If you haven’t been through a business sale before, it can be a difficult process to navigate. Whether you are buying a business or trying to sell one, forewarned is forearmed. Here are four things you need to know before you begin negotiations.

Timing Is Key

No matter which side of the table you are sitting on, timing is key to a successful business sale. It is in the interests of both buyer and seller to identify the best time possible to make the trade. However, what is good for one party is not necessarily good for the other.

If a business owner has to offload their business quickly due to circumstances beyond their control, then an advantageous situation for the buyer may be coming at the expense of the seller. However, there are also plenty of situations where a business owner is looking to sell, a buyer is looking to buy, and a transaction is equally beneficial to both parties.

Professional Help Is Worth Considering

As always, when it comes to major financial decisions, consulting with a professional before buying or selling a business is a prudent idea. Someone who has experience overseeing or facilitating the sale of businesses can offer you invaluable insight into how to proceed and what to look for in a prospective deal.

Making a bad investment decision can ultimately be financially devastating, so don’t be afraid of seeking out a second opinion. Whether you are the buyer or seller, the more you know going into the transaction, the stronger your bargaining position will be.

There Are Digital Platforms To Streamline The Process

There are software and online platforms available to help entrepreneurs manage every facet of their professional lives. These platforms are designed to streamline the process of buying or selling a business. There are several options of platforms out there that can help you to find businesses that you might be interested in purchasing, as well as providing you with a platform on which to advertise your own business for sale.

You Need An Accurate Valuation

An accurate valuation is essential if both parties are going to walk away happy from a business sale. An inaccurate evaluation may benefit one side, but it can equally cause significant financial distress to the other side. If a valuation is way out of whack, it can create legal issues further down the road. It is therefore vital that both parties to a business sale are happy with the valuation and have the opportunity to verify it if they wish to.

Pulling the trigger on a business sale is a major decision for everyone involved. Whether you are talking about the sale of a startup that has just begun to mature or the sale of part of a multinational conglomerate, the considerations are mostly the same. Preparation is key to securing a good deal, regardless of which side of the table you are on.