Mergers & Acquisitions Advisory

A Neumann & Associates, LLC

October 7, 2018

Top Five Concerns When Selling

By Jeremy Albelda


After countless business owner conversations during the past 15 years, a few common concerns have surfaced again and again.  “Indeed, selling a business in New York City or any metropolis can feel overwhelming and be very complicated,” says Achim Neumann, President, A Neumann & Associates, LLC, a New Jersey based Mergers & Acquisitions and Business Brokerage firm, “It’s understandable that business owners have many concerns.”

Following are the top 5 most often heard concerns by business sellers.

#1 Expectations About A Business’ Value

The majority of business owners are very emotionally invested in their companies – quite often translating into unrealistic expectations about the business’ value.

Furthermore, owners often ignore significant value drivers such as market share, macro economic market forces, competitive advantage, growth aspects, and relative profitability.

Good professional advisors have a thorough understanding of how such value drivers in combination with the overall marketplace affect the ultimate value of a business transaction. The advisor’s role consists of assessing such market environments and to package a business into a compelling deal.

This includes the analysis of the business’ operational and financial information, the determination of the business’ true cash flow and benefit to the owner, and the formal valuation process to be executed by an external accredited valuation firm.

Finally, an advisor’s negotiation and communication skills can further substantiate the value of a business in negotiations with buyers.

#2 Breach Of Confidentiality

Almost without exception, all business owners are concerned with preserving confidentiality throughout a sale transaction. Violating such can have significant negative impact with lenders, employees, landlords, customers, and suppliers.

A good M&A firm in Connecticut or any state for that matter has the proper security measures in place – not only starting with a fourfold investor pre-qualification process, but also to provide information to an investor as the investor shows increasing interest and motivation to execute a deal.

For that matter, the advisor prepares a blind profile, sometimes called a teaser, outlining the generalities of the transaction, market place, and business. Subsequent to a thorough pre-qualification, the investor will then obtain the Confidential Memorandum. Once the investor expresses interest and can respond properly to the initial questions, an introduction to the seller will be arranged.

This refined process of ‘leading the horses to the water” ensures the confidentiality of a transaction.

#3 Insufficient Financial Reporting

Insufficient financials don’t necessarily have to prevent a business owner from selling a business or to accept a lower business valuation or transaction price. A good advisor will give sellers an early heads-up as to what needs to be improved in the financial reporting system. Often this can be accomplished with rather small adjustments.

Business owners and advisors need to honestly discuss such deficiencies, remedies and how it will impact the anticipated business valuation in New Jersey or any other state. A seller needs to understand the need for an immediate, consistent and correct financial reporting system as it will surely be requested from potential buyers.

Moreover, good advisors will help owners to deal with financial challenges by offering an early and confidential picture of operational costs, recurring expenses, and implied transaction value. Streamlining financial reporting in preparation of a sale will reduce time during due diligence, and more importantly, will avoid generating mistrust on the buy side once an offer has been agreed upon.

Finally, a professional advisor will produce a professional blind profile/teaser and a Confidential Memorandum – substantially driving the value of the transaction.

#4 A Difficult Transfer Process

Business owners are usually industry experts – highly competent in the day-to-day operations of their business. Selling a business is a completely different transaction – one in which business owners are not familiar with.

Generally speaking, most business owners feel intense anxiety during the sale process, particularly during periods of uncertainty or conflict. Every deal comes with a unique set of challenges.

A good M&A advisor in NY or other state does not expect a business owner to be an expert, but he/she will navigate the owner through the deal process. Being proactive, a good advisor can reassure a seller during these uncertain times.

Such re-assurance prevents a loss of momentum that ultimately can kill deals. Buyers sense uncertainty on the sell-side and are inclined to lose interest in a deal in such a scenario – often interpreting such uncertainty as lack of motivation on the sell-side.  Good M&A advisors can put a stop to this process before it spirals out of control by instilling confidence and ensuring the deal is appealing and efficient to all parties.

#5 The Process Will Be Too Time Consuming

Indeed, selling a business takes a lot of time – all distracting from the owner’s day-to-day operations (resulting in lower profitability and thus, value). Owners should not take their eye off their business during the transaction process.

Selling a business is a full-time job in its own right, and for that reason, we always suggest to hire an external advisor as opposed to “doing it yourself”.  Well-experienced advisors indeed know that the 8-12 month time line needed for a business sale can be detrimental to the business’ performance.

Thus, the best advisors urge owners to maintain their business’ performance – freeing up the owner’s time by navigating through the ins and outs of the sale. This includes a lot of “after hours” meetings addressing that most owners work around the clock.

One industry mantra is that every deal dies three times – no deal is a certainty, but consulting with an experienced M&A advisor will significantly increase the odds for a successful closing.


About A Neumann & Associates, LLC

A Neumann & Associates, LLC is a professional mergers & acquisitions and business brokerage firm having assisted business owners and buyers in the business valuation and business transfer process through its affiliations for the past 30 years. With an A+ Better Business Bureau rating, the company has senior trusted professionals with a deep knowledge based in multiple field offices along the East Coast and has performed hundreds of business valuations in its history. The firm’s competitive transaction fees are based on successfully completing transactions. For more information, please contact A Neumann & Associates at 732-872-6777 or

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Client Testimonials

“ I appreciate your diligent approach to screening buyers and sellers as well as the high quality CIM that you produce.”

Andrey O, Investor

“Finally enjoying retirement after recently selling my business using the services of A Neumann & Associates. Joe Oddo provided the conduit to a successful transaction. Joe knew when to inject input and when to simply listen and allow the buyers to vent, step back and regroup. The outcome met our expectations and got us to the finish line, which included my staying with the company six months in order for the buyers to get their footing and keep our workforce in the loop. He helped at every step by providing his expert guidance & resources. Thank you!”

Emily Parker Myers, Co-Owner - Myers McRae

“I had been in touch with Karin and Gary from A Neumann & Associates regarding some opportunities and was looking forward to meeting with them. Hence, when they organized a seminar in Princeton, NJ, I was quick to sign up. The seminar was very informative as the team walked the attendees through various scenarios and referenced real life buying/selling situations they had been through. The sessions by Gary, Karin and Achim were crisp and focused and brought clarity to potential seller and buyers. I strongly recommend the team and look forward to continue working with them.”

Gaurav Tyagi

“Thank you for your Event on "How to value, Sell, and Buy A Business for Maximum Profit" and the insight into ANA’s approach on what is involved in the Business Exit for sellers. Garys Hervieiou's "Business Valuation", Achim's "Deal structure" presentation and Karin’s "Preparing the Package" are real street knowledge shared. They answered attendees questions which makes it more interesting for learning from others. Great for small businesses like us. The presentations were totally worth our time and travel for the event to Princeton, NJ from Rockville MD. Ravi Bhutani, President, CIPS”

Ravi Bhutani

“Gary, this is to thank you for an excellent job done in selling our business. We could never have done it without your professional expertise, dedication and time put in without reservation to make it happen. We will gladly and highly recommend you to anybody in our position.  It was a pleasure to work with you.”

Pat Iammatteo, Owner

“Your vetting is simply outstanding, among the best I've seen from a broker.”

Eric H., Investor

“I recently contacted A. Neumann and Associates about getting a valuation of my business done. I spoke with Marc, who explained the process in detail. After meeting with Marc in order to get a clear understanding of my business, and what I was hoping to accomplish. His patience in answering all my questions and his knowledge of the proper way to market my business gave me great confidence that this is the firm I will be using to sell my business for max value. Working with Marc at A Neumann & Associates was very easy and professional. I did not know all that was going to be involved in selling my business but they helped me through the process. What I thought was going to be a just another one of those pushy sales companies was just the opposite. Polite, knowledgeable, and a pleasure to talk to and deal with. I highly recommend this firm to anybody who wants to sell now or down the road. Marc not only knows his stuff, but actually is a real nice guy.”

Double Diamond

“Used A Neumann & Associates to sale my business. could not imagine having done it with out the patience and experience Gary provided. Thanks Gary,”

Dennis Frazier

“Working with Marc and his company was a pleasure. What I thought was going to be a just another one of those pushy sales companies was just the opposite. Polite, knowledgeable, and a pleasure to talk to and deal with. Marc handled most of the interaction and he has one of the greatest demeanors. Again, it was a pleasure working with him and his firm.”

Douglas DiCeglio

“I recently completed an acquisition using A Neumann & Associates. Tony Valentino was very helpful and accessible during the entire process. They do a thorough job vetting both parties and got us to the finish line.”

Srini Mudambi
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Contact A Neumann & Associates, LLC

If you are considering selling your business, please contact us to learn more about our comprehensive service spectrum. Our experienced professionals will answer all your questions about selling a privately held business in complete confidentiality. Please fill out our contact form, or call us at 732-872-6777. We will contact you directly and will never identify ourselves to your employees.

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