Managing confidentiality effectively is a key component of any successful business sale process. As you negotiate towards that large payout it can become increasingly difficult for you to contain your enthusiasm, let alone curtail the thoughts and opinions of those around you.
When you break it down selling a business is change and people by enlarge do not respond well to it. Especially big change. What may appear to be a straight forward transaction to a business owner can be a seismic shift to related parties. There is simply no way of anticipating the impact.
Think about it. News of an impending business sale could trigger a whole range of unpredictable reactions from customers, employees, suppliers, competitors, the media and other groups that could damage the sales process. Panic and uncertainty in particular are hard emotions to contain once they have left the station.
At some point business owners need to be prepared for word to get out. Confidentiality, when done right, puts control firmly in their hands. Owners need to take confidentiality seriously to ensure that their business can continue to perform throughout the negotiations.
In addition to engaging an experienced advisor to manage the sales process, there are some simple steps that business owners can take to protect confidentiality. It can all sound a bit ‘cloak and dagger’ but devising a confidentiality plan is critically important.
Here is a list of some confidentiality precautions:
To make it work, confidentiality requires careful planning, discipline and ongoing review. It is a mindset. Of course, the reality is that there is no way to 100% guarantee it. Anywhere where people are involved human error and behaviour can throw a spanner in the works.
That is why engaging an experienced advisor, someone who lives and breaths confidentiality for a living, is a great place to start. Not only can they help maintain the highest standards of discretion, but they are able to ferret out those “buyers” that are just tyre kickers.
If you would like to have a strictly confidential discussion about how CFSG can assist you in preparing for and successfully completing the sale of your business please contact us on +61 3 8676 0581 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org