Does the business owner really need an attorney? Tax advisor? Could he do without and save money? Of course, but in most cases he’d be worse off.
What an advisor offers is transaction experience and the time and effort necessary to complete the sale, allowing the business owner to focus on where they provide the most value, running the business.
What does a skilled advisor do that may add value?
- Prepare and Package – Careful preparation and planning are required to present your business in the best possible light, and in a manner that will facilitate an orderly and efficient sale for maximum value.
- Identify Buyer Candidates – The business owner may think he already knows all the best buyer candidates, but there are many buyers across the nation. One additional high-quality buyer candidate can significantly increase the sale price.
- Maintain Confidentiality – A representative can talk to and screen out buyer candidates without disclosing the identity of the seller; run a process that results in a closed transaction before the grapevine has the chance to do its damage; and otherwise manage the process in ways that will aid the need for confidentiality.
- Negotiate with Skill, Experience, and Intensity – In respect to negotiation, business owners have been around the block a few times. They’ve had to negotiate on their own behalf to achieve what they have today. But when it comes to selling the business, the owner isn’t the best one for the job. When he asks for more money, he’s greedy. When he touts the great potential of his business, he’s just trying to pad his own pockets. When a skilled advisor does these things, however, it has credibility and garners results.
- Sell – In the end, the most important job the advisor has is to SELL! The advisor must understand what is necessary to complete the sale. To handle roadblocks and barriers to completion, navigate the potholes, and put the deal back together when it falls apart. The seller’s accountant and attorney play different and important roles in the transaction, neither of which is salesman.
Can the business seller save a few bucks and, in theory, maintain some control by handling the business sale his or herself by simply using their accountant or attorney? Sure, but the deal will have a lower probability of getting done and the net price, if a deal closes, will almost certainly be lower.