I am here to tell you finding a qualified, willing and able buyer is not the hardest part of selling a business. It is exciting and it is a significant threshold, but a seller is typically a long way from closing the transaction at that point. The typical most-significant issues are:

  • Getting the transaction funded and jumping through all the hoops for the bank
  • If there is a landlord, getting the lease assigned or renegotiating a new lease; and
  • Getting through due diligence – the most significant barrier

It is important to understand that everything is revealed in due diligence. The most common reason for a transaction to blow up is a surprise that was known to the seller, but not disclosed. This destroys all credibility. It is smart to reveal everything upfront.

In due diligence, a potential buyer is entitled to view and request documents for almost anything that relates to the past, present and future of the business. The smart thing to do is go ahead and get the information together at the beginning of the process, knowing certain things are always requested. If you would like help with this list, contact the author of this blog confidentially at bobd@dolansales.com,

The advantage of gathering all the due diligence material upfront is that it shows professionalism to the potential buyer and establishes credibility. Additionally, it allows you to get this step done on your time, rather than on a crisis level when the offer is expected. It is important to provide this information on a timely basis.

As the closing gets near, and everyone has spent a lot of time taking care of all the required details, it is not unusual for the situation to become tense or anxious. It is important to step back, take deep breaths, avoid getting emotional and stay calm. As issues come up, and they will, all parties should allow some time to think about alternatives ways to handle the issue. Bring the buyer and seller back to why they are buying or selling, and whether anything has changed.

As a seller or a buyer, if you would like a confidential conversation about how to prepare, please contact me on my cell, 954-579-4687, or by e-mail at bobd@dolansales.com. My LinkedIn profile is at http://www.linkedin.com/in/dolansales.