How to Tell if You’re Not Ready to Sell Your Business…

from a broker/advisor’s perspective. 


Just like last week’s blog – how to tell if you hired the wrong broker, aka what to look for in a good broker – I thought it might be interesting for landscape business owners to know what we look for in terms of an ideal client.  If we see any of the following “red flags,” it’s usually a sign that the business owner is not ready to sell their business or that we are not the right broker/advisor for them.  The most successful outcome for everyone is a good team of advisor and client.  So here are some of the client “red flags.” 

  • Before signing an engagement to sell the business, the Seller wants large amounts of information about specific potential buyers. 
  • Seller wants even large potential buyers that broker has relationships with to provide detailed financial information to “qualify themselves” as buyers. 
  • Seller selects an attorney who is not a deal attorney. 
  • Seller delegates majority of the broker interaction to his attorney or CPA. 
  • Seller is slow to respond to calls, emails, and texts.  
  • Seller is consistently 10 to 15 minutes late to meetings (or even no-show with no notice) to confirmed times/dates. 
  • Seller does not respond to requests for information or only partially responds resulting in a significant delay and drag on the process. 
  • Seller has set a price and terms and refuses to make counteroffers to a buyer’s offer. 
  • Seller is not willing to sign a noncompete or assist in a transition period. 

These are signs that a seller is either not ready to sell or has not found the right broker/advisor to work on their transaction.  The best outcomes are a result of a team that trusts each other to work for the best outcome and has the same sense of commitment to getting the right deal done. 

If you’d like to have a discussion about this or any other topic about selling, buying or otherwise transitioning your business or how to start your exit plan, please reach out to me at 224-688-8838 or email me at [email protected]

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Alison Hoffman

has more than 25 years of experience in strategy, operations, mergers and acquisitions and delivering business-to-business client solutions. Her areas of expertise include managing operations for profitable growth, organizational design and strategy activation. She brings a wealth of experience through her work in evaluating, valuing and purchasing over 30 companies, leading company-wide cultural and business integration projects and consolidating best practices among business processes and corresponding computing systems. Read Full Bio