How to Overcome Your Fear of Selling Your Business
By C. David Chambless, President Abraxas Business Services
Getting to the Closing Table to sell a business is a complex journey. At Abraxas, we often find that business owners let certain concerns and fears keep them from taking the first step toward a successful sale and a comfortable “next stage” of life.
Here are four common worries that we consistently encounter. As discussed below, each one could be overcome with proper planning and the right business advisor.
Business Owner: I’m too busy running the company to have time to sell it. The sales process will distract me from growing, or even maintaining, the current level of revenue. And how can I be sure that expenses are under control if I’m not paying attention every day? I’ll never get the valuation I need if I’m distracted by the sales process.
Business Broker: Business brokers know that the process of selling a business can seem overwhelming. Working with a business advisor can increase the likelihood that the transition will make it to the closing table. An experienced, knowledgeable advisor would put in place proven methodologies to manage the process so that the business owner can continue to appropriately oversee daily activities of the business.
Business Owner: I don’t understand the sales process. Who would buy my company? What are the steps I would need to take?
Business Broker: It is our job to clarify the sales process and to navigate the intricacies of a sale on behalf of the owner. We have the expertise and experience to deal with the unique challenges of each transaction. We are proactive during negotiations and manage any road blocks in a timely manner so as to not lose momentum as the deal heads to the Closing Table.
Business Owner: My business pays for many of my expenses. I’m afraid my finances are messy and won’t really reflect the value of my company.
Business Broker: Experienced brokers, such as those at Abraxas Advisors, understand that the financial expectations for one owner could be different for another owner. We help guide a business owner as he/she works with the company’s financial team and accountants to assure that the company’s profit-and-loss and cash flow statements accurately present the company’s performance and expense history. With clear and detailed information, a prospective buyer can easily value the opportunity the business offers.
Business Owner: I need to net $XX from a sale to feel good about exiting the business.
Business Broker: The market is the ultimate determinate of the sales price. Abraxas Advisors understand what the market will include in its analysis of the company’s value. We advise our clients during initial discussions as to how their particular sector is evaluated and suggest ways to potentially increase the sales price. Often, an owner knows a number of steps they would take to grow the company if they had additional capital and time. Abraxas uses this perspective to help a prospect understand potential growth opportunities should they purchase the company.
Chambless is a former GABB president and has has extensive experience in business development; finance; operations; sales; marketing; and international channel development and management. Abraxas Advisors are experienced, multi-disciplined professionals who, collectively, have had seats in every role at the Closing Table.