Three tips for the seller and buyer of a business

Business transfer is an umbrella concept that includes the partial or complete transfer of a business to a new owner, either through a share or business transaction or through a family transfer. Each business transfer story is unique, but some common features can be identified. Here are three tips for buyers and sellers.
Kuvassa kättelevät kädet.

Tips for sellers:

1. Get going early enough. A change of ownership is often a long process, in terms of thought and practical arrangements. Sometimes the company can feel like your own child, and it can be difficult to let go. The buyer does not have the same emotional attachment to your company, but has his own feelings and expectations, and there are always clashes between them. The buyer is not buying a business because they love it, but because they want to benefit financially from it. There are also different types of buyers; some want to expand an existing business and others have no previous experience of entrepreneurship. The seller may be nervous about whether your business is in good order, what's in stock and whether all the paperwork is in order. It will all work out and the important thing is that you take that first step. In some cases, shutting down is a good option, and in that case it's worth taking the first step early.

2 Don't be left alone. Selling or closing a business is not a failure. Be proud of what you have achieved and speak openly. Use experts to find out the value of your business, to find a buyer and to draw up contracts. Business consultant Aki Keisu says: "Don't trust Google or the experts at the coffee shop".

3. Selling your business is an opportunity. Don't let your motivation and the business fade away so that eventually there is nothing left to sell. Dream! Depending on your situation and your age, you can build a whole new career path, retire or even start a new business.

Tips for buyers:

1. Know what you are buying and why. Especially if you have no previous experience of entrepreneurship. Buying a business is a safe way to start when it has a good product and service and customers. Your idea will be put to the test at the latest when you ask for financing for the acquisition.

2. Find out how to finance the acquisition. Financing is an essential part of buying a business and it's a good idea to find out about your access to finance as early as possible. Banks are the most common source of finance, but you can also get funding from institutions such as Finnvera and start-up funds.

3. Don't be left alone. Like the seller, the buyer should make use of professionals. New entrepreneurs can get free advice from organisations such as the Uusyrityskeskus. It's a good idea to use and listen to experts when drawing up contracts.

Both the seller and the buyer should be aware in advance that business tranfer can be an emotionally difficult process. Effort and patience pay off, as a well-prepared and well-executed business transfer will benefit both parties.

The pilot episode of the MY Studio Webinar Kahden kauppaa – Yrityksen omistajanvaihdoksen uusi tulevaisuus (Trade between two - The new future of business tranfer) was held in February 2023, with Paula Pihlajamaa from Pohjois-Pohjanmaan Yrittäjät, project researcher Laura Veikkola from Kerttu Saalasti Institute and Aki Keisu from Suomen Yrityskaupat Oy. We also heard the story of Erja Rautio. Webinar is in Finnish.