Selling your South Florida business may result in stress of all kinds – financial, emotional, and psychological. Fear plays a great role in the process. Fortunately, there are solutions to coping with these stresses. Here are the most common fears of selling your business, as well as practical and effective solutions to preventing and coping with these fears:
Loss of Identity and Purpose
If there’s one universal fear in life, it is the fear of the unknown. Some of the unknowns could include having a reason to get out of bed in the morning, or losing your standing in your local community. Will you become bored of playing golf every day, or is there more to life than spending time with the grandchildren? So goes the internal dialogue as fear feeds on itself, and we decide to put off selling until next year – or maybe the year after.
Selling your business comes with two inevitable feelings: resistance to change, and a sense of loss. How much you experience these emotions will depend on your own situation, but assume you will feel them nonetheless. The entire process can go smoothly with advanced planning, good advice and figuring out what you will do with your life post-sale. Start by listing what your concerns are, then listing alternative means of handling them. Writing your concerns on paper will help you confront them.
Making a Costly Mistake
Many small business owners correctly sense that the selling process is complex, difficult and loaded with landmines and booby traps. From deal structure, to leaks of information to customers, employees and vendors, to paying too much in taxes by not understanding tax issues related to the allocation of the purchase price are but a few on the list.
The best way to allay this fear is to hire good advisors to assist you with the process. At a minimum, these typically include your accountant, a transaction attorney, and a South Florida business broker or M&A specialist. Other advisors you may need to seek are a financial planner, investment advisor, or estate-planning attorney. Good advisors pay for themselves by helping you avoid costly mistakes.
The Buyer Will Stop Paying
If you don’t think you’ll be asked to hold back a portion of the purchase price, think again. In today’s tight lending environment, there is a real possibility that you will need to offer some sort of seller financing in order to get the transaction closed. Your willingness to delay payments also serves as a sign to the buyer that you have confidence in the ongoing viability of your business. Lastly, in many cases a minimum amount of seller financing may be mandatory for any loan a buyer secures that is guaranteed by the SBA.
This fear should melt away after you have completed your due diligence on the buyer, and become comfortable with them running your business. Regardless of how much you hold back, make sure you get a personal guarantee from the buyer.
Selling Your Business – Keep your Fears in Check
While there are many reasonable fears and concerns that go along with selling your business, there are also ways to neutralize, mitigate, or banish them altogether. Just don’t let fear take hold to the point that it prevents you from moving forward with both your life and your work. For expert help in selling your business, contact South Florida business broker Bob Dolan today.