No business is perfect - all are in a state of imperfection, with continual improvement possible. If you perceive that your business has to be perfect in order to attract a buyer who will pay a good price, you may be wrong. In fact, trying to present a business as being "perfect" can actually impair the marketability of the business.
There are a few reasons for this:
- Many business buyers want to acquire a company that they can improve by using their talents, skills, and ideas. If the business is positioned as being perfect then it may be difficult to determine how to improve the business.
- It is extremely important to establish trust with a buyer to get a business sale closed. If a buyer asks about problems or business weaknesses and the business broker or seller responds that there are no problems, it will not be credible and will cause the buyer to question the seller's integrity and to be skeptical of other representations.
- If a buyer believes that there aren't any obvious improvements that can be made to the business, it may actually result in a lower price since there may be less future financial up-side potential.
A business buyer who has looked at other businesses will understand the realities of business ownership and won’t expect perfection. Instead of marketing the business as being perfect, a better approach is to share weaknesses of the business but position them as fixable problems and opportunities. A good business broker or investment banker can provide perspective on what to fix, and what to leave for the next owner to fix.