Often times, business sales fall through because of simple misunderstandings. Many trucking business owners assume they understand the mindset of trucking business buyers – after all, they’re in the same industry. But buying a company is a whole different ball game than running one. Clearing up common misconceptions can help pave the way for seller and buyer to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.
One of the most popular advertising venues for sellers is local classified ads. This presents two problems.
1. It assumes that the ideal buyer for your business is local
2. It assumes your future buyer is actively looking to make a purchase
By limiting yourself to a small pool of local buyers, you may find that few can justify paying a fair price. Among those who can, some may be wary of doing business with a company they consider a competitor. In The Tenney Group’s most recent sales, buyers and sellers were separated by 400 miles on average. Many of these sales occurred when a buyer who wasn’t initially considering an acquisition became educated about the strategic benefits offered by a business. A broker specializing in transportation logistics companies has the ability to research buyers around the country, target the top handful, and show them your company’s unique value.
Even the most promising business sales can fall apart during negotiations. What’s the No. 1 deal killer? Often it’s a simple lack of information. From financing terms to a trucking business valuation, buyers need accurate, upfront documentation in order to make an informed decision. Most business owners are not organized enough to provide proper paperwork. An experienced business broker will be adept at not only offering a compelling sales pitch, but providing the necessary documentation needed to back it up. Of course, some give and take is inevitable during any negotiation process, but making sure a buyer’s basic needs are met can prevent major surprises.
While buyers have specific needs, they can also be far more open-minded than most sellers anticipate. But buyers need to be convinced that being flexible is worth their while. Many business owners are skilled negotiators. However, negotiating in the context of being unable to communicate their company’s value in a convincing way. An experienced third party can keep the buyer’s eye on the finish line through all the twists and turns that occur on the way to closing. Remember that flexibility is a two-way street. You may have just one shot at closing the deal with a buyer who meets your needs as well as your price. A broker familiar with trucking issues can advise you on when budging a bit may be in the best interest of both you and your buyer.