Don’t feel pressured into accepting the first offer you receive
Accountancy and similar professional businesses are always popular sales because the number coming to market is low. Many change hands as successive practices, being bought by existing partners within the practice and don’t hit the open sale market.
This wasn’t an option for Northwest Accountancy Services and we generated a lot of interest very quickly once the outbound sales marketing began.
One offer came through fairly quickly, and it has been tempting to agree to the terms for fear of it being the only one. Another offer came in around a month later and we were then able to walk our clients through the pro’s and con’s of each of them.
Knowing our clients background and the reasons they were selling gave us the ability to push against the bullet points of each offer. The result was that the first offer to be received, was rejected on the grounds of having too little paid on completion and a deferred payment of the balance having too many conditions attached to it, which would be out of our client’s control once ownership of the business had changed hands.
Not accepting the first offer received gave room for a later and better offer to be accepted.
Here’s what our client had to say;
“The decision to sell our Bookkeeping and Accountancy business, jointly owned with my mum, Denise, was one we’d considered on a few occasions previously. This time, it felt right!
My mum was ready to retire, I was training for my Law Degree and I didn’t want the responsibility of running the company by myself or needing to recruit.
We were both on the same page. We found Paul & Alex through one of our previous clients as they had sold their company and used their Business Partnership service. We initially spoke with Paul, he provided costings and we were happy with the terms. We did then consider waiting for another six months to see how we went.
Unfortunately, at that point, mum was taken ill and although recovered well, it made us reassess where we were, and we were both happy to sell. Neither of us wanted to hold the other back and we wouldn’t have proceeded if there was any doubt.
We then worked with Alex and briefed her on the kind of buyer we were looking for, we wanted to meet the buyers ourselves so chose the Usell package as it suited us best. We met with a few buyers and it came down to two parties. Alex helped us to understand the two offers and weigh up the pros and cons of each and conceive potential counter offers.
The communication was excellent, I couldn’t fault Uscita in any way. We had all the advice we needed and knew if there were any areas of uncertainty, we could ask. Both Alex and Paul provided advice at crucial times in the process and both me and my mum felt well looked after and supported. Working with Business Partnership took away the stress of chasing buyers whilst trying to run a business!
We have now sold the business to a local buyer who runs his business similarly to the way we did, which is what we wanted for our long standing clients. I’m confident the business is being run the way we’d hoped it would, the buyer also had local clients and was small enough to deliver a personal service and we’ve been involved in the handover process.
My advice to anyone looking to sell their business would be to take your time, be prepared. It’s incredibly rewarding but working with Alex and Paul made us realise we didn’t need to settle for the first offer. Don’t feel pressured to rush into a sale, carefully consider your options and don’t be scared to negotiate!
Now I’m starting a new journey in Law and begin a new job this month! Mum is enjoying having more time and it’s meant being able to do the little things you don’t get chance to do when you’re running a business.“
Victoria Bowyer, Northwest Accountancy Services
If you are interested in selling a business, buying a business, growing a business or simply understanding the value of your business, please contact us, in the strictest of confidence,