Business owners receiving letters through the post telling them that they should sell their business right now is nothing new. The timing, coincidentally just in time for their mailing campaign, is the first suggestion that perhaps the letter is contrived.
This is nothing new though. Sale advisors and brokers send out hundreds of thousands of these every year to business owners who are growing more and more tired by the sight of the tell tale signs, whether it is the fact they are addressed to ‘The Business Owner’, or the ‘Strictly Private and Confidential’ line in the letter window. And even if you manage to avoid the mail, others call you endlessly.
Reading this, you’d think that selling a business is like selling any normal commodity. Well, in our humble opinion it’s not.
Every business is unique, every owner has a different set of circumstances to face, every business has staff, customers, partners that rely on trading with them. Every situation is different and you cannot just put a business up for sale without first thinking in detail about what the purpose of the sale is: both for the owner as well as all others affected by it.
These mailshot brokers don’t know it’s the best time for you to sell. The right time for most businesses is not conditional on when they receive such a letter as this. It is normally after a period of sustained profitability, or if you have been through a period of preparation for sale, only then can it be considered the ‘right time’. The manufactured urgency will almost certainly be to the detriment of all parties in the deal other than the broker, who will pocket the sale commission regardless.
Given there is no rush, you should take your time and get your business fully ready for the sale process. Of course market forces and economic conditions have a part to play in the price that a business will eventually sell for, but a good business will always be attractive when taken to market.
Rushing to market early because you’ve submitted to this kind of mailshots will almost certainly not only reduce your business sale price, but also will pair you with the worst kind of business to advise you.
The role of a good sale advisor is not to deceive you into signing up with them, but rather advising you on how to get the maximum value for your business, and sometimes that means taking your time.
I suppose we should not have expected them to easily discover that one of our Directors worked for Firm Gains, however the main issue is that all they knew about the Director is that he is a shareholder in a business trading in the UK.
Anyone can find that kind of data out and order a list from a mailing house. But the rest of the letter therefore is clearly nothing to do with his business, personal situation or even future plans.
And, given it is ‘no win, no fee’, with everything hinging on the sale commissions, it’s clear that it merely a numbers game where closing the deal is the only thing that matters.
So, enough about the letter. More filler for the recycling bin. The more people that throw it away, the less effective this approach, the fewer sent out.
It spurs us on. Makes us tick. It’s the driving reason behind starting Firm Gains. We wanted to provide some balance to this kind of activity. To help business owners become more equipped so that they don’t end up committing with little or no understanding of the market, taking snap decisions, being seduced by unrealistic valuations, and ending up committing to the wrong advisors. At best the only costs is time and money. At worst it can ruin years of hard work.
So, if you are thinking about selling, then talk to us first, for free. No hard sales pitch, no valuation inflation, no smoke, no mirrors and definitely no wasteful blanket mailshots. We are the only independent advisor in the market that offers free and unbiased advice to business owners to help them get the best result.
Call us on 0333 050 8225 for a confidential conversation on preparation, exit planning and what kind of approach would best work for you.
Explore the options available to you, improve your chances of successful sale.
If you’re seeking a business to buy, then we can increase your deal flow.
In the early stages of such an important undertaking, it can be a bit of a moral maze: who do you trust?
Firm Gains gave me confidence with detailed advice and support. I would recommend their services to other entrepreneurs seeking to buy a business.Mr T Washington , Founder
I found it much easier to get my head around a business sale this way than talking to my accountant. You speak a language I understand!
Even though the whole process of selling seems daunting, I’ve got more confidence that I’m heading in the right direction.Mrs T Boothe , Founder
Thank you for your email and the excellent advice provided earlier this week. It was immensely helpful and has helped me to plan my future direction for the practice.
I would have no problem whatsoever in recommending your services in the future.Mr & Mrs Halldron , Co-Owners
Firm Gains were recommended to me and I was not disappointed. They were efficient, helpful and effective responding quickly to my request with all the facts that were needed to ensure a stress-free dialogue with our buyer.
What really helped was the advice over and above the valuation, which was immensely valuable and gave me the confidence to proceed. I would not hesitate in recommending them.Mr C Waite , Founder
We found the advice invaluable, which was clear and concise and felt your firm had a good handle on market trends and business sectors.
With also the backup of the secondary services, there was a feeling you had all bases covered if we wanted to proceed with our exit via Management Buy Out (‘MBO’).Mr D Wills , Director
Thank you for your advice. I was just about to sign up to the wrong kind of business agent for a company of our size, but read your post just in time.
I found a more serious partner, with experience in our industry and we’re already using the same language.Mr F Summerscale , Managing Director
We have been greatly impressed by the clear and impartial advice given to us by Firm Gains. After just an initial phone call we felt much better informed, with a new awareness of the many options available to us.
Firm gains understood our situation quickly and clearly and were anything but ‘pushy’. Refreshing compared to what we’d experienced before.Mr C Hutcheson , Managing Director
We are based in the Centre of Reading. Two minutes from the train station and just south of the river. You can reach us at the office, by phone or email during working hours from Monday to Friday.
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Reading Bridge House