The business-selling process sometimes feels like running in the wrong direction up an escalator. You put forth so much effort, pain, sweat, and tears to prepare your business for success, yet all the road bumps make you feel like you’re not progressing. Oh, what fun it is to be a business owner at times.
However, any successful business owner is no stranger to facing challenges head-on and conquering them like a champ. It’s about persistence and grit—perseverance and consistency, especially in the face of big and little obstacles. If you’re getting ready to sell your business, buckle up. It will be a ride, but with the right tools, it’ll be as smooth as a brand-new roller coaster at Six Flags.
Below are five common challenges every HVAC business will face during the selling process. But good news! We know how to effectively overcome them without jeopardizing the sale.
1. Employee Loyalty
Once your employees get wind of the business sale, there’s no saying who will freak out and quit on the spot. Understandably, your employees might have stress amid the deal. Uncertainty scares us. In their minds, a new owner might bring them insecurity.
This can be a real challenge for the seller, professionally and personally. Your employees must keep doing their jobs efficiently while you focus on the ins and outs of the sale. Now is as important a time as ever to keep the business operating profitably and to show potential buyers that the whole package of your business brings value. This helps to show that you, as the owner, aren’t the only glue holding the company together.
In another token, there’s a good chance you’ve built a rapport with many of your employees, taken some of them under your wing, or mentored them; the pending change might be emotional and personal to them. Here are some tips for overcoming this challenge:
- Keep the sale confidential until finalized. Most brokers will have interested buyers sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs.)
- When it comes time to tell your employees, be honest and straightforward with them. Take the time to answer questions, address concerns, and show that you care.
- Make it part of your agenda to rally their support as integral players.
- Most importantly, don’t make promises you can’t keep.
2. Low-Ball Offers
Buyers want the lowest price possible, of course, and sellers want the highest price. It is not surprising if a buyer’s first offer is low. What do they have to lose? However, it would help if you worked with an HVAC business broker to have a fair HVAC business valuation and the evidence to back it up.
Your broker will have a report detailing the reasoning behind the final valuation number. Your broker’s input will help you have a realistic idea of what offers you should consider and which ones you should not accept. Your broker should also be able to outline ways that you can increase the value of your business in preparation for the sale.
3. Keeping Your Motivation
Preparing to sell a business can be exhausting. And often, when we are exhausted, we lose motivation. It may also be tempting to mentally “check out” since you know you will sell the business soon. Don’t get stuck in this mindset. Stay on your “A” game during the whole process, from when the company goes up for sale to when the buyer signs that final dotted line. Don’t let your business spiral downward, affecting the selling price.
Overcoming this challenge has everything to do with consciously deciding to do your best daily. Tell yourself there’s an end in sight, and you must stick with it a little longer. Plus, once it’s gone and you’ve transitioned from ownership, you might miss it, so make the best of it. Stay mentally engaged and focused.
You consider yourself one of the sharpest tools in the shed, but you need help understanding all this business jargon and due diligence lingo. The complexity of selling is different from running your business, and you’re anxious about missing a step or filing paperwork incorrectly. Confusion can be one of the most challenging aspects of selling an HVAC business.
The best way to overcome the challenge of feeling confused, anxious, and overwhelmed when selling your HVAC business is to hire a reliable HVAC broker. This will put you at ease, help you focus on what you’re good at, and have someone by your side who can explain every step of the process to you so there is no more confusion.
5. Parting With Your Business
The emotional side of selling your business might be the hardest part. You’ve put your whole heart into building it, and saying goodbye is not without some sadness. It’s normal to have a strong emotional connection to your business. However, don’t let your emotions keep you from letting go at the right time. Don’t let your sadness lead you to pull out of an exceptional sale at the last minute. This is another situation where an HVAC broker would be helpful. They can keep you accountable and encourage you to make rational decisions in your best interest.
You have built your business from the ground up. You deserve a reward. It may be challenging to part with your business, but think about the incredible legacy you’re leaving behind and the exciting new adventure before you. It’s natural to face countless challenges when selling a business, but those who prepare for challenges ahead of time have a leg up against the competition.