A hot button around our office this week has been the dreaded “timeline” – and the point I wanted to discuss surrounding that topic is simple – be patient.
You would think when two parties have the same objective there would be an easy path to follow, but the reality is that sellers and buyers have vastly different routes to the closing table.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of “hurry up and wait” that goes in the acquisition process, and the sooner sellers and buyers can come to realize that the smoother the transaction will go.
Buyers, for example, need to understand that sellers are doing everything they can to wrap up year-end numbers and produce those financial reports – it just takes some time to get this completed, and the seller is not his CPA’s only client requesting the same thing right now. Be patient, it will get done.
Sellers, for example, need to understand that just because a buyer is taking their time to put together a proposal doesn’t mean they aren’t interested in the business anymore – maybe it simply means they want to make sure what they deliver is well thought-out and something they can commit to. Be patient, it will get done.
At the end of the day, of course sellers want buyers to make decisions faster, and at the same time buyers want sellers to provide information when they ask for it. And that’s where we, as business intermediaries, fit in.
Our job is to make sure progress is being made in the deal – and what I’ve learned over the years is that progress doesn’t necessarily mean that something happens every day, but it does mean the wheels are in motion. This is why business intermediaries are critical to successful transactions – we’re not too close to the deal and are not emotionally wrapped up in it, so we can keep an objective view. Buyers and sellers both need someone involved who can steer the ship towards the port, and understand that just because there’s no land in sight doesn’t mean we’re all lost at sea and should turn around.
So don’t get frustrated. Be patient. Let us do our job. Trust us, knowing that if the ship is sinking we’re not going to let you go down with it.
Jeremy Furtick is a senior business advisor with Huntington Business Group, Inc. in Dallas, a VR Business Sales, Mergers & Acquisitons office. Jeremy has been nationally ranked as a top-five associate five times, including the No.1 spot in 2007. He can reached at email@example.com or 214.442.6706.