Here is a unique article describing the ups and downs of putting the sale of a business together. It’s an email a seller wrote to his adviser documenting each of the events and upheavals that took place during the final week of the sale. Certainly no sale is easy or a completely smooth process. But what stood out to me is this: the seller had two buyers, each bidding against each other and thereby constantly driving up the ultimate price. This article perfectly demonstrates the advantage of having two buyers compete with each other instead of with you. If there is one thing that will get you the highest possible price it is finding a second, third and even a fourth viable prospect. As we see in this article, the seller was continually surprised by the offers each buyer made. You never know if a buyer will up their offer, drop out of the sale or buy some other business. You can never rely on just one prospect because you never know what they are going to do. When you have one really good candidate to buy your business, the best thing you can do at that point is find a second prospect. Nothing will increase the motivation of the buyer and the speed with which they act then the existence of a second buyer – their competitor.
Here’s the article: http://www.exitplanninghelp.com/a-week-in-the-life-of-an-exiting-owner