CONGRATULATIONS, friend! You just sold your business!!! You’ve realized success! Assuming that the statistics from the Exit Planning Institute are true, and 80% of businesses below 50 million dollars in revenue never sell, then you’ve just joined an elite minority of business owners. Way to go! You’ve just done something that few people have ever done. But what do you do now? If you’ve just received a financial windfall, what do you do with the money after the sale of your business?
In our Building a Sellable Business series, both parties have now satisfied. We’re ready to sit down at the closing table. Can you believe it? After a “mere” 35 articles, months of prework, and thousands of hoops jumped through, we’ve reached the actual sale of your business! But what happens next? Where do you go to sign paperwork, and what can you expect to happen when you get there? Well, let’s dive in and look at what you can expect at the closing table of a business sale.
We’ve reached the point in our Building a Sellable Business series where you’re ready to close on your business sale! Maybe, you’ve even scheduled the closing. You’ve got your signature pen in hand, and you’re ready to sign on the dotted line. But out of nowhere, plans change. While some changes can be good, most changes before the sale of your business negatively affect the closing of your business. Changes usually mean that the buyer has changed his mind. So let’s look at 4 common reasons a buyer backs out of the sale of a business. Then, let’s figure out how to handle those disruptions.
The due diligence period has just wrapped up, and teams are finalizing everything for the sale of your business. You’re ready for the “payday” – but then you get a call from one of your exit team members. The buyer has asked for a last-minute price reduction… a re-trade. Hearing those words will either have you wondering, “what’s a re-trade?”, or if you have done this before, send you into a tailspin of anxiety. Whichever person you are, you need to know why re-trades occur in a business sale so that you can see if there is anything you can do in advance to avoid hearing that dreaded word.
You’ve nurtured your “business baby” for years and years and know all about it. Consequently, only you have knowledge of unrecorded company processes and procedures. You have information in your head that the buyer wants to know. In fact, his team is probably asking, “What are we missing?” The due diligence process after the buyer issues a Letter of Intent and during the drafting of the purchase agreement is perhaps one of the most stressful dealings for the business seller. Candidly, that’s because the buyer is trying to figure out why your company is not worth what you think it’s worth. The buyer is digging up dirt on your business while you’re trying to remain calm under pressure. In this post, I’m going to walk you through 6 steps in a due diligence process that will help you navigate these murky waters and finalize that protective purchase agreement.
In Post #31, I talked about how the purchase agreement can protect you, the seller against future claims and liabilities against your company. Now, I need to show you what an actual business purchase agreement looks like. Since you know that you have certain protective terms and conditions to include, you need to know where to put them. Yes, this document can protect buyers and sellers. However, it does so much more than that. Essentially, the purchase agreement outlines and answers everything about the business’s sale.