It can be easy for sellers to lose sight of common sense while striving for the highest possible payout. But for the sake of your limo or bus business sale, it’s vital that you keep your wits about you to avoid making costly mistakes. Remember to consider your choices from a buyer’s perspective. From misrepresenting profits to exhibiting a take-it-or-leave-it attitude, the following errors will drive away buyers before they drive up your price.
1. Misrepresenting Business Performance
Recasting business financials to add back one-time, non-essential expenses to profits is one thing. Intentionally exaggerating or manipulating numbers and projections necessary for business operations is another. At best, misrepresentation of business performance can cost you the sale. At worst, it can result in both the loss of a business sale and lawsuits.
2. Lack of Flexibility
Nothing turns off a strategic buyer faster than pushing an all-or-nothing deal. Strategic buyers are after synergistic benefits. They’re after flexibility. They don’t want a sale that hinges on their purchase of every single vehicle in your fleet. Put yourself in the buyer’s position. He or she is putting a large sum of money on the table while taking on a big risk. You may get just one shot with your best buyer. If agreeing to independently put some of your used limos or used coach buses for sale is what it takes to get the deal done for a fair price, it might be worth your trouble.
3. Waiting Too Long
Everyone wants to sell when they’re ahead. But just like stocks and real estate, it can be impossible to pinpoint when we’ve reached the top or the bottom of the market. If you wait to sell despite a deteriorating business because you hope your value will increase, you could end up with no choice but to dump your limo or bus company at a rock bottom price.
4. Requiring All Cash
You might have the best of intentions, but there’s something shady about an all-cash deal. Buyers may wonder what you’re trying to hide or why you want to exit the market completely. A willingness to accept different forms of payment and offer some amount of seller-backed financing, particularly in a climate with tight credit, serves to reassure a buyer that you have faith in the continued success of the company as well as their ability to run it. As an added bonus, your tax burden upon closing will be lighter than with a lump sum.
5. Failing to Protect Confidentiality
General business brokers may sell hundreds of types of businesses in dozens of industries. Many of these industries are not as sensitive to breaches in confidentiality as the highly competitive transportation business. An inexperienced broker may make careless mistakes like publicly advertising your business, which can damage your standing with employees and clients and, in turn, lower business value and your best achievable price. An industry-specific intermediary is accustomed to protecting business anonymity while marketing your company to serious buyers. Seasoned transportation brokers have been around the block. They’ve seen the mistakes commonly made in the luxury transport industry, and can prevent you from making them.