Presentation to Buyers
When it comes to selling a business, it’s all about the presentation. Well…almost. You can’t make a bad business look good, but you can make a good business look great, and a great business look irresistible. To do this we focus careful attention to several characteristics that have proven to be important to buyers, to their lenders, and to the ultimate success of a deal.
Our business brokerage division has successfully attracted interested and qualified buyers on over 60% of its listings and closed over 89% of deals that have received accepted offers to purchase. This is over 7 times the national average in the business brokerage industry. That, together with BBG’s years of experience in professional business coaching makes it the unmatched leader in preparing your business for sale, presenting it in a way that will attract the most qualified buyers, and getting the deal done. Our business brokerage team accomplishes this by assisting you with:
- Valuing, Packaging and Marketing the Business
- Attracting Qualified Buyers
- Conducting Confidential Buyer Meetings
- Walking the Buyer to the Bank(s)
- Walking the Deal to the Closing Table
The first step in getting a business ready for sale is the process of determining its probable fair market value, that is, to determine an Opinion of Value. This process is not only about what your business is worth, it is about why. Knowing “why” gives you the keys to understanding not only how to improve its value if that is desired, but also understanding how a buyer, and their lenders will be assessing your business to determine if it is a worthy investment. And “why” is not just about the numbers. It is about such things as its “curb appeal,” the condition of financial information, the stability of your staff and customer base, the clarity of business operating systems, the opportunities for growth, and how “transferable” the owner’s knowledge and experience is, as well as the good will of the business.
Your business broker will lead you through gathering pertinent information, and will work with our team to create a Blind Circular for presentation to interested buyers, and an Executive Summary for presentation to qualified buyers. The Blind Circular is a flyer that generally describes the business, without disclosing its name or location, and has key financial information necessary to generate threshold interest. The Blind Circular is presented through a variety of means, including direct contact with our extensive registered buyer list, posting on major business opportunity websites, direct mail, email to known buyer databases, and so on. The Executive Summary is expertly created in a professional format, and bound in a tasteful booklet that highlights the strengths and unique opportunities of your business. The Executive Summary is designed to showcase your business to qualified buyers who have agreed to the terms of a confidentiality agreement, have demonstrated adequate financial capabilities, and appear to be a good fit for your business.
The process of packaging the business for sale may involve doing some needed business development work in areas of the business that will add to its value, strength and attractiveness as a business, such as marketing, sales, finances, or systems design. BBG is uniquely capable through its business coaching staff of providing those services in conjunction with the succession planning and business transition process.
A critical step in presenting a business to buyers is finding the right buyers and making sure that information shared with them will be held in the strictest confidence throughout the negotiations. Confidentiality is key to protecting the business from premature knowledge by employees, customers and competitors that the business is being sold, thereby limiting the risk of loss of customers, important team members, or competitors seizing a potential opportunity to gain customers or employees. At our business brokerage, buyers are qualified financially by presenting preliminary information about their cash position, value of assets and funds available for investment, to judge the size of transaction they may qualify for and their probability of acceptance by a lending institution. Finally, through our interview process, buyers are vetted for minimum requisite skills and/or experience necessary for business ownership in general and to determine the categories they are interested in purchasing.
The first meeting with a prospective buyer usually occurs at a neutral location, such as our offices, or another place convenient to both parties. It is an opportunity for both seller and buyer to assess each other’s “chemistry.” The seller is interested in whether or not the buyer will be a good fit for their business, and the buyer is interested in learning more about the business from the seller’s personal perspective and whether the seller will be someone who the buyer can work with to transition the business. If the conversation progresses, and if appropriate, a tour of the business is arranged, usually at an off hour or time when no employees are around. This is where Preparing Your Business for Curb Appeal will be critical.
One of the most common reasons that business sales do not go through, even after the two parties have agreed on the price and the terms, is the failure by the buyer to obtain financing. It does not always matter if the buyer has a strong balance sheet and good financial history, the bank or banks may simply not like the deal or the terms being proposed. Even if the buyer approaches a lender with whom they have had a long relationship, they are often disappointed to find out that loyalty doesn’t always count for much when it comes to a banks commercial loan underwriting. Our business brokerage team is expert at preparing loan packages and presenting numbers that make sense to commercial banks. In this critical step, our business brokers go beyond presenting your business information to buyers; we assist in presenting buyers and your business information to the lenders in order to maximize the possibilities that your sale will be financed.
“It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” –Yogi Berra
Even business sales that have made it all the way to the closing table have a risk of not being consummated. It can be a case of seller remorse, buyer remorse or jitters, unresolved issues that were not addressed earlier, or in some cases, surprising new information that was not discovered or disclosed during the negotiations and due diligence period. Proper management of expectations by both parties, and proper management of the due diligence and issue resolution process long before the closing date are key to a successful deal being consummated. That is the job of the professional business broker. That is where BBG stands apart, with a closing ratio on businesses that have received an offer that is 7 times higher than the national average for business brokers.
Talk to a Business Broker Today
Anyone can list a business for sale, but there is a combination of skills that work together in getting a business for sale to close. Our business brokers can help you list your business for sale, but we excel at closing deals. If you're thinking about selling your business in the Midwest contact our business brokerage team today, to arrange for a confidential and discrete meeting with our business brokers. If you are in our market area in the Midwest, including Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota, there are no up-front fees to listing your business with us. We don’t get paid until our clients sell their business – we don’t get paid, until you do.
Selling Your Business
We use many methods to attract individuals looking to buy a business to our business for sale page including our Buy Iowa Business Twitter and Buy Iowa Business LinkedIn group. Our business brokers post tips, share articles, and spotlight a business for sale each week.
A business that thrives without you is one that is Built to Sell.
If you own a business, you need to be thinking today about your exit plan. It’s never too early to design your business so you can realize maximum value when you’re ready to sell. Learn more about our Value Realized Coaching which uses John Warrillow’s Value Builder System as written in the book Built to Sell.