The Critical Importance of Confidentiality in Selling Your Business

Maintaining confidentiality should be placed at the top of your “to-do” list when selling a business. The tremendous importance of maintaining confidentiality is difficult to overstate and stands as one of the key reasons that any seller should opt to work with a business broker or M&A advisor. Every seller should remember that a breach in confidentiality can quickly kill a deal, and for many different reasons.

To be blunt, a breach in confidentiality is dangerous for your business. Such a breach can cause suppliers, vendors, key customers or clients, as well as employees and management, to become concerned or even alarmed. A change in the ownership of a business can translate into major changes in how it operates. 

Vendors and suppliers can worry about disruptions, and employees and management may become concerned for their jobs or positions. In turn, disruptions may take place, such as key team members finding new positions, which could make a prospective buyer nervous. These disruptions could make it more challenging to successfully sell your business.

While a breach of confidentiality may lead to a loss of confidence or concern among vendors, suppliers, employees, and management, that is only the beginning of the problems that a breach may cause. A breach in confidentiality could mean that your competition learns that your business is going to be sold. Your competitors may seize on this opportunity and try to steal your clients or customers. The end result is that your business could experience a sudden and sharp decrease in revenue as key customers go elsewhere. The loss of revenue and customers will make your business less attractive to any potential buyer. In this way, a breach of confidentiality could dramatically help your competitors grab market share and do so at your expense.

Even if all of your employees and management stay and all of your vendors, suppliers, and key customers move forward with business as usual, there is still another issue. Prospective buyers who learn that there was a breach of confidentiality may simply walk away from the deal as they are worried about potential negative outcomes due to the breach in the future.

It can be challenging to maintain confidentiality, and yet, it is remarkably important. Brokerage professionals are experts in maintaining confidentiality. Any owner looking to sell their business will be well-served by taking advantage of all that a business broker has to offer.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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