Not all business sales go to plan. They take take time, but if you begin to feel left out on in the cold, with a general lack of communication or activity, it’s time to get your sale back on track.
In this situation, timing is critical, read on for some helpful advice.
Firstly, don’t panic or think the worst. Silence doesn’t necessarily mean the buyer no longer wants to purchase your business. There could be a simple and honest reason why the sale has stalled.
Sometimes life just gets in the way. How many times in your life have your priorities changed due to unexpected events? Over 12 years of brokering business sales, we’ve seen sales stall due to a buyer falling ill, taking a holiday, or a change in their personal circumstances. Often, all it takes is a few phone calls to understand the reasons for the silence and get the sale back on track. We’ve even conducted meetings at a hospital bedside due to an unfortunate and untimely accident on one side….at their request.
Are you the best person to resolve the situation?
Having identified why the sale has stalled, consider if you’re the best person to get involved in resolving issues. Vendors can often be too emotionally involved in their business to see the situation objectively. Yes, you have the best interests of your business at heart, but could you end up confusing matters further? A neutral party like a business broker might be better placed to take action.
Work with your business broker
The moment a sale breaks down is when the true value of appointing a business broker comes into play. Your broker will have had numerous conversations with both sides in agreeing an offer to begin with, and will use their negotiation and diplomacy skills to optimum effect. Part of their role is to keep the sale moving and they will investigate on your behalf the reasons why things aren’t going to plan.
Make your priorities clear at the outset
As soon as you accept an offer, agree a deadline for completion that your accountant, solicitor and business broker, plus any other important parties such as your landlord can achieve. This will ensure everyone is heading in the same direction. Don’t make promises you can’t keep! Communicate accurately and always deliver what you say you will when required. Keep all parties in the loop at all times as you head towards completion day. A breakdown in communication is a common factor in stalled sales.
Provide all the information required
Another reason why business sales break down is because something simple has not been delivered. You, your broker and other professionals need to stay on top of key actions and delivering essential documentation such as management accounts, supplier and employee contracts, to guide your business to a successful sale. Business sales can stall for all manner of reasons. Quibbling over ownership of a web domain is one challenge that is becoming more common. Get your documents in order so you know who controls what.
Working together, vendors and business brokers combine knowledge and experience to support a business sale through to completion. There will be instances where a sale cannot progress to completion, but we’re happy to say, in our experience such cases are rare. If this happens to you, get your business back on the market quickly and always have a binding confidentiality agreement in place with your original buyer.
If you’re looking to kick-start your business sale and would like more advice to get it back on track, please get in touch for a no-obligation chat.