conversely, I’ve hardly met a seller’s accountant who felt that their client sold their business for enough money.

Professional business brokers are aware of the various ways a deal can unravel.  They can reduce frustrations by managing and depersonalizing the process.

For sellers, using a broker means they can continue to maintain their focus on making the business as profitable and attractive as possible while the business is marketed confidentially.  For buyers, using a broker allows them to follow a step-by-step process while remaining focused on choosing the right business for them and the pending matters associated with them operating it.

Do you have small business questions you would like answered about this article or others?  Please visit www.VRWindsor.com or call 519-903-7807. 
William Sivell is a sales representative of VR Windsor Inc., Business Brokerage; his blog appears every Tuesday.


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