Any good investor will tell you the best time to sell is when you’re ahead. But how does a business owner identify that exact moment? When a business is performing well, a sale may not even cross the owner’s mind. When a company’s in a slump, most owners naturally want to hold off on putting their trucking business for sale in hopes that revenues and profits will pick up. As a result, we’re often forced to list our businesses on the market in less-than-ideal shape.
An underperforming business isn’t an asset, but it doesn’t have to be a burden. If you’re worried it’s too late to sell your struggling trucking business, here’s why you could be wrong.
1. Buyers Often Look for Strategic Advantages
While financial buyers will scrutinize your current performance, strategic buyers are more interested in how your company can advance their long-range goals. Maybe a larger competitor could use your established location to expand their reach into a brand new region. Perhaps a retail company is interested in bringing the transportation and delivery of their goods in-house and your transportation company could provide the vehicles and drivers they need to do so. Not every buyer is focused on trucking cash flow.
2. You Can Attract Buyers with the Right Terms
Price isn’t the only way to negotiate the sale of your business – terms matter, too. Perhaps the No. 1 problem entrepreneurs encounter when starting a business is finding the financing to make it happen. If you can make the money part easy, you may have an advantage over businesses that offer immediate cash flow but require costly and often unattainable loans. These days, the most successful trucking business sales nearly always involve seller financing. By agreeing to take a portion of the sales price in the form of a note, you can attract a better buyer – and a better price.
3. Targeting the Right Buyers Can Increase Price
Owners who market their business only in the local classifieds or online listings are missing out. When your underperforming company is lumped in with hundreds of other like businesses, flaws are magnified, potential price is lowered, and your pool of buyers is limited. When putting a struggling trucking business up for sale, your goal isn’t just to reach a buyer – it’s to reach the right buyer. Strategic buyers may not be as likely as financial buyers to browse businesses for sale. Rather than waiting for the ideal buyer to find you, you should be focused on finding them. A truck business broker with industry experience can help you target and attract investors who have the most to gain – and offer – when buying your trucking or freight brokerage business for sale.