Set Up File and Meet with Owner

Step 2. Set up the Business owner File
As soon as you receive a call for a listing, set up the file. Grab manila folders immediately, put on the name, and then ensure that from that time on, every piece of paper relating to that business owner is firmly secured in their file.

a) Keep Good Records
It is basic business practice that every aspect of a transaction should be recorded in writing - everything. Whether a 2-page schedule, additional notes, or simply a memo - record it, date it, file it. In the rare event that a dispute arises or litigation is involved, those tidy records may save your business owner's hide - or yours.

During negotiations, proposals and counter-proposals often become quite complex. The degree of evidence needed increases. A simple undertaking may only need approval and signature of the parties concerned. Other more complex papers may need witnessing. Still others may require completion according to statute.

The simple answer is, record everything, copy everything, date everything - and retain the lot on file.

Good housekeeping equals efficiency and professionalism.

b) The Files

A well kept vendor business owner's file not only records clear evidence of each step of a transaction, but may be worth its weight in gold later for a number of reasons.

Some of these are:

  • Provides sales details and research information for comparing selling prices.

  • For use in repeat business marketing.

  • To assist with business appraisal and valuations of similar type operations.

  • To record all prospective buyer enquiries so that no interest is wasted. Database details compiled from parties looking to buy is invaluable. Buyers for other listings on file or future businesses yet to be listed may come from the "Business Wanted" database. These are the people that responded to advertising when a particular business was being marketed.

  • Records advertising and other marketing details and costs - in case the business owner wants to see details.

  • Contains fax confirmations, evidencing date and time the fax details were sent and the identity of the recipient. Saves a lot of argument when parties later swear they did not receive "such and such".

When setting up a listing file, make sure you record the full vendor's name, phone, fax, mobile, address and owner's names and private home contact numbers. You'll be amazed at how often you will need to refer to these details.