When making plans to put your trucking business for sale, it’s natural to focus on what you hope to achieve by selling– be it money for a new venture or cash for a comfortable retirement. But don’t forget to think about what your ideal buyer hopes to achieve by purchasing your company. Putting yourself in a buyer’s shoes can offer valuable insight into which buyers to target, how to reach them, and how to best prepare your business for a mutually beneficial transaction.
As a business owner, you know your company has value – but you can’t expect buyers to take your word for it. Investors want to see the numbers, and it’s up to business owners to present those numbers clearly and accurately. Too many owners get lazy about recording business expenses and keeping business and personal accounts separate. But without a paper trail, interested parties can’t easily estimate owner perks and business expenses. When financials aren’t clear, serious buyers won’t make an offer on a trucking company for sale. Not only do sloppy books paint your business in an unflattering light, but they may also affect a buyer’s ability to qualify for financing, especially when credit is tight. Organizing your records and recasting financials give buyers a clearer picture – and give you a better shot at a sale.
Value Beyond Profits
We’re not exactly in an economic boom, but that may be okay. Many trucking business owners hold onto an under-performing business – often allowing a bad situation to become worse – because they’re afraid they won’t get a fair price by selling a trucking company today. However, not all investors are looking at current profits. An established business may be able to attract a potential first-time business owner looking to buy a job with the flexibility and freedom that comes with self-employment. A strategic buyer might see the value in your company’s assets and client list. There’s a perfect buyer for every business. Once you identify that buyer, you can determine how to attract them. In the meantime, receiving an accurate trucking company valuation can provide ideas for improving value.
A Clean Slate
Realtors often recommend that homeowners repaint brightly colored walls with plain neutral colors to increase chances of a sale. Real estate agents aren’t trying to make extra work for their clients; they merely recognize the fact that home buyers like to envision themselves, not the current owners, in their new home. The same goes for business buyers. Investors want to ensure that a business will continue to thrive under their leadership. Are you pulling in a big salary – but putting in 80 hours a week to do so? Are you the face of your company? Easing back on the micromanaging may be the best way to prepare for listing your truck business for sale. There’s an old saying that buyers should work on their business, not in their business.
The success of a trucking business sale hinges as much on your buyer as it does on your company. Truck business brokers have the industry expertise to connect trucking business owners with their most advantageous buyers.