Is it time to sell? There may be important circumstances in your life that say "Now" is the time to sell. Or you may have a financial target that you want to achieve as the trigger for selling. There are four basic approaches to answer that question. Visit the Should I Sell to explore two good strategies, and two strategies to avoid.
To understand the factors that most influence how well your company will sell, visit the Seller - Selling Well page. It will explain the significance of placing the correct price on your company, and the impact of offering some degree of owner financing. You can see a list of some of our buyers and the types of companies they are interested in on the Businesses Wanted page. Don't be concerned if you don't see someone currently looking for your type of company. These buyers are just a small sample - there are literally thousands of other interested buyers we are in touch with, and new ones enter the market daily.
Once you've answered the "When" question, it becomes a matter of "How" to sell your company. Not sure about using a broker? Wanting to have more flexibility? We offer a number of service choices to help you -including full-representation, shared-representation, and For Sale By Owner services (FSBO). We'll be glad to explain the advantages of all of them, and how you can change from one to another if you change your mind.
Or perhaps you're not quite ready to sell yet. We're also able to provide consulting services that can help get your company to peak performance in preparation for selling or if you just want to take company performance to the next level. We can provide significant assistance in cost avoidance, cost savings, and revenue growth initiatives, using our proprietary methods such as LEGIST and the business Architectural Maturity Model. Visit Business Consulting for more details.
The selling process began by clearly identifying your specific goals for selling your business, and continues by qualifying the profitability and desirability of your company. We do this because serious buyers are interested in talking only with serious sellers. Quite simply, buyers buy "cash flow." Just as we would not present a buyer to you that does not meet the financial requirements to purchase your company, we do not present companies to buyers unless they meet the buyer's investment criteria. Buyers will not fly half-way across the country until they have enough information about a business to make it worth their time and expense. There is no cost to you for qualifying - it simply requires certain types of documentation to verify your company's cash flow and profitability. Again, this is done confidentially.
Once we've confirmed that your business has the potential to be sold, we will need to determine the fair market value of the business, prepare the Confidential Memorandum marketing booklet, list your company on our Internet listing service, and market your company to potential buyers. The factors that most significantly influence how well your business will sell are discussed in greater detail on the Seller - Selling Well page. This marketing effort will leverage buyers from any of our 450 Affiliate Offices in the Business Broker Network, or buyers brought to us by other brokerage companies. We meet with the identified buyers to ensure that they have been properly qualified, and then present your company to them using the Confidential Memorandum. All discussions with both buyers and you are held in the strictest confidence. We have each buyer sign a confidentiality agreement before we present the details of your company to them.
After the buyer indicates the desire to purchase your company, we schedule a meeting for the buyer to meet with you and look at your company first hand. We require the buyer to have an offer in hand (with an earnest deposit), or be willing to present an offer shortly after the visit. Since your company has been properly valuated and presented professionally, the buyer will already have a pretty full picture of what they are purchasing - a specific level of cash flow in an industry and location that they desire, for a down payment that they can afford. The negotiation process then begins, and we work to find the final details and structure of the terms that will make the purchase a "win" for you and the buyer.
When both parties have agreed on the terms, and you have accepted the offer, the buyer will begin the process of "due diligence." This allows him/her to examine all the details about the company that are necessary to validate the accuracy of the information you've already provided. If there is a significant discrepancy or failure to disclose, then the buyer may step away from the purchase. This period of "due diligence" will be specified in the contract, but typically lasts for a few weeks. Unless there is a significant discrepancy, the deal then proceeds to closing. Closing is the final review of the required documentation by legal and escrow representatives that are experts in the transfer of ownership, and the actual transfer of funds and ownership. There is typically a nominal cost for both the seller and the buyer of approximately $1000 each, but that will vary of course with the number and hourly rates of the providers we choose.
Now you are on the the next chapter of your life journey! Reap the rewards that came from building and growing a successful company! If you have additional questions about selling your business or would like to further explore selling your business, Contact Us and we can discuss the options.