Selling your business is a difficult decision and not to be taken lightly. It requires a lot of time and effort, while also maintaining current business operations. Often the seller becomes frustrated and the process goes awry. Timing is extended, negotiations break down, and potential buyers move on to other opportunities. Most frustrations and challenges can be avoided or minimized with an expert on your side. There are literally dozens of challenges to overcome, these three will have the most impact on a successful sale.
1. Insufficient Preparation. This is by far the most common mistake made by small business owners. Putting your house in order is essential to a smooth transaction at a reasonable price. Financial statements, sustainable profits, vendor contracts, and staffing issues are some of the issues that will adversely impact marketing and pricing. A potential buyer should be able to clearly read your financial statements and understand the profitability of the operation. . If the statements include line upon line of personal expenses, the true profitability of the operation is difficult to understand. The more adjustments a buyer must make, the less confidence they will have in the business profits, which leads to lower offers.
CSI will painstakingly review your financial information and present it in a clear easily understood format. We review all agreements and recommend changes to maximize your profitability. Areas that are deficient are explained to buyers with a suggestion for improvement.Proper preparation takes time, we recommend discussing the potential sale at least a year in advance so we can position your store to gain the maximum value.
2. Over Confidence – Being confident that you can sell your store at a good price is the right attitude. The majority of store owners we talk to are successful business people who have worked hard building their businesses. They have a high degree of confidence because of their past success. However, most owners lack the experience of marketing a business, negotiating the sale price and terms, and navigating the due diligence process. Knowing how to navigate the deal to the finish line takes experience.
CSI has decades of experience advising owners about the value of their store, identifying potential buyers, understanding the terms of a purchase agreement, and getting to the closing. We have the largest database of c-store sales in New England which allows us to properly price your store. The due diligence process can be very strenuous, it has become more challenging in the COVID era. Our experience will give you the confidence that the sale of your store will occur in a timely manner at a proper price.
There are many other areas where CSI can assist you with your sale; marketing, pre-qualifying buyers, keeping private information confidential, and assisting with the transition, to name a few. When it is time to sell your store give us a call or send an email. We enjoy meeting store owners and are eager to assist in the sale of your business.
3. Unwillingness to Leverage Professionals – You are the expert in operating your business. I am amazed at the number of store owners I meet who have tried to sell their stores without the assistance of professionals. You will need legal counsel, accounting professionals, financial consultants, and environmental consultants. Hiring a merger and acquisition specialist will provide the expertise and knowledge to guide you to a successful conclusion.
CSI is the leading M&A advisor in New England for the c-store industry. Let us work for you to make the successful sale of your business a reality.