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What to do if you’re approached to sell your business

Some businesses don’t consider themselves for sale, but if an investor approaches, many don’t know how to say yes or no, but being prepared can help you better determine if selling is right for you or not.

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check writing

What if someone approached you to buy your company?

The discussion of mergers, acquisitions and investors is a common topic in business. As a small business owner who’s worked hard to start a business and keep it growing, the thought of selling your business may have never even crossed your mind. But in the corporate realm, there are always investors looking to diversify their holdings and take part in ventures that look promising and will give a promising return. So even though you may have never thought of selling your business, you should at least keep these thoughts in mind if you are ever approached.

Evaluate the strength and opportunities of your business

If you are approached by an investor interested in buying your business and feel like it may be a good option, set up a meeting, but set it for a few weeks out so that you have time to gather your thoughts. Take a look at the strengths and opportunities of your business and determine what these assets are worth. Before even beginning a discussion with an investor, you need to know what your business is worth in order to price any shares accordingly and not get taken advantage of.

Solicit additional offers

After meeting with the investor and hearing what they are willing to offer, thank them for their time and ask for additional time to think it over. You may think the deal is terrible, fair or really great, but don’t rush a response. Instead, after the meeting, meet with a mergers and acquisitions adviser (M&A adviser). This person is experienced with these types of sales, and after reviewing the offer, will help you seek out other potential investors and leverage the first offer to generate interest and possibly drum up a better option. Be sure to go with a professional adviser in order to solicit quality offers.

Make a decision

Once you’ve met with the adviser and reviewed any additional offers that have been placed on the table, you have a complete view of how much investors value your business and want to be a part of it. If you’re reaching a time in your life when you want to retire or receive funding to take on new ventures, then weigh the pros and cons of each offer and make a decision to move forward.

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If you ultimately don’t want to sell, respond to the investors letting them know you thank them for their interest but aren’t interested right now. Either way, you are now in tune with the worth of your business and know how to interact with investors should you ever become interested in selling.

Destiny Bennett is a journalist who has earned double communications' degrees in Journalism and Public Relations, as well as a certification in Business from The University of Texas at Austin. She has written stories for AustinWoman Magazine as well as various University of Texas publications and enjoys the art of telling a story. Her interests include finance, technology, social media...and watching HGTV religiously.

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