A few days ago, a business owner who was interested in selling his business got in touch with Business Interval. After the required briefing on the history of his business, the topic of financial statements came up, and that’s when we received an astounding response: “I want to see the face of the buyer first, and if I like them, we’ll proceed; otherwise… let’s continue with the next one”.
An emotional attachment to your business is completely understandable. The overwhelming majority of business owners feel this way because they see their businesses as their children. When the time comes to pass them on to someone else, it feels like a father waiting to meet the person his daughter is dating. All of these emotions are understandable and humane, but let’s take a step back.
First and foremost, businesses are not our children; they are living entities comprised of hard work, dreams, endless efforts and sacrifices. However, they are neither people nor buildings. A business is a system. It’s a system made up of various elements and subsystems working together harmonically to achieve the goals set by the management. The organization, the management, the supervision, and the improvement of these components are what make one business successful while another one struggles or eventually closes. So, dear entrepreneur, while you may have spent years of your life building a business but now wish to move on for various reasons, you should be aware that it’s not a simple process. It could eventually take years. So, arm yourself with patience.
However, patience by itself won’t help you. You’ll need to prepare everything appropriately. In Greece, there is a shortage of professionals who can guide businesses through each step of the process. (Business Interval is one of the few companies in Greece with such expertise).
Firstly, ensure that your business remains operational, profitable and be discreet about the sale. It’s important to know that in the business acquisition process, the buyer has the upper hand. Often, the asking price is inflated and far from reality. Perhaps our tendency to attach emotional value to the things we’re involved in, leads us to overvalue them. Fortunately, there are scientific techniques to conduct a more realistic valuation. The fact that you’ve put in all this work doesn’t mean the buyer is obligated to compensate you for that. The thing the buyer is looking and willing to pay for is the entity’s potential to multiply his investment as quickly as possible.
Selling a business successfully depends on many factors, and it is shaped by the conditions and choices made by those involved in the process. Actions such as improving the business model, thoroughly presenting the economic results, and collaborating with professionals who can help prepare your business for the sale process, have a significant impact and greatly increase the chances of selling a small to medium-sized business.
To conclude, it’s worth mentioning that many times during the preparation for the sale, owners have the opportunity to reevaluate and carefully analyze their businesses and their respectful position in the market. This often leads to the discovery of problems and opportunities they hadn’t previously noticed. Addressing these issues and seizing new opportunities can result in improvements and ultimately a better valuation of the business.
There’s much more to discuss, and I promise to share more through this platform. I intend to explain things as simply and comprehensibly as possible while helping you increase the chances of selling your business as quickly as possible and at the best possible price.
Business Interval is here for you, ready to offer its valuable experience and expertise so that you can successfully sell your business.