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Farm Succession Planning

from JDSpra.com (November 16, 2018)

A huge number of baby boomers have created or continued successful family-owned farms. As they approach retirement the future of those farms hinges on their ability to successfully transition to a next generation. Less than 30 percent of family farms successfully transfer to a subsequent generation.

A clear succession plan is the most important ingredient for successfully continuing a family farm. But when surveyed, most farm owners report not having completed any estate planning beyond a will.

Succession planning can easily be pushed aside by farmers focused on day-to-day operations. But an even bigger issue for procrastinating may be emotional issues associated with succession. Making succession decisions is rarely easy. But exploring what is needed and starting early are good things to do. Following simple steps can start farmers on the path of establishing a farm-succession plan.

Organize a team. Involve experts. Key business and estate-planning professionals such as attorneys and accountants can provide the knowledge needed to create a successful plan.

Consider incorporation. Converting to a corporation, Limited Liability Company or other formal legal entity can help ensure the continuation of a business and also provide limited liability for its owners.

Train successors well. It can take months or years to train successors about farm operations, especially making management decisions. Start early to give them the best opportunity to step into a managerial role.

Document a vision. A step-by-step guide detailing a plan for the future of the farm — including successors — will help future generations understand future goals for the farm set by current owners.

Develop a buy-sell or stock-restriction agreement. Following a triggering event such as an owner’s death or disability, an agreement can obligate one owner to buy and another to sell his or her interest in the farm. It can also be structured to control how ownership interests may be transferred to non-family or off-farm family members.

Have an insurance plan. While a buy-sell agreement can help keep the farm in the family, it may be necessary to obtain insurance in order to fulfill obligations in the agreement. Life insurance can provide needed liquidity when a triggering event such as death brings about the sale of an ownership interest.

Discuss plans with all individuals involved. Eliminate surprises by telling family members and the farm’s management team a general outline of the succession plan. Sharing a vision for the farm can help ensure a smooth transition for everyone involved. Also, share who has been chosen to take over the farm – and why.

Review and update a plan periodically. Once a plan is in place review it periodically with a team of estate-planning professionals to address changes that may be needed. Changes in laws or tax code may require adjustments to a plan. Changes in personal life and family situation also require a plan update.

The most difficult aspects of succession planning relate to emotional and family issues surrounding transition. But they must be tackled. A well-thought farm-succession plan will protect the farm and secure a legacy. And it can eliminate potential conflict and ensure family cohesiveness for the long run.

© 2018 Agri-View. Madison, WI.  Reprinted with permission.

Whether you are looking to exit your privately held business, represent an acquisition-minded corporation, value your business, or are personally interested in owning or building value in your own company or franchise, Colonial Business Brokerage offers the professional services that successfully bring buyers and sellers together.

Call Colonial Business Brokerage today at (443) 982-7332.

Around the Web: A Month in Summary

A recent article from Divestopedia entitled “When is the Best Time to Sell My Business” explains that a business owner who is looking to sell should begin preparing for the sale three years before they plan to list their business on the market.

The state of the market matters when listing your business, but what you can’t control this as a business owner. What you can control, however, is the state of your financial records, whether the business has any litigation outstanding, and the overall appearance and wellbeing of the business. In order to sell your business at the highest value possible, there are certain things that need to be taken care of before listing. By giving yourself about three years (the number of years of clean, verifiable financial statements you should have) to prepare your business for sale, you are giving yourself and your business the best chance on the market.

Click here to read the full article.

A recent article from Inc.com entitled “Small-Business Financing 102: The Latest Updates and Options Available for Funding a Business Venture” explains what each type of startup funding entails and how it’s affecting both buyers and sellers. Currently the ways to fund a new business or to purchase an existing one include:

  • SBA Acquisition loans
  • Peer-to-Peer lenders
  • 401(k) business financing
  • Crowdfunding and angel investors

Each option presents its own set of obstacles and requirements that need to be met by the buyer, just as they each provide their own benefits. The increasing number of ways in which an aspiring entrepreneur can acquire the capital to start or buy a business is great news for sellers because it means more buyers on the market.

Click here to read the full article.

A recent article from Exit Promise entitled “Top Seven Important Deal Terms When Selling a Business” highlights the main factors, other than price, that influence a seller’s decision when considering an offer on their business. While price matters, business owners care about their businesses and generally want the best for both themselves and their business, therefore they consider these factors in the sale as well as price:

  • Speed of the sale
  • An all cash offer vs. a financed one
  • The compatibility of the potential new owner with their vision for their business
  • % of the business the new owner wishes to purchase (most prefer to sell 100%)
  • Whether or not there’s an earnout clause written into the deal
  • The tax consequences associated with the deal
  • Confidentiality of the sale

In the end, sale price is generally the primary focus of negotiations between a seller and a buyer. However, it is not uncommon for a buyer to choose to accept a lower offer, for example, if it’s a complete cash sale to a buyer whose business plan aligns well with the current owner’s dream for the company’s future.

Click here to read the full article.

A recent article from FinSMEs entitled “Raising funds to Buy a Business; What Are The Different Options?” explains the different ways to fund a business acquisition, how to approach each way and who it’s best for. The options explained include:

  • Savings
  • Traditional lenders
  • Borrowing from family and friends
  • Crowdfunding
  • Investors

Each of these options comes with its own obstacles and upsides, and some may be better options than others. Whichever option you choose to go with, be sure to do your research and prepare yourself for meeting the demands of each source of funding.

Click here to read the full article.

A recent article from Exit Promise entitled “Business Broker Fees and Other Selling a Business Expenses” explains the typical fees and expenses that a business owner can expect to come across during the process of selling their business.

Business Broker Fees:

  • Small Business: Typical fees include a 10% commission of final sale price and upfront $1000- $2500 to market, value and sell the business.
  • Large business: Typical fees include 3-10% commission of the final sale price and upfront fees ranging from $2,500 to $25,000+.

These fees can vary from broker to broker depending on their expertise and services offered. They can also vary depending on the size of the business and specific services and time needed from your broker. It is always recommended to get multiple quotes from qualified brokers who specialize in your industry and the services you need.

Legal costs:

  • Small Businesses ( $1MM or less) : total legal fees are typically between $5,000 and $12,500
  • Large Businesses ($1MM and up): total legal fees can range from $10,000 to $50,000+.

Your broker can recommend attorneys that are experts in business sales and negotiating with your buyer’s lawyer, protecting your interests and keeping legal fees from becoming excessive.

Other hidden fees can include severance payments to employees not retained by the buyer, prepayment penalties associated with paying off indebtedness of the seller, taxes, appraisals if necessary and a CPA.

Click here to read the full article.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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What Sellers Don’t Expect When Selling Their Companies

In the proverbial “perfect world,” business owners would plan three to five years ahead to sell their companies. But, as one industry expert has suggested, business owners very seldom plan to sell; rather, selling is “event driven.” Partner disputes, divorce, burn-out, health, and new competition are examples of events that can force the sale of a business.

Sellers often find, after they have decided to sell, that the unexpected happens and they are “blindsided” and caught off-guard. Here are a few of the unexpected events that can occur.

The Substantial Time Commitment

Sellers find that the time necessary to comply with the requests of not only the intermediary but also the potential buyers can take valuable time away from the actual running of the business. The information necessary to compile the offering memorandum takes time to collect. Many sellers are unaware of the amount of their time necessary to gather all the documents and information required for the offering memorandum, nor of its importance to the selling process.

There is also the time necessary to meet and visit with prospective buyers. An intermediary will play an important role in screening prospects and separating the “prospects from the suspects.”

Handling the Confidentiality Issue

Owners of many companies are also the founders and creators of them. They can have difficulty in delegating and tend to want to make all of the decisions themselves. When it comes time to sell, they want to be involved in everything, thus, again, taking time away from running the business. Members of the management team, like the sales manager, have a lot of the information necessary not only for the memorandum but also on competitive issues, possible acquirers, etc. The owner has to allow his or her managers to be part of the selling process. This is easier said than done.

Forgetting the Others

Many mid-sized, privately held companies also have minority stockholders or family members who have an interest in the business. The managing owner may be the majority stockholder; but in today’s business world, minority stockholders have strong rights. The owner has to deal with these people, first in getting an agreement to sell, then convincing them about the price and terms. A “fairness opinion” can help resolve some of the pricing issues. Minority stockholders and family interests have to be dealt with and not overlooked or pushed to the end of the deal. When this happens, many times it is the end of the deal, literally speaking.

The Price is the Price is the Price

All sellers have a price in mind when it comes time to sell their companies. Most businesses go to market with a fairly aggressive price structure. When an offer(s) is presented, it is generally, sometimes significantly, lower than the seller anticipated. They are never prepared for this event – they are blindsided, and obviously not very happy. They turn the deal down without even looking past the price. Here is where an intermediary comes in, by helping structure the deal so it can work for both sides.

Not Having Their Own Way

Business owners are used to calling the shots. When an offer is presented, they, in some cases, think that they can call all of the shots. They have to understand that selling their company is a “give and take.” They can stand firm on the issues most important to them, but they have to give on others. Also, some owners want their attorneys to make all of the decisions, both legal and business. Unfortunately, some attorneys usurp this decision. Owners must make business decisions.

Confidentiality Leaked

There is always the small possibility that the word will leak out that the business is for sale. It may just be a rumor that gets started or it may be worse – the confidentiality is exposed. Sellers must have a contingency plan in case this happens. A simple explanation that growth capital is being considered or expansion is being explored may quell the rumor.

“Keeping Your Eye on the Ball”

With all that is involved in marketing a business for sale, the owner must still run the business – now, more than ever. Buyers will be kept up-to-date on the progress of the business, despite the fact that it is for sale.

Whether you are looking to exit your privately held business, represent an acquisition-minded corporation, value your business, or are personally interested in owning or building value in your own company or franchise, Colonial Business Brokerage offers the professional services that successfully bring buyers and sellers together.

Call Colonial Business Brokerage today at (443) 982-7332.

 

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

Why Maintaining Exit Planning Momentum Is Important

Planning for major events can sometimes cause a sense of dread. Whether it’s planning a honeymoon, a long family trip, or a business exit, it’s easy to say, “I’ll do it later, when I’m less busy.” While planning a business exit should never encompass your entire life, there are several reasons why you should keep your planning momentum going, instead of planning in fits and starts.

Why It’s Important to Create Planning Momentum Now

On the surface, it might make sense for you to wait until you are ready to exit to start planning for it. But you might take for granted how indispensable you are to your business’ success. In other words, if you were ever to leave the business, the business might be worthless, if not worthless. For example, a business that is primarily reliant on its owner and her industry relationships for maintaining cash flow might be worth $10 million when the owner is present but only $5 million when the owner is not present, reflecting the extent to which she is tied to key customers. Making the business less reliant on you can do two things:

1. Make the business more valuable to whoever intends to purchase your ownership, since they’re buying a stable business rather than your presence.

2. Protect the business’ value (and vicariously, your family and employees) if something happens to you before you exit.

Experience shows that once business owners are ready to exit, they tend to have less motivation to do the things that prepare the business for their exits (e.g., finding next-level management, improving company cash flow). This implies that creating and maintaining planning momentum early and throughout can be the difference between exiting on your terms and exiting on someone else’s terms.

Planning Momentum Can Speed Up the Process

Typically, it takes 5–10 years to properly plan for, implement, and see the results of planning for a business exit. This assumes that you and your Advisor Team consistently work on, work through, and update planning. Failing to keep the momentum going can stretch that timeline even longer. Sometimes, it can mean that the planning never gets done at all.

Think about the last big project you did. When you had no interruptions and could focus on the task at hand, you managed to get the project done more quickly. Once distractions began to appear, it took time away from the bigger project. When you went back to it, you likely had to reacquaint yourself with what you were doing in the first place, which took even more time away from you.

Though consistent planning can’t eliminate all distractions, it can speed up the planning process. Because the Exit Planning Advisor and Advisor Team do most of the planning work—based on your goals, needs, and wants—keeping your planning momentum going can get you through the process more quickly. Proper planning usually results in fewer responsibilities—and thus, fewer distractions—for you, since one goal of planning is to position the business to thrive without you.

Planning Momentum Removes Inertia

It can be much more difficult for you to create and implement a successful Exit Plan if you constantly start and stop every month or more. Without consistent planning flow, you and your Advisor Team are likely to become frustrated and apathetic, which can torpedo your efforts to create and implement your Exit Plan.

Consistently progressing through your planning process—even in small, incremental steps—is much more likely to produce the results you expect because ideas and solutions stay fresh. Progress tends to build on itself, which can make it easier to solve bigger problems or achieve bigger goals. For instance, if your business needs a next-level management team to increase its value, you’re more likely to find and hire the right talent if you’re constantly looking for one, rather than only looking when it’s convenient. If you only do planning when it feels urgent, you might miss out on opportunities to positively affect your company’s value, add a competitive advantage, or find a suitable buyer for your business.

Planning Momentum Lowers Costs

It’s no secret that good Exit Planning Advisors and Advisor Teams cost money. The upshot is that those advisors are motivated to be as efficient as you reasonably demand. By maintaining momentum, you can minimize the amount you pay your advisors while maximizing the return. Top advisors typically want to do high-quality work, but they work with many clients. They’ll admit that they need to refresh their memory, revisit issues, or make updates for changes in laws, regulations, or markets. This step backward in order to make the right next step forward can turn into additional fees for you.

Maintaining planning momentum can be a challenge when considering your daily obligations, but it’s a surmountable challenge. If you’d like to discuss strategies that can maintain your planning momentum or how to get back into the swing of planning, please contact us today.

Whether you are looking to exit your privately held business, represent an acquisition-minded corporation, value your business, or are personally interested in owning or building value in your own company or franchise, Colonial Business Brokerage offers the professional services that successfully bring buyers and sellers together.

Call Colonial Business Brokerage today at (443) 982-7332.

The information contained in this article is general in nature and is not legal, tax or financial advice. For information regarding your particular situation, contact an attorney or a tax or financial advisor. The information in this newsletter is provided with the understanding that it does not render legal, accounting, tax or financial advice. In specific cases, clients should consult their legal, accounting, tax or financial advisor. This article is not intended to give advice or to represent our firm as being qualified to give advice in all areas of professional services. Exit Planning is a discipline that typically requires the collaboration of multiple professional advisors. To the extent that our firm does not have the expertise required on a particular matter, we will always work closely with you to help you gain access to the resources and professional advice that you need.

This is an opt-in newsletter published by Business Enterprise Institute, Inc., and presented to you by our firm.  We appreciate your interest.

Any examples provided are hypothetical and for illustrative purposes only. Examples include fictitious names and do not represent any particular person or entity.

Business Exit Solutions
532 Baltimore Boulevard, Suite 402
Westminster, MD 21157
www.businessexitsolutions.com
(443) 982-7332Unsubscribe | Web versionCopyright © 2018 Business Enterprise Institute, Inc. All rights reserved.

The Importance of Understanding Leases

Leases should never be overlooked when it comes to buying or selling a business. After all, where your business is located and how long you can stay at that location plays a key role in the overall health of your business. It is easy to get lost with “larger” issues when buying or selling a business. But in terms of stability, few factors rank as high as that of a lease. Let’s explore some of the key facts you’ll want to keep in mind where leases are concerned.

Different Kinds of Leases

In general, there are three different kinds of leases: sub-lease, new lease and the assignment of the lease. These leases clearly differ from one another, and each will impact a business in different ways.

A sub-lease is a lease within a lease. If you have a sub-lease then another party holds the original lease. It is very important to remember that in this situation the seller is the landlord. In general, sub-leasing will require that permission is granted by the original landlord. With a new lease, a lease has expired and the buyer must obtain a new lease from the landlord. Buyers will want to be certain that they have a lease in place before buying a new business otherwise they may have to relocate the business if the landlord refuses to offer a new lease.

The third lease option is the assignment of the lease. Assignment of the lease is the most common type of lease when it comes to selling a business. Under the assignment of lease, the buyer is granted the use of the location where the business is currently operating. In short, the seller assigns to the buyer the rights of the lease. It is important to note that the seller does not act as the landlord in this situation.

Understand All Lease Issues to Avoid Surprises

Early on in the buying process, buyers should work to understand all aspects of a business’s lease. No one wants an unwelcomed surprise when buying a business, for example, discovering that a business must be relocated due to lease issues.

Summed up, don’t ignore the critical importance of a business’s leasing situation. Whether you are buying or selling a business, it is in your best interest to clearly understand your lease situation. Buyers want stable leases with clearly defined rules and so do sellers, as sellers can use a stable leasing agreement as a strong sales tool.

Whether you are looking to exit your privately held business, represent an acquisition-minded corporation, value your business, or are personally interested in owning or building value in your own company or franchise, Colonial Business Brokerage offers the professional services that successfully bring buyers and sellers together.

Call Colonial Business Brokerage today at (443) 982-7332.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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Built to Flip: How to Buy a Business for Pennies on the Dollar

Carl Allen is a U.K.-based turnaround artist. He buys relatively unloved businesses, makes them better, and sells them for a profit.

When you’re in the turnaround game, you get a lot of weird phone calls, but none quite as odd as the one Allen received in 2013. A business owner had heard Allen was looking to buy a precision engineering business, and the owner had one to sell.

The only catch? Allen had to decide in 48 hours.

Two days later, Allen found himself the proud owner of a small company that made custom parts for high-performance motorcycles, which he had purchased for just £1. He immediately set to work making the business more valuable and just three years later, sold it for almost £3 million.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  •  – How to buy a business for pennies on the dollar (or pounds).
  •  – How to get an acquirer to buy your shares, not assets.
  •  – How to use forecasting to boost the value of your business to an acquirer.
  •  – How Pareto’s Law can maximize the value of your business.
  •  – Allen’s formula for finding a business to buy.

Listen Now

Do you want to improve the value of your business?

Find out how you score on the eight factors that drive your company’s value by completing the Value Builder Questionnaire and getting your Value Builder Score today:

Get Your Value Builder Score Now

Planning Your Exit Strategy Should Begin on Day One

Pepperjam CTO, Greg Shepard recently published “Planning Your Exit Should Begin When You Launch” in Entrepreneur magazine. In this article, Shepard puts forward a variety of thought-provoking ideas including that entrepreneurs should be thinking about partnering early on with those they believe will ultimately want to buy their business.

Thinking Ahead

Much of Shepard’s thinking centers around the fact that a large percentage of startups end in acquisitions. In particular, he notes that in 2017, “mergers and acquisitions accounted for 93 percent of the 809 ventures capital-backed exits, yielding a total of $45.6 billion in disclosed exit value.” Not too surprising, he also points out that according to a recent Silicon Valley Bank survey, over 50% of all startups are “hoping for an acquisition.”

For this reason, Shepard points out that entrepreneurs should be thinking about who may potentially acquire them from day one. In particular, startups will want to build their companies in such a way that they will be attractive for acquisition at a later date.

Making one’s startup attractive for acquisition means thinking about such details as the Ideal Customer Profile, Ideal Employee Profile, and Ideal Buyer Profile. This will help startups build the most attractive acquisition friendly company possible. According to Crunchbase, exit opportunities frequently present themselves well before a company’s Series B funding.

Building Successful Strategies

Startups simply must understand who their customer is and why their particular product is attractive to that customer. Likewise, having the right kind of employees with the right kind of training and know-how is key. Hiring the best talent is definitely a way for a startup to make itself more attractive for a potential future acquisition.

Shepard believes that once you understand your customer and have the right team to support your vision, you’ll want to focus in on companies that are most likely to be interested and construct an “optimal buyer pool.” Finding this optimal buyer pool means finding businesses that serve similar markets and then making sure that your product, as well as your business model, both address an overlooked need within the existing customer base. Combine all of these variables together, and your company will be more attractive for an acquisition.

Let Innovation Drive You

Another key point in Shepard’s article is that startups will want to provide products or services that potential buyers are currently not providing to their customers. Additionally, he states that “Disruptors should seek out companies that are truly driven by innovation-perhaps those that have already established or partnered with innovative labs or accelerators.”

Ultimately, it is critical for startups to understand where they could fit within a larger organization. Understanding this will help entrepreneurs make their company more acquisition friendly.

 

Whether you are looking to exit your privately held business, represent an acquisition-minded corporation, value your business, or are personally interested in owning or building value in your own company or franchise, Colonial Business Brokerage offers the professional services that successfully bring buyers and sellers together.

Call Colonial Business Brokerage today at (443) 982-7332.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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4 Big Exits, 1 Smart Entrepreneur

Earlier this year, Steve Murch sold BigOven, a cooking app with over 13 million downloads and more than 4 million members, to Aisle Ahead, Inc., capping off an incredible run of successes:

  • Former Chairman of the Board, Escapia, Inc. (http://www.escapia.com), a leader in vacation rental software, sold to vacation rental leader HomeAway (NASDAQ: AWAY) in 2010
  • Director, Adventure Central, Inc., sold to AdventureLink in 2008
  • Founder, President & CEO of VacationSpot.com, a leading reservation network for villas and vacation condominiums, sold to Expedia in January 2000 for $87 million

Steve is the real deal, and in this episode, you’ll learn:

  • A surprising workaround for getting a big company to write a fat check
  • How Steve knows when to bootstrap instead of raising money
  • What liquidation preferences are and why they can be so damaging to founders
  • How to identify your strategic buyer

Listen Now

Do you want to improve the value of your business?

Find out how you score on the eight factors that drive your company’s value by completing the Value Builder Questionnaire and getting your Value Builder Score today:

Get Your Value Builder Score Now

What Makes the Sale of a Business Fall Through?

There are a myriad of reasons why the sale of a business doesn’t close successfully; these multiple causes can, however, be broken down into four categories: those caused by the seller, those caused by the buyer, those that just happen (“acts of fate”), and those caused by third parties. The following examines the part each of these components can play in contributing to the wrecked deal:

The Seller

1. In some instances, the seller doesn’t have a valid reason for entering into the sale process. Without a strong reason for selling, he or she has neither the willingness to negotiate nor the flexibility to see the sale to a conclusion. Without such a commitment, the desire to sell is not powerful enough to overcome the many complexities necessary to finalize the sales process.

2. Some sellers are merely testing the waters. As detailed above, they are not at that “hungry” stage that provides the push toward a successful transaction. These sellers merely want to see if anyone wants to buy their business at the price they would like to receive.

3. Many sellers are unrealistic about the price they want for their business. They may be sincere about wanting to sell, but they are unable to be realistic about how the marketplace will value the business. The demand for their business may not be there.

4. Some sellers fail to be honest about their business or its situation. They may be hiding the fact that new competition is entering the market, that the business has serious problems or some other reason the business is not salable under existing circumstances. Even worse, some sellers do not disclose that there is more than one owner and that they are not all in agreement about selling the business.

5. A seller may decide to wait until a buyer is found and then check with their outside advisers about the tax and/or legal consequences. At this point, the terms of the deal have to be altered, and the buyer won’t agree. Sellers should deal with these complications ahead of time. Nobody likes changes–especially buyers!

The Buyer

1. The buyer may not have an urgent need or a strong desire to go into business. In many cases, the buyer may begin with positive intentions but then doesn’t have the courage to make “the leap of faith” necessary to go through with the sale.

2 Some buyers, like sellers, have very unrealistic expectations regarding the price of businesses. They are also uneducated about the nature of small business in general.

3. Many buyers are not willing to put in the hours or do the type of work necessary to operate a business successfully.

4. Buyers can be influenced by others who are opposed to the purchase of a business. Many people don’t or can’t understand the need to be “your own boss.”

Acts of Fate

These are the situations that “just happen,” causing deals to fall through. Even considering the strong hand of fate, many of these situations could have been prevented.

1. A buyer’s investigation reveals some unmentioned or unknown problem, such as an environmental situation. Or, perhaps there are financial deficiencies discovered by the buyer. Unfortunately, these should have been on the table from the beginning of the selling process.

2. The seller may not be able to substantiate, at least to the buyer’s satisfaction, the earnings of the business.

3. Problems may arise, unknown to both the seller and the buyer, with federal, state, or local governmental agencies.

Third Parties

1. Landlords may become difficult about transferring the lease or granting a new one.

2. Buyers and/or sellers may receive overly-aggressive advice from outside advisers, usually attorneys. Attorneys, in their zeal to represent their clients, forget that the goal is to put the deal together. In some cases, they erect so many roadblocks that the deal can only fall apart.

Most of the problems outlined here could have been resolved before the selling process was too far advanced. There are also some problems that could not have been avoided–people do sometimes enter situations with the best of intentions only to find out that this is not the right answer for them after all. These are the exceptions, however. Most business sales can have happy endings if potential difficulties are handled at the appropriate time.

Business brokers are aware of the various ways a deal may fall through. They are experienced in resolving issues before the business goes onto the market or before a buyer is introduced to the business. To buy or sell a business successfully, sellers should resolve any potential deal-wreckers, following the advice of a professional business broker.

Although business brokers cannot provide legal advice, they are familiar with the intricacies of the business sale. They are also familiar with local attorneys who specialize in the details of these transactions. These attorneys will usually be more efficient, and therefore more cost-effective, than the attorney who handles a general practice.

 

Whether you are looking to exit your privately held business, represent an acquisition-minded corporation, value your business, or are personally interested in owning or building value in your own company or franchise, Colonial Business Brokerage offers the professional services that successfully bring buyers and sellers together.

Call Colonial Business Brokerage today at (443) 982-7332.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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When It’s Time to Sell, Put Your Strengths First

Putting your strengths first will help you sell your business. While this may seem obvious, a surprising number of business owners will either improperly index the strengths of their business or fail to emphasize those strengths adequately. In this article, we will examine five key business strengths that you should focus on when it comes time to sell.

Understand Your Buyer

You know your business, but you don’t necessarily know what buyer is best for it in the long run. If you’ve never sold a business before (and most business owners haven’t), then you may not know how to best position and present your business for sale.

A business broker is immensely valuable in this regard. These professionals are very good at determining which prospective buyers are serious and which ones are not. Additionally, a business broker will use their own databases of prospects and vetted buyers and try to match your business up with the prospective buyers that are most likely to be a good fit. When dealing with a buyer, a seasoned business broker will put emphasis on your strengths whenever possible.

Be Sure to Maintain Normal Operations

Selling a business can be very demanding and underscores, once again, the value of working with a business broker. A business broker will focus on selling your business so that you have more time to focus on the day-to-day of running your business.

The last thing you want is to waste your time on buyers who are not serious. Remember, if your business suffers as a result of the time you spend away from your business in the sale process, then the value of your business to prospective buyers could suffer.

Determining the Best Price

If you incorrectly price your business, you could dramatically reduce the interest. Business brokers are experts at pricing businesses and can help you determine the best possible price. Many business owners have unrealistic valuations and others may even undervalue their businesses or they fail to incorporate all aspects of their business. Working with a professional business broker can help you quickly achieve the best price. The best price possible will work to maximize the strengths of your business.

Getting Your Business Ready for Sale

There is a lot that goes into getting your business ready to sell. The simple fact is that getting your business ready to sell isn’t a one-dimensional process, but instead involves every aspect of your business. Getting your business ready to sell isn’t about making it look presentable and putting a “new coat of paint” on things, although this is a factor.

Instead, it is necessary to have every aspect of your business in order. From paperwork such as tax returns, contracts, and forms to a business plan and more, it is important to consider every aspect of your business. You should consider what you would want to see if you were the one looking to buy the business. Be sure to do everything possible to build up your strengths.

Confidentiality

If word gets out that your business is up for sale, there could be a range of problems. Employees, including key management, could begin looking for other jobs and suppliers and key buyers could begin to look elsewhere. In short, a breach of confidentiality could lead to chaos.

Getting your business ready for sale means factoring in the strengths and weakness of your business then fixing weaknesses whenever possible and building upon your strengths. Working with a business broker can help you address every point covered in this article and more.

Find out how you score on the eight factors that drive your company’s value by completing the Value Builder Questionnaire:

Get Your Value Builder Score Now

Whether you are looking to exit your privately held business, represent an acquisition-minded corporation, value your business, or are personally interested in owning or building value in your own company or franchise, Colonial Business Brokerage offers the professional services that successfully bring buyers and sellers together.

Call Colonial Business Brokerage today at (443) 982-7332.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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