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Late last week I had a chat with a chap who owned a business and was looking to explore the option of selling it. Having not done a sale before and not knowing anyone around him that had, his first soft approach was to complete the “Sellability Score“.

No surprise, his business rated “average”, as do all businesses who have completed the score up to this point in time. Given he was only exploring however, it gives he and his business partner plenty of time to sort things out and raise that score… but there in lies the problem, they don’t even know if this is a path they want to take yet, because they hadn’t talked about it.

It this particular instance, it did not help that one of the partners was in Melbourne and the other in Brisbane but I’m seeing it more and more again as I play in this “how to sell” space. The partners have not had the hard discussions that need to happen prior.

I say hard because the true answers as to what has to happen next usually do not revolve around the business per se. It usually gets personal around what do you want life to look like and does this business feature.

Much harder to articulate too if
a) you’ve not thought about it before
b) if you’ve not had this more in depth discussion with your business partner before
And just because they’re hard discussions does not mean they should not be had.

It’s a lot easier to put this stuff off.
“We’ll talk about it next time we see each other”.
Ah, no you won’t.
Or at least not get into the depth that is required.
And that can’t be done on a whim either.
You have to have done some personal navel gazing first to be able to even start.
You have to book a date/time/place to do so.

So where I left this conversation was, they have to talk to each other and work out what each wants, articulate that and then plan accordingly. Sometimes a third party facilitating this process can be most beneficial as they ensure you work through the agenda and not get side-tracked. I did of course offer my services as I have been through this particular scenario myself. Whether they take it up remains to be seen.

Selling a business seems hard, but like anything, there is a process to follow.
Bringing up this conversation with your business partner may also be hard, but it is doable and there is a process to follow.
Getting your business-owner head and heart right is also hard, but it is doable and there is a process to follow.

Start the process, you’ll be surprised where it leads you…

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