The business-buying-decision is heavily biased towards perception of risk as well as understanding the benefits of a business. This means that you must help buyers understand the real risks in your business - you must try to minimise their fear of the unknown. The more they understand the real business risks the easier it is for them to appreciate the benefits.
The benefits for buyers are not only financial. Benefits may include personal success, independence, or self-fulfillment. They are looking for a particular type and size of business that fits their needs, skills and experience as well as their future plans.
A buyer will be concerned about a range of issues. They may be concerned that goodwill and intellectual property are linked to the owner and won’t transfer after a sale - or perhaps the business has a bad reputation in the market. The buyer may perceive the cost of acquiring goodwill as too high.
Then there are human resources issues: what if there is a large turnover in staff after the sale; what if the managers leave; what are the staff’s long service leave, superannuation and workers compensation liabilities.
ABSC uses a model to explain how the two opposing thoughts compete. The overemphasis on risk due to the fear of the unknown creates mistrust. The feelings of mistrust dominate the buyers understanding of the business and their desire to achieve its benefits.
Over the sale period we seek to reduce the buyers’ mistrust and increase their understanding of the benefits. This should help them to make a balanced decision to buy your business.