Selling Your Business
Comer Business Brokers is devoted to helping business owners Sell Well™
Are you a business owner contemplating a sale of your business? Let Comer Business Brokers (CBB) help you Sell Well™. No one knows your business better than you, and no one knows selling your business better than us. Read below to see how we can help you achieve maximum value for your business. Then contact us and set up an initial consultation.
Why hire a business broker?
People intuitively understand the need for experts. When your circuit breaker constantly trips, you call an electrician. When your pipe bursts, you call a plumber. When your alternator dies, you take your car to an automotive service center. Selling a business is no different. To do it well requires a specific skill set and extensive relevant experience. No matter how talented you are at running your business, selling your business is different. Hiring a business broker helps you sell your business. Hiring Comer Business Brokers helps you Sell Well™.
Why should I set up an initial consultation?
First and foremost, you have nothing to lose – an initial consultation is free. Selling a business is principally about trust, and the initial consultation allows each of us to gauge the other. We will learn about you, your personal situation, your business, your goals and your expectations. You will learn about the current market, trends in your industry, the process of selling your business and how CBB can help. If you and we develop a good rapport and you are interested in moving forward with a sale, we can formally engage and begin adding value straight away.
How much is my business worth?
How much your business is worth will be the fundamental topic of any negotiation between you and a potential buyer. You have poured time, sweat and tears into your business and you naturally have a strong emotional attachment to it. You may also have a unique personal situation that is motivating your sale. Your prospective buyers, however, do not share that emotional attachment and do not know your personal motivations. Accordingly, it is important to have a clear, objective understanding of the value of your business prior to starting any sale process. CBB will analyze your business, its market, its location, its financial and operational performance, its unique attributes and other information and determine an objective, professional opinion of value prior to initiating any sales listing. We will then have a thorough valuation and pricing discussion with you to ensure that we list your business at a price that is likely to maximize your value. Pricing too low can leave money on the table unnecessarily, while pricing too high can forestall any sales process or drive an excessive devaluation later in the process. So CBB takes the valuation process very seriously, and considers it a fundamental step in helping you Sell Well™.
How does the sales process work?
While every deal is different, most sale processes have the same basic components:
Like a house, a business can have a lived-in look after a while. And just like showing a house for sale, you want your business to look its best before any prospective buyers show up. Staging your business can involve general organization and cleaning, fixing small problems (minor machinery repair, broken fixtures, etc.) and other moderate fixes. We will help you determine what needs to be addressed and what can wait, maximizing your potential value while respecting your time.
Once a valuation is determined and an asking price is set, and after your business is properly staged, we will list your business for sale. We use multiple avenues to list your business, including database services, professional networks, personal connections and targeted outreach. Our goal is to maximize the number of high likelihood inquiries and to minimize the low probability or general inbounds.
Although we endeavor to attract meaningful inquiries from likely buyers, we are still mindful of the demands on your time. We prescreen all potential buyers – including known buyers – for suitability before disclosing information about your business. We take into account buyer motivation and goals, cash liquidity, creditworthiness, experience and other factors to narrow the field. Suitable buyers then execute confidentiality agreements before we share any confidential or proprietary information regarding your business. We then share a professional marketing presentation about your business – prepared by us and highly customized to your business – and begin to work towards an offer.
Suitable buyers with genuine interest will submit a non-binding indication of interest (IOI) to purchase your business. The IOI will contain an offer price. It will also set forth any conditions to the buyer’s offer, which may include certain specific diligence items, like a review of financial statements and tax returns, the ability to obtain certain licenses, if your business is regulated, the ability to receive appropriate training regarding your business and/or other items. Working closely with you, we will serve as intermediary between you and the buyer to negotiate the offer price, to more narrowly tailor the offer conditions and diligence requirements or to address any other issues of concern. Once all parties reach an agreement in principle, we can move towards due diligence and definitive documentation.
The due diligence process can be the most frustrating aspect of a business sale transaction. Buyers are generally prudent, and they want to know what they are getting into before they pay money for a business. Accordingly, they customarily will have lots of questions for you to address. Our job is to field and organize these questions, and to create and manage a process for providing responses that balances your available time and the buyer’s needs. After all, you still need to run your business while this is going on, and we are very mindful of that. Simultaneously, we will be working towards a definitive purchase and sale agreement that will set out the formal terms and conditions of the sale of your business. Our years of experience in this regard are a valuable resource, as we can help you triage the negotiation points to prioritize and prevail on the issues most important to you. We can also help you to manage any professionals and advisors working for you – lawyers, accountants, etc. If needed, we can even help you identify competent advisors to assist you. Once the definitive documentation is agreed and executed, we can help you navigate any conditions to closing – confirmation of buyer financing, if applicable, lease assignment, inspections and licenses, etc. If any impediments materialize, we will work with you, the buyer and your and the buyer’s advisors to address and fix them. And if all goes well, we will have helped you achieve your ultimate goal – to Sell Well™.
What if my business owns real estate?
No problem. Comer Business Brokers is able, through an affiliate, to assist with your real estate transaction, as well. This is key, as it allows you to conduct one complete sales process with the same group of players and consistent strategic advice, without having to run two contemporaneous sales with multiple brokers and advisors. Not every business broker can offer this, but CBB has you covered.