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Common Mistakes Made When Selling a Business

Posted by webtech on July 7, 2010
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Successfully selling your business can be a complicated process that takes careful planning, lots of experience, and a wide breadth of business knowledge.  Although it is possible, of course, to sell your business on your own, consulting a professional is the key to landing a great deal! Apart from not getting expert assistance, here are some other common business selling blunders…

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Failing to learn the ropes

Business, like any other field or study, requires that you learn all of the relevant terminology, as well as how the selling process exactly works.  If you do your homework properly, chances are, you’ll make a winning deal.

Jumping the gun on setting the price

Often times, owners are so eager to sell, that they set a price for the sale, without first consulting a knowledgeable advisor.  It is extremely important that you first establish the correct market price before attempting to sell it.  Once a price is “out there,” it’s likely that you won’t be able to raise it any higher.

Selling too quickly

Never rush into making the sale without exploring all of your options, to see if you’re even getting a fair deal, let alone a good one.  Sometimes selling promptly needs to happen for personal or financial reasons, but more often than not, this is not the case.

Waiting too long to make the sale

When an owner sits on their business for a while, they often miss the most opportune time to sell – and encounter increased competition, or find that their products/services are not worth as much anymore due to the current economic conditions.  If you’re considering selling, stay current with the state of the economy, as well as your specific market.

Lack of privacy during the selling process

Once word leaks that your business is being sold, it’s not uncommon for employees to leave, vendors to part ways, and customers to give your competitors more business. The value of your business can drop quickly if you do not maintain a certain amount of confidentiality.
Failing to increase the value

If you know far ahead of time that you’re going to sell your business, give yourself time to build up its value, making it more attractive to potential buyers.

Not identifying the best buyer candidates

If a potential buyer is not pre-qualified or does not appear to be prepared to make an offer, it’s probably a good indication that you’re wasting your time.  Financial capability and industry knowledge are key here.  Without these pre-qualifying factors financing approval will not be possible.  It’s crucial that you don’t spend time with the wrong buyers.

Failing to negotiate with buyers

How much leverage you have, may depend a great deal on how many potential buyers are out there.  In any case, you need to be prepared to negotiate.  Professionals are well equipped to help you with this.

Being unprepared to defend your valuation

If you have worked hard to create a value for your business, you ought to be prepared to stand by that value. Prepare backup materials to defend the value of your company.  Professionals are available to help you with this as well.

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