You won't find any magic formulas for selling an economic development business, especially while the market is struggling to overcome the perceptions created by a down economy.
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At Gaebler, we think waiting for the economy to rebound is a mistake for many business owners. Any economic development business can be sold at any time -- you just need to know how to influence the right buyers.
Preparing Family Members
Many sellers embarked on their economic development business sale without adequately considering the impact it will have on their families. Unfortunately, families often experience turmoil during a sale even when the primary owner is convinced it's the right decision. As a seller, you need to be sensitive to your family's feelings about the sale and make an effort to keep them informed about the process. Subsequently, selling an economic development business should allow opportunities for all family members to share their feelings and offer input about the sale process.
The calculation of your asking price should include a buffer to cover the expense of the sale process. Good brokerage takes a 10% success fee off the top of the final sale price. Depending on your circumstances, you may also incur substantial expenses in hiring legal, appraisal and accounting professionals. Furthermore, your time has value, so you may need to include a personal compensation consideration in your expense estimates.
Business sellers are sometimes surprised to find themselves in the position of negotiator-in-chief. When you sell your economic development business, your business brokers may or may not be willing to conduct negotiations for you. Negotiation is a chess game, best played with the resources and backend support of a negotiation team. Good negotiation teams support sellers, giving them insight and advice about how to overcome buyer objections and drive the process forward to a successful conclusion.
Given your interest in exit planning and in economic development businesses, you might find these additional resources to be of interest.
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