A Holistic Approach to Selling a Business
To me the compelling reason for somebody to buy a business is “why?” So, our objective is to find strategic buyers where the answer to “Why am I buying this business?” makes sense. So, when we back up from there, we start a research process that includes going through our partner network to say here is a business we’re selling, do you have strategic people for it? And then going through our research staff identifying other quality buyers. One thing I’ve not been successful doing is mind reading on strategic answers! So, we try to expand the net enough when we’re looking at those buyers, to say maybe there’s a geographic expansion, maybe there’s a product line expansion, maybe there’s a customer base expansion.
There’s a whole bunch of reasons why that strategy makes sense. So, we really focus in on developing good buyers where there is a compelling strategic reason to do that. I’ve found, you know, if the “why?” part isn’t there, then when it gets time to sign the papers at closing, somebody is going to say “Why are we doing this?” And if they can’t sit down and say, “Well, we’re doing because it’s good sense for us,” then typically they’re not going to sign the papers. So that’s, I think, the difference in a marketing approach. It’s a broad approach focused on real strategic buyers.