Sometimes in the process of buying or selling a business, buyers – and sellers – get caught up in negotiating the best possible deal for themselves and lose sight of their ultimate objective, which is presumably to buy – or sell – a successful, ongoing business and maintain – or even improve – its prospects for a highly successful future.
In a lot of ways the sale of a business resembles the sale of real estate, but it differs in one important respect: In most real estate sales, the buyer and seller have little or no common interest following the sale. In many cases, the buyer and seller of real estate may never even meet face-to-face.
Contrast that with a business acquisition, where in almost every case the Buyer and Seller become somewhat co-dependent to successfully transfer and transition the business and its employees, its customers and its vendors. Most business sales will not be fully successful without the continuing goodwill of the Seller following the closing.
Thus, it only makes sense that both parties would want the other to leave the closing table feeling like they got a very good deal. Anything less is simply leaving the door open for future difficulties.
From experience, I have long believed the only realistic negotiating style in acquiring an ongoing business is: Win-Win, Or No Deal. In other words: If it isn’t a good deal for the Buyer, and/or it isn’t a good deal for the Seller, it isn’t a good deal. Period.
Of late I’ve recognized that this successful and time-honored negotiating style needs to be updated to Win-Win-Win, Or No Deal. In other words: If it isn’t a good deal for the Buyer, and/or it isn’t a good deal for the Seller, and/or it isn’t a good deal for the Bank or the Investors, than it isn’t a good deal. Period.
Furthermore, in today’s highly sophisticated and highly competitive marketplace, essentially all of the players are well-informed and/or well-advised, and if there is anything wrong with this deal it will be uncovered in due diligence or before, and it will never close. So why waste everyone’s time with a deal that doesn’t pass the Win-Win-Win test from the outset?
If you , or someone you know, may be thinking about buying or selling a business, and who might benefit from a free, confidential, consultation with us, please contact me directly at 813.299.7862, or firstname.lastname@example.orgM
By: Mike Ertel, Transworld M&A Advisors