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Getting Acquired Doesn’t Have to Be a Blood Sport

  • Business owners naturally want to get a high price when selling their company, but the process can be stressful and time-consuming
  • Accepting a fair offer allows you to quickly concentrate on your next step
  • Some options include selling to a family member or employees

Building a successful company with a sterling reputation not only allows you to enjoy a profitable venture, but also makes your business more appealing to buyers. Even if you enjoy overseeing your company, the time may eventually come when you want to sell your company and refocus your efforts elsewhere.

Naturally, entrepreneurs want the best value for a company they have built from the ground up. But it can be stressful to try to wrangle the best possible price when negotiating an offer on your business; there are many options to consider, and sometimes the most satisfying conclusion is to accept a fair offer so you can quickly move on.

If the buyer is another company, they may be trying to expand their services, improve their own offerings, or eliminate competition. Your business could go under the umbrella of the purchasing company, or it could be absorbed entirely.

The price shouldn’t be your only consideration when selling a company. Whether you actively market the business to buyers or receive an acquisition offer, you should evaluate how the purchasing entity will manage the company and how your employees will be affected by the transition. Ideally, you’ll find a buyer who shares your same objectives and goals.

One common possibility is passing control of the company on to a younger family member or to a responsible manager. This process eliminates the need to find a buyer, but will typically net a lower price than you can find on the open market.

A novel way to sell the company is to pass it on to your employees, setting up a trust where each worker has a share in the business. This process can improve employee satisfaction by giving them a personal stake in the company, and also allows you to retain an interest in the business as well.

If you’re selling to a third party or weighing an acquisition offer, you may want to hire a business broker or investment banker. These professionals can help you manage the process while also working to get you the best offer for the business.

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