Selling a business is something to be handled with caution.
On the one hand, you don’t want your competitors taking advantage of your selling position to try and market it to everyone, including your customers.
This could set your sales off and create multiple trust issues for new buyers.
On the other hand, you don’t want anyone and everyone to approach you with offers. You want to make sure the right buyer finds you.
The one that will respect your customers, the brand you’ve built, and the valuation.
AEPIC Partners works tirelessly to ensure you have the best offers on the table, from the best buyers. If you’re considering selling your business, make sure you schedule a free call with one of our advisors and team members.
What happens after you find the right buyer? That is what we’ll review throughout this post.
Here are the 3 stages of managing offers coming in.
Managing offers to buy your business
We said this already: selling your business will be somewhat like selling a house.
Except with a house you list your property to anyone in the world, and with selling a business you want to market it to the best fitting audience.
Stage 1 – The first offers
Once your eCommerce business is out there for selling, a few interested parties will want to reach you.
Some will approach you directly, while others will respond to your facilitators (like AEPIC Partners) to make their offers.
It’s important that you receive the first offers and look them over carefully.
We’re confident you wouldn’t sell or buy a house without having someone you trust handling the deal, so we strongly recommend you find a suitable partner to help you with selling your business.
The first offers are almost never final offers.
They can include lower valuations, deal breakers, or they can come from companies and people you don’t really want to sell to.
You need to be patient and put your poker face on so you can move forward to stage 2.
Stage 2 – Negotiation
Every offer that ends up on your table has room for negotiation.cn
The ones that don’t matter or they’re just too good to be true.
(Yes, there are exceptions.)
Negotiation is nothing more than placing a counter-offer.
The first offers that come in are almost never what you want and/or what you feel your business is worth.
Handling the negotiations is a sensitive process. There are egos involved and you need to be aware that the person on the other end of the table doesn’t necessarily understand what you’re saying.
For example, you know the blood, sweat and tears you poured into your business; the relationships you’ve established with your workers.
But your buyer doesn’t have that much of a close relationship with your business yet.
We strongly recommend that you and your facilitator do some research on the buyer, its background with other companies, and find out everything you can that can help the negotiating process.
Remember this: on the other side of the business is a person just like you. Your challenge is making that person understand how important your business is.
Stage 3 – Accepting the offer
If the negotiation works for both parties, the acceptance stage begins.
It is often for new offers to come in once the word is out that you’re closing with a buyer. If this happens, review the new offers with your facilitator and decide on what to do.
But, if nothing happens, most of the heavy lifting is completed. Now’s the time for all the paperwork!
This is yet another stage where having a facilitator will help you tremendously!
We, at AEPIC Partners, have been through the process of buying and selling businesses ourselves and we know exactly the time it takes to have all the right paperwork. It can be exhausting.
After all the paperwork, the Exit strategy is also put in place. The easier a handover is, the smoother the process is for all workers and also customers.
This is also the stage where you move on, which can be somewhat of an emotional thing.
However, don’t forget that the buyer is now as interested as you are in making this business work even better.
Actually, two advices:
- Always have someone advising you through the process. It may be tempting to do it all by yourself (trust us, we thought the same before), but make sure you talk to one or two facilitators first.
“No” is the best answer if you don’t feel a buyer is right. Unless you’re selling to get out of a pickle (if this is the case, definitely have someone like AEPIC Partners to help you!) you have time on your side and you shouldn’t let your valuation go down just because someone wants it to. Not even if your buyer is Warren Buffetf! If your valuation is fair, stick to it.