How to keep your business sale on track

Not all business sales go to plan. They take time, but if you begin to feel left out in the cold, with a general lack of communication or activity, it’s time to get your sale back on track. In this situation, timing is critical.

Below is some helpful advice on how to keep your franchise sale on track:

Don’t panic

Firstly, don’t think the worst or start to panic. Silence doesn’t necessarily mean the buyer no longer wants to purchase your franchise. There could be an honest and simple reason why the sale has stalled.

Sometimes life just gets in the way. How many times in your life have your priorities changed due to unexpected events? We’ve seen sales stall due to a buyer taking a holiday, falling ill or a change in their personal circumstances. Often, all it takes is a few phone calls to understand the reasons for the silence and get the sale back on track.

Are you the best person to resolve the situation?

Having identified why the sale has stalled, consider if you’re the best person to get involved in resolving issues. Sellers can often be too emotionally involved in their business to see the situation objectively. Yes, you have the best interests of your business at heart, but could you end up confusing matters further? A neutral party like a business broker might be better placed to act.

Make your priorities clear at the outset

As soon as you accept an offer, agree a deadline for completion that your accountant, solicitor, and business broker, plus any other important parties such as your landlord can achieve. This will ensure everyone is heading in the same direction. Don’t make promises you can’t keep! Communicate accurately and always deliver what you say you will when required. Always keep all parties in the loop as you head towards completion day. A breakdown in communication is a common factor in stalled sales.

Work with your business broker

The moment a sale breaks down is when the true value of appointing a business broker comes into play. Your broker will have had numerous conversations with both sides in agreeing an offer to begin with and will use their negotiation and diplomacy skills to optimum effect. Part of their role is to keep the business sale moving and they will investigate on your behalf the reasons why things aren’t going to plan.

Provide all the information required

Another reason why business sales break down is because something simple has not been delivered. You, your broker, and other professionals need to stay on top of key actions and delivering essential documentation such as management accounts, supplier, and employee contracts, to guide your business to a successful sale. Business sales can stall for all manner of reasons. Quibbling over ownership of a web domain is one challenge that is becoming more common. Get your documents in order so you know who controls what.

Working together, sellers and business brokers combine knowledge and experience to support a business sale through to completion. There will be instances where a sale cannot progress to completion, but we’re happy to say, in our experience such cases are rare. If this happens to you, get your business back on the market quickly and always have a binding confidentiality agreement in place with your original buyer.

If you’re looking to kick-start your business sale and would like more advice to get it back on track, get in touch with your nearest Business Partnership office.