You’ve worked hard to build your business. Perhaps you’re now ready for a comfortable retirement—or simply hoping to move onto the next chapter, whatever that might be. If you’re like most business owners, a lifetime of entrepreneurship has taught you to keep a tight grip on the purse strings. So as you prepare to sell your business, you may think a DIY approach is the best way to keep needless expenses under control. This is a terrible strategy that will almost certainly hurt your sale prospects and reduce total sale value. Here are 5 reasons oyu should not consider a DIY sale.
Sales Are Complicated
Selling a business is unlike selling a product or service. The process can take months to years, with numerous complicated parts, each of which demands expert insight. To successfully sell your business on your own, you would need vast economic and accounting knowledge, legal acumen, integration experience, and strong negotiation skills, on top of all that it takes to run your company’s daily operations. For most people, this is not even close to realistic.
Your Business May Suffer
Selling a business is a full-time job. That’s why so many people make a career out of M&A advisory. You can’t do your actual job while selling your business, which means one has to suffer. For most entrepreneurs, it’s going to be the business, since they’ll be overwhelmed by the demands of overseeing the M&A process. Do you really want your business to decline in value and efficiency at the very moment you’re planning a sale?
Buyers Will be Less Interested
Buyers want to work with a professional deal-side team who can manage the negotiation process, promptly respond to due diligence requests, and follow established M&A norms. This is almost impossible when you split your time between running your business and overseeing the sale of it. Buyers don’t want a stressful, protracted process that stalls halfway through.
The Sale Will Lose Value
A skilled sell-side team generates real value. They can help you negotiate a higher sale price, but they also help well before then by assisting with valuation, setting reasonable expectations for the sale, and identifying areas for growth and improvement. They can help you prepare for a truly professional sale process by getting your books in order and managing the process of due diligence. A slower process means the deal can lose value. The right team prevents this from happening.
Deal Terms May be Unfavorable
Even if you get your asking price, how might the deal terms affect the amount you walk away with? Most owners are poorly equipped to answer this question. They don’t know when and whether earnouts are reasonable, how they might be liable for their mistakes as owners, and which deal terms are standard versus which capitalize on owner ignorance. Your professional M&A advisory team can bring you up to speed, then push for the most favorable possible deal terms. It’s what every business deserves. So why disadvantage your company from the get-go?