Top 14 Concerns Before Selling Your Business

Aug 29, 2023Selling Businesses

When a business owner is considering working with a business broker, they have several initial hesitations and concerns. We have compiled a list of the common hesitations followed by how Bockus Consulting-Business Brokerage solves each objection.

Cost: Business owners may worry about the fees associated with hiring a business broker. They might wonder if the cost will be worth the benefits they receive.

Bockus Consulting: “Like most things in life, you get what you pay for, and we are confident in our ability to maximize your after-tax proceeds.  Compared to a real estate agent, who will charge 6% to put up a sign in your yard and post it on MLS, our fees are in line with the wide range of services you receive.  We unlock cash tied up in your business and attain much more than our fees which are paid out of the proceeds of your sale.”

Lack of Control: Entrusting the sale of their business to a broker might make owners feel like they’re giving up control over an important process.

Bockus Consulting: We work like Siamese twins, walking step-in-step together.  This is a partnership.  What is good for you is good for us.  The business owner approves all marketing material, list of buyers, reviews LOIs, and is the only one who can accept an offer.

Confidentiality: Business owners often have concerns about keeping the sale of their business confidential. They may worry that competitors, employees, or customers will find out and react negatively.

Bockus Consulting: “Confidentiality is the bedrock of our business.  Although there is no guarantee, a break in confidentiality seldom happens.  We make everyone sign binding Confidentiality Agreements before receiving any proprietary information.  It only hurts the buyer if they buy a business where the staff is upset”.

Expertise and Reputation: There could be doubts about the broker’s expertise and reputation. Business owners might want to ensure that the broker has a proven track record of successfully selling businesses like theirs.

Bockus Consulting: “We are the best brokerage firm you will ever meet.  If you do not believe we are not the best fit for you, we are more than happy to provide you with all the names of local brokerage independents and franchises.  We have the skill set required and the necessary reps for selling businesses.  We can speak to attorneys, CPAs, blue-collar business owners, and sophisticated buyers on how to handle and respond to offers, manage due diligence, and keep deals moving toward closing.  We find buyers and complete transactions.  With our developed methods, we consistently show results superior to other means”.

Value Perception: Owners might be concerned that the broker might undervalue or not accurately represent the true value of their business, leading to a lower sale price.

Bockus Consulting: “We are the only business brokerage firm with a certified business appraiser in-house and licensed OREC real estate broker.  The value of a business is based on the benefits stream divided by the risk rate. The market determines the value, and the price is what someone is willing to pay for the business.  Businesses will not sell for two reasons – 1) the business is overpriced and 2) the seller is not motivated to sell.”

Time Commitment: Business owners might be unsure of how much time and effort they’ll need to invest in the process when working with a broker.

Bockus Consulting: “When you work with our firm – selling has to be the highest priority.  If selling is not the highest priority, then we recommend you not sell.  It takes approximately 8 hours of your time to gather and provide us with the necessary information we need.  This time will result in the highest dollar per hour pay you will ever spend working in your business.”

Compatibility: There could be concerns about how well the business owner and the broker will work together. Chemistry and communication are crucial for a successful partnership.

Bockus Consulting: “Warren Buffet said, ‘I only work with people I like, trust and admire’ – enough said.  This is a two-way street!”

Loss of Focus on Operations: Owners might worry that their focus on the business sale process might distract them from effectively managing their business during a critical time.

Bockus Consulting: “As the business owner working with our firm, you should have your hands on the wheel and pedal to the metal of your business and do not look up.  The process is emotional, and we will help you understand it as we move through the highs and lows together.”

Broker’s Buyer Network: Questions might arise about the broker’s network of potential buyers and their ability to reach the right target audience for the business sale.

Bockus Consulting: First, we have met with and have thousands of buyers in Oklahoma and across the US who are qualified and motivated to buy businesses from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars in business. Second, we pay thousands of dollars every year to get our listings in front of the best buyers in the country on business buyer websites.  Finally, we have software that can reach out to thousands of businesses confidentially in a matter of seconds – informing them of an opportunity to grow through an acquisition.”

Negotiation Skills: Owners might have concerns about the broker’s ability to negotiate effectively on their behalf to secure the best possible deal.

Bockus Consulting: “We possess a keen understanding of human psychology and communication, enabling us to actively listen, empathize, and find common ground with counterparts. We combine strategic thinking with adaptability, aiming for win-win solutions while maintaining a firm grasp of our client’s objectives.  In good negotiations, both parties come out feeling like winners.”

Unrealistic Expectations: Owners might worry that the broker will set unrealistic expectations about the sale price or the timeline for selling the business.

Bockus Consulting: “No broker can tell you with 100% certainty when your business will sell and for how much.  We track all data coming in and going out and use it to provide you with the most probable outcome.  We always under promise and over deliver.”

Alternative Options: Business owners might hesitate because they’re considering other options, such as selling the business themselves, working with an attorney, or seeking advice from financial advisors.

Bockus Consulting: “Not every business that sells uses a business broker.  Statistically, only 9% of businesses for sale are sold (source Harvard Business Review), whereas our firm’s history is that 96% of our brokerage clients sell.  Our last client that did not sell was in 2021.  We’ve had a few clients who wanted to try and handle the transaction themselves, who after some failed attempts – ask us to help.  As long as the owner can run the business and deal with all inquiries and questions, determine the proper selling price and justify it to buyers, have the resources to market, work in confidentiality while in the office, are aware of the potential personal liabilities, know when to disclose information in due diligence, can avoid getting emotional, and work with the buyer on getting 3rd party financing – then the owner can attempt to sell on their own.”

Lack of Personal Attention: There could be concerns that the broker might be working with multiple clients simultaneously, leading to a lack of personalized attention for their specific needs.

Bockus Consulting: “We turn down more work than we accept because we want to accomplish our goals of selling our client’s businesses.  There have been times when we close the door to new clients until our current client’s businesses have sold.  We are hands-on from day one and will be through the entire process.”

Fear of the Unknown: Like with any unfamiliar process, business owners might hesitate due to a fear of the unknown and uncertainty about what the business broker’s involvement will entail.

Bockus Consulting: “We have created a detailed flow chart that will show you exactly where in the process of selling we are at any given moment.  Embrace the uncertainty as a blank canvas of opportunity where you can paint a masterpiece beyond the boundaries of the know.”

Business brokers need to address these hesitations openly and honestly during their initial discussions with potential clients. Building trust and providing clear information can help alleviate many of these concerns and demonstrate the value that a skilled business broker can bring to the process of selling a business.

What you don’t know can be costly – we help eradicate uncertainty.  We make buying and selling businesses profitable for both parties.