4 reasons confidentiality is key

Posted on September 11, 2017

Keeping a secret isn’t easy.

In fact, Benjamin Franklin once mused: “Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.”

Still, secrecy is paramount when it comes to selling a business.

Confidentiality at all times – before, during and after – is the most important factor in the successful sale of an existing business.

Here’s why:

Fear spreads like the flu. Employees may get nervous if they learn that a business is for sale, especially those in key management roles. Valuable employees may decide it’s time to start looking for a new job, leaving you shorthanded when making sure your business is running smoothly is essential.

Relationships may suffer. Sound working relations with customers, suppliers, creditors and landlords are vital. Word of a potential sale could disrupt those relationships and weaken your competitive position – dragging down the value of your company and crippling the sale.

Loose lips sink ships. That phrase was one of the most successful marketing campaigns of the Second World War. People were encouraged to avoid careless talk to help ensure enemy agents didn’t find out shipping routes or other vital information that could put people in harm’s way. The idiom applies here, too. Being flippant with information to non-vetted potential buyers could compromise trade secrets and sensitive financial information.

That’s how rumours start. Business can be cutthroat, especially in highly competitive markets. If word gets out that you’re selling, competitors may use that information to attack your reputation, spread negative stories and steal your customers. Your competitors may also start to market more aggressively to take advantage of the sale.

How do you keep the sale confidential?

Hiring a professional business broker is an important first step to protecting confidentiality. If you want to sell your business yourself, confidentiality is lost.

Business Finders Canada has all potential buyers sign a non-disclosure agreement.

We do not disclose information without your permission. In most cases, we don’t list publicly on MLS for everyone to find.

Instead, we keep a confidential directory of qualified buyers who are actively looking for a business to purchase.

With the proper procedures, it is possible to minimize the risk of an untimely disclosure.

For experienced advice, contact Business Finders Canada now at 1-888-377-8009.

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