For our friends who’d rather read, than to watch.
Although most people only sell a business once in their life, we’ve done it hundreds of times and we’ll help a dozen clients with some part of the process this month alone.
Each deal is always different, but here’s what you can expect in general:
Our first goal is to get an idea of what your business is, and to share market insight to provide you with a ballpark idea of what your business is worth.
We discover the true value of your business by conducting a free valuation of your business at no cost to you. We will ask for basic information, like profit and loss reports, balance statements etc…
We can then give you a broker’s opinion of value, to help you better understand what a sell would look like for you given the current marketplace. Given our experience and tool accessibility, we are confident in what we discover as we locate how many buyers there are, and what the marketing time will be. In most cases, we already have the buyer in place for your business, because of our repertoire, buyers register with us and let us know what they’re looking for.
*We have a proprietary methodology that we’ve been using for well over 15 years – and we never leave any money on the table.
Over the span of just a few weeks, (this can be much quicker depending on how quickly reports are furnished to us), we will dedicate time to to receiving the appropriate financial reports to complete an in depth valuation, and holding discovery sessions regarding prices that you feel would suffice in the current marketplace for your sale.
After the discovery phase, we will then identify buyers for your business, develop an inclusive marketing strategy as well as a marketing book VDR for your business.
We will create your company profile teaser, plus all of the marketing assets.
Before any involved parties, including both the seller and the buyer, are able to review reports and statements, a confidentiality agreement that protects both sides from anyone disclosing confidential information must be signed.
Once we determine the marketing price listed on the market, we then reach out to every buyer in our rolodex about the business (again, confidentially). This process is done through what’s called a “teaser”, which is a blind memorandum that informs buyers about your business without sharing details such as the business name, or any other identifiable information. Will have interested buyers right away, and those interested buyers will sign the Buyers Confidentiality Agreement, at which point we will share the Basic Marketing book with them.
The buyer will fill their questions in, which we either share with you *or* answer them ourselves if we can. Our goal in this stage is to make the buyer comfortable enough to create and share what is called a Letter-Of-Intent (LOI). An LOI lays out what the buyer is seeking in a buying process process, and how much time will be needed for due diligence, and finally, what terms and price range they’re offering for your business. We will likely review several LOI’s and simply choose the letter(s) that is most attractive depending on the type of marketing we’re doing.
At this juncture, we will move forward into what is known as The Due Diligence Phase.
The Due Diligence Phase lasts about 45 days to 2 mos. on average, where everything that has been shared is stockpiled, from what we we’ve learned about the buyer, and vice versa, so that we can finally share details with the buyer about your business post Due Diligence.
A definitive agreement is prepared and shared between the attorneys and that it is approved by all, then there’s a closing. You get your wire and retire on the island of your choosing.
I have a buddy that collects Tiffany Studios lamps. Most of these were destroyed in World War II, and were to be reclaimed for lead as use for ammunition. Just like each of those lamps, every business is completely unique.
So how do we truly find the value for each?
Say that my buddy takes his lamps to New York and puts them up for auction at Sotheby’s, because he knows that once a year ALL of the known Tiffany buyers are in one place : Sotheby’s Auction.
You see, if all the buyers in the marketplace, the market makers, who are the people that actually dictate the value of things, have a chance to inspect and bid on an item, by the end of that process, the true market value is derived.
My buddy knows that if he places his lamps where everyone in the marketplace has a chance to bid, no matter how unique it is, someone there will surely see the value and know it’s worth. There’s no way he can leave any money on the table, because all of the market makers and real buyers, are actually there to bid. That’s how you find the True Value of something.
At ExitStrategies.com, the same process occurs, except with your business. At Exit Strategies, we ensure that every qualified buyer and actual market makers get a chance to take a look and bid on your business. This way, at the end of our controlled auction process, you can be confident in knowing that you’ve received the highest possible value for your business.
Another benefit to you upon taking advantage our proprietary controlled auction process is that you get to dictate all of the terms.
Imagine walking into a dance where there’s only one other available dance partner. They would get to decide when to dance, what music to dance to, and whether or not you two dance together at all. Conversely, if you walk into a dance and there’s a dozen or more interested dance partners, you get to the opportunity to make decisions about who you’ll dance with, to which song, etc…again, you dictate the terms.
This is exactly what our controlled auction process does. It puts the power into your hands, and is a trusted, surefire way to sell a business.
Do you have a Tiffany Studios lamp? A highly sought after piece? Something that is going to bring this kind of interest?
We’ve been doing this for over 15 years and we know exactly what buyers are looking for. We have more buyers registered with us than any of our competition with the data to prove it.
Work with Exit Strategies LLC today and let us be the Sotheby’s for your Tiffany lamp.
What does the current market look like and what are people paying for businesses like yours? Although the actual final price is dictated by what a buyer is actually willing to pay for it, in this stage we use our proprietary valuation methodology to give you a good idea of what offers you can expect to see.
- Prepare / Package / Adjust Financials
During this phase, we collect the initial due diligence information that all buyers will ask for first. At the same time, we’re building a virtual data room, presentation book, blinded teaser, and we’ll help you through what add backs, one time expenses and other discretionary items can be included in your profitability.
- Prospecting / Discovery / Buyer Qualification
At this stage, we reach out with our blinded teaser by phone, email, snail mail, smoke signal, carrier pigeon, and whatever else we can think of to make sure that no buyer is left untouched or undiscovered.
Once a buyer has proved that they qualify financially to complete the transaction, and all confidentiality agreements have been signed, we’ll share all of the marketing information with the potential buyer, field their questions, or simply share them with you so they can be answered in depth.
- Clarifications/Conference Calls
This is a stage that we call intermediate due diligence. The buyer is trying to figure out exactly what they can offer, and normally wants to get to a level of comfort with both the seller and the business. This is why conference calls are important. Buyers at this stage will often ask some additional questions, and will often want to see a few more documents.
At this point, the buyer is comfortable enough putting forward what’s called a Letter-Of-Intent. This lays out their intentions, as well as a proposed timeline for the process of buying the business. It also includes how much time they will need for due diligence, what the price and terms are that they’re offering for your business, when we’ll see the first draft of the purchase agreement, and when they’re thinking closing will take place.
We will likely look at several LOIs and choose the best one, or sometimes more than one, depending on whether or not this is a traditional sale or a controlled auction process.
We’ll then move forward to what’s called the Due Diligence phase
- Due Diligence (DD)
This is simply the verification of everything, including all of the claims that have been put forward, as well as financials.
The due diligence phase lasts between a few weeks to a few months, or longer, depending on the size of the deal and the amount of information to be verified.
- Definitive Agreements/ Closing/ Funding
After due diligence is performed successfully, we move on to the definitive agreements. Normally, a purchase agreement, other schedules and disclosures that lay out the exact terms of the sale. This is the document that really means something. So, although we can go over it to point out what is industry standard, this is where you want to have a high quality transactional attorney involved. Your counsel will review the documents, make sure you’re protected, and redline anything you may want to change.
Once everything within these documents is agreed upon, a closing date is set.
On that day, whether virtual or in-person, everything is signed, a wire is sent, you collect your proceeds and can now sleep in and vacation whenever your heart desires. Congrats!