Once an owner makes the sometimes difficult and emotional decision to sell their business, they’re ready to go. They’re nervous and excited. Let’s sell this thing! Ironically, they might have been sitting on the decision for years, but once they cross that line, they’re eager to see their business move. Answering the value question is easy. Answering the question of how long it will take is impossible.
We once represented an online health supplement company that the owner operated out of a home office and garage in North Bend. The buyer took ownership of the domain name and website, filled up a trailer with product, and took it to Bend, Oregon just 3 weeks later. Fastest turn ever.
On the other hand, we’ve had beautiful, interesting, and profitable businesses languish for months with scant interest, even if we pursue potential buyers via targeted ads or marketing. And then sometimes, out of the blue, there will be 3 or 4 hits in a couple of days on that same business. I (Pat) always want to quantify that spike. Why? I wonder. Was there an article in the Wall Street Journal touting these kinds of businesses? How can we capitalize on this? Fred, on the other hand, is pragmatic and built for the long run. “Who knows?” he’ll say. “Sometimes it just happens like that.”
“You never know” is not the answer a seller wants to hear when they ask how long it will take, but it’s the most honest answer we can give. Whichever way it goes, fast or slow, The Quincy Group always does what it can to be there for the seller and move the process along.