FAQ – Selling the Business
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Click on the topic(s) about which you have the greatest concern.

 

UNCERTAINTY: The last year has been really rough. I am considering selling the business, but my inner voice says, “No.” Can you help me decide?

Yes, we can. Together, you and we will objectively determine the cause of the rough times. Next, we will help you determine and evaluate possible solutions. Next, you decide whether to fix your business … or sell it. Then we will help you implement your decision.

VALUATION: I have decided to sell my business. But I am not sure what the asking price should be. How much should I ask for?

Naturally, your asking price will be higher than the final market-tolerant price you are willing to accept. With that said, once you have supplied all the information needed to calculate a value, we will apply five different valuing methodologies. The highest and lowest values will be discarded. Chances are, your business would probably sell for a price somewhere in the value corridor created by those three remaining values.

PROCESS FLOW: Can you make sure that I am in Florida by Labor Day with a fistful of money?

Once the business is officially put on the market for sale, the entire process can six months to two years – depending on the complexities involved with the change of ownership. If the transaction consists primarily of assets along with bank and/or seller financing, the process would take six months to one year. If third party involvement (such as an SBA or regulatory agency approval) is required, then add another six to twelve months to the process length. Once we represent your business for sale, we will do our best to sell your business as quickly as realistically possible.

PRICE vs. VALUE: I’ve heard that some business sellers try to “hold out until they get their price.” Does that really work?

Price is an important part of the transaction. Total value is far more important. Taxes can undercut the “cash in your pocket” aspect of an unwisely structured transaction. Thus, seeking and then following the advice of your accountant is strongly recommended. Your bank account will be glad that you did.

DUE DILIGENCE: I have always tried to keep my records current. How deep will a buyer dig into them?

Any representations made by you about your business will need to be verified. That is why we prepare a Business Overview and Analysis (BOA) for your business. You are more likely to reach a “meeting of the minds” agreement with a buyer sooner and with less hassle due to our review of your records in preparation of the BOA for your business. With your BOA in their hands, a buyer is less likely to probe – the buyer will be more likely to just verify.

CONFIDENTIALITY: I am concerned about potential buyers keeping my information secret?

Maintaining confidentiality throughout the entire selling process is of the utmost importance. We take three steps to assure confidentiality.

1. THE BUSINESS OVERVIEW AND ANALYSIS IS SANITIZED. In other words, the names of your employees, customers/clients, and suppliers do not appear in the BOA. Descriptors of them do. For example, “the 47-year-old production supervisor has been an employee for 13.5 years.”

2. EACH BUYERS IS THOROUGHLY VETTED. We require a resume, a current personal financial statement, and a current personal credit report in addition to having up to three interviews prior to sharing your BOA with a specific buyer. The interviews are intended to learn as much as possible about a buyer’s management experience and skills, financial stability and capacity, creditworthiness, and industry-specific knowledge, skills, and abilities. When we are satisfied that it makes good business sense to introduce your business to a thoroughly vetted buyer, then, and only then, do we do so by sharing with that buyer a pre-BOA Executive Summary – which provides highlights of your business, but no its identity.

3. EACH QUALIFIED BUYER SIGNS A BINDING NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT (NDA). The NDA has terms and conditions that leaves no doubt about the financial consequences for a breach of the agreement.