How do I sell my business without anyone finding out?
The first contact CBB makes with the potential market of buyers for your business is via a blind (anonymous) one-page profile of your company. Your location is described in general terms and so are the details of your company. Key financials are presented as well as a description of your products and services, along with its opportunities for growth. Your company is not identified in the one-page profile. By hiring CBB, who is responsible for preparing the documentation and handling the marketing process, you can ensure that the process remains confidential.
This also allows you the freedom to continue to focus on running your business throughout the sale process - a key aspect of maximizing your closing price. CBB's MAP(c) trademarked process maintains your confidentiality by only releasing information about your business to qualified buyers, who work under our confidentiality agreement.
Can I engage your firm to sell my company without my having to pay for a valuation?
Yes. CBB does not charge upfront fees. We will do a free value assessment that will give you a value range that you could expect in the marketplace. We do this before we contract to list your business for sale to make sure your expectations are realistic. Call us or simply complete our strictly confidential Free Value Assessment Form and we will contact you within a 48 hours to discuss value.
How long would it take to sell my business?
According to Business Brokerage Press, national statistics indicate the average time on the market for around 82% of businesses is four to 12 months. Fewer than 10% of businesses sell more quickly, and a little over 8% are on the market for more than 12 months. Price and terms of the sale have the biggest impact on timing. Documentation and records are also a factor.
How long should a business brokerage firm hold an exclusive listing of my company?
One year maximum. National statistics indicate that on an average, businesses are sold within four to nine months.
What are the most common reasons that a deal doesn’t close?
Landlord issues - A top reason most transactions don’t close after a buyer and seller have “negotiated” a deal is that the landlord cannot come to terms with the seller and/or buyer.
Financing is not available
Declining financial performance - If the financial performance is down from the original forecast, the business loses value. Therefore, we always emphasize to sellers how important it is to stay on top of their business and to continue to actively grow it as if they’ll continue to own it for another couple of years.
Surprises in due diligence -- We work with both parties to insure all relevant business issues are disclosed up-front. Surprises lead to lack of trust, and lack of trust kills deals.
When I sell my company do I also sell the property it occupies, or would I lease the land and/or buildings to the buyer?
Either way is possible. You may receive offers for just the business with rental income to you, as well as offers to purchase the business along with the real estate. You can choose whichever option you prefer. Depending on the type of buyer your business would most likely bring, you may want to consider the purchase of the property as an option for the buyer in order to widen the pool of prospects.
What is the typical post-sale transition arrangement?
Based on the size and type of business, the current owner typically stays on for a period of two to four weeks to train and insure a smooth transition. Larger acquisitions require a longer period of time. It depends on how the deal is structured. Typically, in an extended transition, the former owner’s compensation is negotiated based on an estimate of how much would be needed to pay someone in the market to replace you.
Where will the closing take place?
Most closings for small businesses take place in our office. However, for larger acquisitions it depends on the attorneys and the logistics of the parties involved. They can be done in one of the attorney's offices, or wire transfer, conference calls, email and faxes.
When do I tell my employees that I am considering selling?
You shoud not tell your employees. If you are in the beginning stages of considering selling your business, the actual sale could be a year away. Your key employees could begin looking for work, most likely at your competitors. The value of your business could be affected by losing key employees. In addition, key customers could find out the status and begin looking for a new vendor if they are uncertain about the future.
What company materials do you need for the valuation analysis?
Financial data we review includes the past three to five years of:
- income statements
- balance sheets
- tax returns
- equipment list and appraisals
- property/building appraisals
What type and size companies does CBB represent?
We operate in what is called the small business to lower-middle market range. Our niche is in the $200,000 to $20 million range.
Can I engage CBB and still sell the company myself?
CBB provides all the services required to sell a business, from initial valuation through closing. If you sell the company while under contract with us, you are still obligated to pay the commission in the engagement contract. The service we provide includes sourcing buyers and negotiating the deal, so if you have a buyer in mind, it is extremely important to refer them to us. We will provide professional representation with all buyers so you can concentrate on running your business.
If now isn't the right time to sell my company, what should I do to prepare my company to eventually go to market?
If CBB prepares a valuation assessment and you later determine that now is not the right time to sell, we will discuss the areas you can address to add value for the future.