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Find Joy in the Selling (and Buying) of Your Business.


Hurry Up and Wait

There’s no other time quite like selling or buying a business.  Once you have made the decision to buy or sell, many times there are months of waiting for the right business buyer or business to buy to come along. The waiting can be worse than boring as we anxiously wait and wonder if my business really has any value, or will I ever find my business that is just right for me. Then all of a sudden, there’s an offer.  There’s the hurried pace of the deal, the hectic family and business schedules, the long hours spent racing the clock to study and negotiate the details of the offer, counteroffers,  gathering and studying the due diligence information, bank financing decisions, etc.  Everything seems to be a cycle of hurry up and wait, wait some more for something that is out of your control, followed by hectic major decisions to be made, sometimes faster than we like.

For the Seller, all of this is happening while still managing the day to day operations, with the normal employee scheduling issues, equipment issues, and the continual marketing to keep customers coming in the front door.  For Buyers, this is usually happening while continuing the “day job” that has earned enough to allow you to consider investing in your 1st owned business or for that critical additional business expansion.  The decision making and preparations to own the business adds to an already full schedule and life demands.  Buying and selling a business is stressful for both parties.  We usually try to prepare both Buyers and Sellers to expect this to be one of the busiest periods of their business lives.

Stresses Prior to the Sales Decision

Some business sales are the result of stressful situations such as poor earnings, obsolete equipment, burn-out, diminishing health, or death of a family member.  Some of these major life events have been chronically prolonged stressors and some have been acutely sudden and sharp that create the need for the sale. Conversely, many business sales are the result of retirement, or just wanting to take chips off the table and try something new.  Even though these “happy” sale reasons sound stress free,, often there have been  stressful months and years leading to that decision, with timing, family effects, self-identity, and “what do I with the rest of my life” questions.


Then there’s those pesky little irritants, (only the primary underlying purpose for owning a business in the first place), financial and economic requirements….  Both parties are under pressure to get the business bought and sold at the right price and terms that will work for each of them.  Buying it “right” and selling it “right” are perceived to be critical for each party’s success.  Can we pay off the debt and have enough to live?  Will we be able to make the business payments?  How do we manage the tax consequences, etc. etc?   It’s easy to see why it can be stressful.

Enjoy the Ride

But amidst this craziness, there should be joy.  For the seller, this should be the culmination of your business, where you learn how your major investments, business plan, and years of management and work have paid off.  Be thankful that you have a business with value to sell.  For the buyer, be thankful for the ability to purchase a business of your own, and the promise of being your own boss.  For both, keep the big picture goals clearly in the front of your mind in all the negotiations and preparations, and don’t let the little disappointments become insurmountable road blocks.  While the stressors are real, it is your choice of attitude that often increases or decreases the chances of a successful deal.  Keep it light and laugh once in a while. Keep your eye on the prize and don’t let the waiting and hectic pace stifle the joy.

Transworld Business Advisors are experts in managing the sales process for both buyers and sellers.  We can lead both parties through a typical sale process which decreases the stress, just knowing what might come next.  We can help prepare and pre-plan the workload, that decreases the stress associated with urgency.  We can help manage your emotions and expectations so you can reach your goals.  Our goal is for both parties to look back at the business sale process as being very gratifying. More than likely, whatever is causing your current stress, we have seen it before.  We can help.

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