3 Ways To Avoid Sabotaging The Future Sale Of Your Business
As a small business owner who is looking to sell your business, it is important to understand that the exit planning process hopefully began when you initially started or purchased your business. What this means is that you should operate your business in a way that would allow your business to sell and retain its value at virtually any time. After all, it is easier to stay organized and ready for the sale of your business than it is to get ready in a hurry, should you need to sell your business due to an unexpected emergency.
Whether you are full-time manager and operator of your business, or you’re more of an absentee business owner who has management overseeing the operations of your business, you will want to ensure that you have a business plan and updated (regularly) operations manual detailing all of the key components that keep your business running smoothly, allowing your business’s buyer to provide their new business with the consistency needed to ensure their future success.
While the documents will surely help your business buyer, you must also be willing to provide your business buyer with adequate training so that they feel comfortable taking over the operations of your business as the new owner. While training the business buyer is standard, the amount of time you must stay on to train your buyer will depend on the complexity of your business (among other things) and will be outlined and agreed upon in the purchase agreement.
Regardless of the buyer’s industry experience, they will need to understand the role that you played as the business’s previous owner and the numerous components that were needed to keep the business running successfully.
Failing to adequately train your business buyer or even be willing to provide your buyer with training for an agreed upon span of time would likely deter any interested parties from buying your business and hurt the value of your business.
As the business owner/seller, you must put yourself in the shoes of your potential buyers. Would you feel comfortable buying a business without receiving anything other than the keys from the business owner? And wouldn’t you also want to ensure the future success of the business that you took the time and energy to build? Training is one of the many ways that you can and should show business buyers that you are acting in good faith and want them to be successful.
Another way to increase your chances of successfully selling your business is to keep the fact that you are planning on selling completely confidential. It may be tempting to confide in your managers or key employees, but telling your employees before your sale is complete may completely sabotage any chance of selling your business.
The best thing you can do is keep your business running as usual. Telling employees prematurely would only serve as a major distraction, raise concerns about job security, diminish productivity, and encourage employees to seek employment elsewhere, risking your business’s future altogether.