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How to keep your business sale on track

By Raymond Blin

Despite the best efforts, not every business sale will go to plan. Many factors can cause things to break down – including timing, patience and regular communication.

Of course, you want to ensure the sale of your business is one of those that succeed. Below, we’ve put together some valuable advice on keeping your franchise sale on track and retaining peace of mind.

Keep calm

If you’ve not heard anything from your buyer for a while, it might be tempting to assume the worst has happened. However, you shouldn’t automatically go into panic mode. Silence doesn’t always mean the buyer is no longer interested. There could be a more innocent explanation for why the sale has stalled.

Many factors could lead to temporary inactivity during the sales process. Unexpected events could shift priorities, or the buyer could simply be busy doing something else – maybe even taking a holiday!

If you’re worried, it’s worth making a few phone calls to find out the situation. This will explain any stalling and keep everyone on the same page.

Can you personally resolve the situation?

Once you have identified why the sale has stalled, you will want to attempt to get things moving again. However, you need to consider if you’re the best person to get involved.

Sellers can often be emotionally invested in their business, making it hard to see the situation objectively and remove passion from the scenario. If you aren’t sure you can remain impartial, it may be best to recruit a neutral party like a business broker to handle things.

Make your priorities transparent

Once you accept an offer on your business, you should agree on a deadline for completion that your accountant, solicitor, business broker and any other necessary parties, such as your landlord, can stick to.

By setting this timeframe in advance, you can keep everyone on the same page. You should also ensure your targets are realistic to avoid people getting anxious and risking disruption to the deal.

Communicate accurately and aim to deliver on your promises consistently. A communication breakdown is a common factor in flagging sales, but you can avoid this happening by being open and honest.

Work with a business broker

When a sale breaks down, a business broker can prove invaluable in bringing things back on track. Your broker should have had numerous conversations with both the buyer and seller, facilitating the agreement of an offer that works for all parties. They also will use their negotiation and diplomacy skills to optimum effect.

Part of their role is to keep the business sale progressing. Using their experience and expertise, they can investigate why things aren’t going to plan and find a resolution.

Provide all the information that’s required

Another reason why business sales commonly stall is that something simple and required for the deal has not been done.

That’s why you, your broker, and other involved stakeholders must stay on top of critical actions and deliver documentation such as management accounts, supplier, and employee contracts, that are paramount to a successful sale.

One example that frequently occurs is questions over ownership of a web domain. By having your documents in order, you can clarify who controls what and avoid arguments.

By working in partnership, sellers and business brokers can combine their knowledge to facilitate a business sale through to completion. There will still be instances where a deal cannot progress to fruition – but by planning ahead, considering the obstacles and working with the right people, this is rare.

If you are looking for support for a business sale, a UKBA advisor can take you through the process. Get in touch today to access our advice.

Raymond Blin | UK Business Advisors (

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