Once you’ve decided to sell your business, it’s important to consider what’s about to come. It’s critical not to jump into conversations with prospective buyers without a plan for how you’ll determine the buyer that’s the right fit for you and your family. Before picking up the phone, think about why you’re selling your business, your ultimate goals and objectives, and where you want to be at the end of the sales process.

Be Prepared & Take Control of the Conversation

Chances are, when you pick up the phone to speak with a potential buyer, they already have their plan. They’re coming to the table with research and questions about your business that you might not know the answers to. To be prepared, sit down with your tax accountant to understand tax implications, complete any estate or trust work, and review your financial needs with the help of your wealth management professionals. Now that you have clarity about the depth of your business, you’re ready to have a conversation with multiple buyers. By being ready, you’re taking control of the process and getting what you want out of it, rather than being led by what the buyer wants.

Finding A Buyer That Sees the Value

It’s important to remember that a buyer with the highest offer isn’t necessarily the right fit for your business. Your goal is to find someone who sees the value of what you bring to the table. Questioning the buyer will help you find your answers. This includes making sure that they have the capacity to do the deal, if they’ve successfully done deals in the past, and talking to people who work, or have worked with this company, to get a better feel for how they do business. Before a buyer becomes a candidate for your business, they need to recognize the significance of your company’s people, culture and community investment.

Where Your Trusted Advisors Come In

Like our team at Osage, advisors are essential to selling your business. Advisors are your partners, but you’re still driving the process. The advisors will do what they can to get the deal done in the way that the seller wants. The conversation with your advisors will only benefit you since they’ll be the ones to figure out what the best sales approach is based on your needs and desires. As advisors, it’s our job to filter out the noise and make the path to selling your business clear.

At the end of the day, you typically get only one shot when you’re selling your company. Remember to come to any potential buyer conversation prepared and ready to take control. Find a buyer that sees the value in your company, and work with your trusted advisors to make the process as seamless as possible and ultimately a success.