A lawyer I do business with quite a bit emailed me last night and asked “what is going on?” “Why are so many deals dying?” My response was somewhat anecdotal but simply “there are allot of attorneys doing some crazy things lately,” to which he replied with some recent experiences to validate that assertion.
The dirty little secret in business sales is there are deal makers and deal breakers and a great many attorneys fall in the bucket of deal breakers.
The successful sale or purchase of a business is in large part a function of the principal (buyer or seller) picking the right team: attorney, business broker, and accountant. Each must know their job and how they function within the framework of a team of counselors working toward an end. This team must communicate in a timely manner, leverage the roles of the other transaction partners, and work toward a goal while protecting the client.
Often of late it seems that the buyer or seller only listens to the attorney or accountant as the lead adviser and discount the role of the broker (which means either they didn’t choose a good broker or dont trust the broker). In addition there is often an adversarial approach to negotiations which is often counter productive to accomplishing the goal of sale or acquisition.
The first step in selling or buying a business is getting educated on the process. The second is assembling your team and establishing yourself as the leader. The three advisors work for you and need to be aligned and moving in the same direction.