Selling a business is a process that depends upon confidentiality and professionalism. Select a business broker who understands the critical role confidentiality plays. Here are a few issues that could arise with a failure to maintain confidentiality.

  1. Failure to maintain confidentiality can lead to a slew of negative reactions from a range of parties. Anyone could react in a way that could harm your business, from supplies and vendors to creditors. For example, vendors could change their terms and this could in turn negatively impact your cash flow.
  2. A breach of confidentiality could also lead to negative reactions amongst both employees and customers. Employees may begin to worry about the security of their jobs and the change in management. These fears could prompt employees to find a new job and leave you with a position that needs to be filled. Potentially more significant is the fact that the loss of key personnel could cause your buyer to have cold feet.
  3. There is also the issue of the competition. If your competition gets wind that you may be looking to sell, they may take advantage of the situation and start attempting to steal your customers.

The best way to protect your confidentiality is to hire a competent business broker. A business broker is an expert in promoting a business without notifying your employees, the competition, vendors or anyone else. The process is both an art and a science.

When attempting to sell on your own, you are much more likely to accidentally reveal who you are. After all, a seller has to provide phone numbers, email addresses, physical addresses and other critical and identifying information. Even your home phone number could be traced back to your identity and ultimately your business.

An experienced business broker can help you bypass these potentially damaging issues. A business broker not only shields your business’s identity, but also ensures that all interested parties are pre-qualified and sign confidentiality agreements. In this way you only reveal what is absolutely necessary. In short, it is best to work with a business broker and maintain your confidentiality at all costs.

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AUTHOR: Kathy McLaughlin
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