Merger & Acquisition Insights

Financial Peace: Before, During & After a Transportation Business Sale

Posted on April 01, 2015 by Spencer Tenney

Selling a transportation business should be and is a rewarding experience for many owners. However, some business owners are never able to overcome the anxiety that can accompany the sale process. What separates transportation business owners who experience financial peace before, during, and after the sale process from those who experience worry, stress, and/or regret?

To be clear, experiencing financial peace does not mean selling your business for your dream asking price—although that would be nice.

Experiencing financial peace is recognizing what is at stake and deciding to control the sale process rather than allowing the process to control you and your family’s financial, emotional, and physical health.

Financial peace leading up to a business sale:

Many transportation business owners fail to experience financial peace leading up to their business sale because of two reasons: 1) They have resisted obtaining a valuation from a third party professional that understands the transportation industry—the basic foundation from which to make an educated decision about selling. 2) They have been unable to gain a broader understanding of historical business value trends, industry forecasts, and other sale implications that reinforce the timing of a business sale.

When a business owner seeks professional industry expertise to better understand the range of offers their business would likely attract in an open market, an owner can experience peace in knowing what their business sale will allow him or her to accomplish through a business sale.

Also, when business owners gain a deeper understanding of the wide range of factors that may impact a business sale, they experience peace by financially justifying the timing of a business sale and by clarifying the picture of life on the other side of a transaction.

Financial peace during a business sale:

Peace during the sale process comes when a seller understands what to expect from the sale process itself and watches reality unfold consistently with those expectations. When a seller understands what to expect from the following questions he or she is in a much better position to experience financial peace during the sale process:

    • How long will the total sale process take?
    • Who is buying transportation businesses? How will I know they are qualified to purchase my business?
    • What is being done to protect my confidentiality from competitors during the sale process?
    • How will the deal likely be structured?
    • What tax implications should I expect?
    • What is involved in getting the deal financed? How long does that take?
    • Should I be running my transportation business differently now because I am in the process of selling?

Working with an intermediary who understands the process of selling transportation businesses can help you anticipate and prepare for each step in the sale process—thereby protecting your financial peace and avoiding surprises that can create unnecessary stress for the business owner.

Financial peace after a business sale:

If you have found peace leading up to the sale and during the sale, there is a very good chance you are going to experience financial peace after the sale. However, sellers still find ways to welcome stress, disappointment, and regret in the aftermath of a business sale. This usually happens as a result of owners choosing to dwell on the years of blood sweat and tears poured into building the business while rejecting what they have learned in the selling process about business value and transactions.

Peace after a business sale comes when owners understand and appreciate the collective benefits (financial and otherwise) the business has afforded them while owning it and what the sale of that business will help them accomplish moving forward (cash, debt/financial obligation removal, freedom, time, a whole new chapter of life with new opportunities, etc.).

Because, for many, it is the most significant financial transaction of a lifetime, the process of selling a transportation business can be very stressful. If you choose to do what is necessary to take control over the business sale process rather than allowing the process to control you, there is a good chance you will find financial peace before, during, and after your business sale.

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