The economy isn't the only thing that is uncertain these days. So are safety engineering firm buyers, many of whom are waiting to pull the trigger on their next acquisition.
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Despite the overall mood of the marketplace, safety engineering firms are still an attractive investment, especially when sellers have invested time and energy in preparing their companies for a sale.
When the Sale Goes Off-Course
It's not uncommon for the owners of small safety engineering firms to adopt a go-it-alone sale strategy. Plenty of owners sell their safety engineering firms unassisted. But for every successful unassisted sale, several other safety engineering firms sell below market value or languish on the market for years without attracting the interest of qualified buyers. If you decide to go solo and your business has been on the market for more than six months without a single buyer inquiry, it's time to hire a professional business broker. Lack of buyer enthusiasm or persistence indicates that something is wrong. If that occurs, it's time to bring in the professionals to get your sale back on track.
Many sellers don't realize how many prospective buyers there are for their businesses. We frequently see qualified buyers emerge from the seller's network of business and personal acquaintances. In other cases, sellers take a proactive approach to finding likely buyers and contacting them directly. If possible, steer clear of selling to a competitor if for no other reason than the fact that competitors pay less for safety engineering firms than other buyers.
How to Skillfully Address Buyer Concerns
Buyers can present challenges, especially during the due diligence stage. The questions safety engineering firm ask during due diligence are designed to alleviate their concerns about the business and should be promptly addressed by the seller. Avoid answering buyer concerns with vague generalities. Instead, be as specific as possible, even if it means doing additional research before offering a response. However, at some point due diligence has to end and the sale must proceed to closing. Consult with your broker to determine when it's time to draw the line and push the buyer toward a final commitment.
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