When you put your ambulance business for sale, you’re preparing to part with your most valuable and prized possession. It’s only natural that business owners will care deeply about receiving the maximum return on their company. Yet many sellers actually reduce their value, and their chances of a sale, by letting their emotions get the best of them during the negotiations process.
Failing to Disclose Details
While it’s important to present your business in the best possible light, that doesn’t mean it’s okay to sweep important details under the carpet. Concerned that problems such as outstanding debts or expiring leases will drive away buyers, some medical transportation business owners conveniently “forget” to disclose them. However, this does far more harm than good. Any issues will inevitably be discovered during due diligence. Selling a business is not that different from selling a house in the sense that buyers expect to encounter some obstacles. When disclosed upfront, many common issues can be easily overcome. When uncovered late in the game, the same issues may destroy a deal. In some cases, lack of disclosure may be the unintentional result of an extremely disorganized business – all the more reason to clean up financial and legal documents prior to a sale.
When your business is your baby, it’s easy to overlook flaws and zero in on perfections. When someone points out those flaws, sellers often go on the defensive. However, transportation business owners need to be able to view their business realistically. Selling a business successfully requires looking at your company through the eyes of potential investors. Buyers aren’t trying to criticize or insult your business by asking hard questions; they’re just trying to get a well-rounded picture of your company. Being hard-headed is a surefire way to stall a deal, while being flexible may help keep it moving. Of course, flexibility doesn’t mean always rolling over. Receiving a professional business valuation from a transportation business broker before going to market ensures you’ll be able to back up your price if necessary.
Talking to Employees
Many ambulance transport business owners work with a key group of employees day in and day out. You celebrate each other’s birthdays and swap stories about your kids – why wouldn’t you spill your guts about a sale? Unfortunately, coming clean about putting your ambulance company for sale can cause more problems than it solves. A sale inevitably leads workers to question job security and their future role with the company. No matter how much you trust your employees, some will explore the possibility of quitting or, worse, going to work for your competition. If word gets out, you could lose your customers in addition to your workers.
Not Hiring Representation
When one party is selling their greatest asset and the other is making the biggest investment of their life, it can be difficult to find a middle ground on points such as price, financing, and sale structure. Most potential deals never make it past the negotiation process. An independent and experienced third party can prevent bickering and help both parties keep their eyes on the ball for a mutually beneficial deal.