Selling an ambulance business is the largest financial transaction of a lifetime for many business owners. Because business owners are often unfamiliar with and distrustful of the sale process, they commonly do whatever they can to make the process more comfortable. However, being comfortable does not translate to sale success in the transportation industry.
Here are four false comforts that can derail the sale of your ambulance business.
1. Selling your business to a friend/industry colleague.
When buyers and sellers are friends, there is a tendency to want to put a deal together without the help of a third party. After all, you are friends, you both want a transaction to take place, and it is more comfortable to not invite a third party into the process. Though this approach to selling your business may feel comfortable, it can be extremely limiting to the seller and buyer. Being friends doesn’t make you see eye to eye on the value of a particular ambulance business. In fact, being friends with the buyer can accentuate the emotional tensions that already exist in the process of selling an ambulance business. If you care about getting the best deal possible for both parties, and if you care about staying friends after the transaction, get outside help from an industry transaction professional early in the process.
2. Hiring a local business broker or transaction adviser because having a professional nearby makes you feel comfortable.
I know many talented transaction professionals around the country who are very skilled in facilitating business sales. However, the transportation industry is very unique when it comes to establishing business value and completing business sales. General business brokers commonly overestimate their ability to help ambulance business owners. They also misunderstand the market for buyers of transportation businesses. *In one particular business broker’s completed transportation business sales over the past 18 months, the average distance between buyer and seller has been 300 miles. Recognizing the true market, resist the urge to give warm fuzzy feelings precedence over a broker’s proven ability to deliver results in transportation business sales across the United States.
3. Hiring an attorney who is a friend to handle your sale.
Transaction experience in the transportation industry is critical when it comes to hiring an attorney. Choosing an attorney at of convenience regardless of proven transaction experience can expose you legally, and it can also put you in danger of losing the deal on the table. A business broker can recommend many seasoned transaction attorneys all across the U.S. Once a seasoned professional is protecting your interests, you will be glad that you went with a transaction specialist with industry experience. A seasoned professional may have a more expensive hourly rate, but your overall transaction expenses may be less because transaction specialists produce better results in a fraction of the time.
4. Choosing transaction professionals based on professional fee that makes you feel comfortable.
It is understandable for a seller to want to reduce the overall transaction expenses to their business broker, attorney, accountant, and transaction tax specialist. If you search long enough, you can probably find someone who will sign up to sell your business for essentially nothing. And that is what you will likely get for your time and effort. The same goes for attorneys and accountants. Focus your attention on what value these professionals each bring to your ambulance business sale. Business owners who have gone through the process understand that you always end up paying less in the long run when you hire a pro and not someone who is learning at your expense.