As a small business owner considering your options for selling, you know about running your business but you don't know how to go about selling it. You need to know:
- that the confidentiality of your business will be protected
- you will get maximum exposure to qualified buyer prospects
- you will receive sound advice in responding to offers
- you will get the best possible price
- you are choosing the right firm to represent you and why you should choose CBB
You need a reputable business brokerage firm that has a verifiable track record and holds current membership in all the important professional associations because you want their knowledge and techniques current. You want a firm that has a stable history and an experienced team of professionals working on your behalf to maximize the chances for a successful sale.
Our standardized methodology is a system that has been honed and proven for over 35 years. We use automation and modern technology to qualify buyers, execute non-disclosure agreements, to track disclosures to potential buyers, and to give monthly reports to all clients listed with us.
The following is a 9-step overview of what you, as a seller, can expect.
STEP 1: VALUATION
A pre-sale valuation is the first step in determining if your business is positioned to sell and if a sale would meet your financial needs. It provides you with an objective price range that you can expect in the current market. See our Valuation Article by clicking on the 1st box in the right-hand column to understand the valuation process and what documents would be required.
FREE VALUE ASSESSMENT
STEP 2: CONTRACT
A contractual listing agreement is entered into between you and CBB, giving us the right to market the company as your representative for a specified time period and price, under specified terms and conditions. Once a contact is in place, we gather an array of data in preparation for launching your business into the marketplace.
STEP 3: MARKETING
With the data provided and your input, CBB generates a unique campaign to market your business to potential buyers. The cornerstone of this campaign is a detailed business profile, which is a document that educates buyers about the operation, facility, marketing, financial status and future opportunities of the business. An advertising campaign using CBB’s extensive buyer database and search resources is then implemented to confidentially target specific buyers, as well as approach the general public. Our aggressive marketing program ensures your confidentiality and provides maximum exposure for your business.
STEP 4: BUYER SCREENING
Before receiving sensitive information about your business, CBB works with each buyer prospect by having them sign a Confidentially Agreement and determining if they are qualified financially and/or strategically to purchase your business. We field buyer questions as best we can using the data provided during the info gathering period, contacting you only when required.
STEP 5: MAINTAIN BUSINESS OPERATIONS
During the entire process you are responsible for maintaining or improving the value of your company by tending to daily operations. You are also responsible for providing us with updated financial and operation information so we can keep our marketing of your business current.
STEP 6: THE BUYER / SELLER MEETING
CBB confidentially schedules all showings at your convenience. An appointment for a buyer and seller to meet is usually made when a buyer is considering making an offer to purchase the business. The buyer would have already reviewed the business profile and financials and received answers to their questions. It is common for sellers to require that all such meetings be during non operating hours to avoid premature disclosure to employees and customers. This is the chance for the buyer to tour the facilities, ask questions and get a feel for what it would be like to walk in the owner's shoes. However, this meeting is not the time to discuss the price and terms of the sale. A CBB professional will be the liaison for the two parties on that subject.
STEP 7: OFFERS
CBB presents all offers and negotiates on your behalf. Appropriate negotiation is crucial to achieving a successful sale. Half the job is finding the right buyer, the other half is getting to the closing table. The deal must achieve a win for both parties and we have the expertise required to conduct sound negotiations that can make that happen.
STEP 8: DUE DILIGENCE
Once a contractual agreement has been entered into between the buyer and seller outlining the price and terms of the sale, the due diligence period begins. CBB coordinates the due diligence process. This is the time when the buyer requests from the seller any documents and materials needed to verify all representations made by the seller are accurate. Depending on the size of the business, a buyer will typically have about two to four weeks to complete this inspection process.
STEP 9: CLOSING
CBB facilitates the closing process once the buyer authorizes closing activities to commence. We coordinate with the principals and their advisors, landlord, lender, and others to insure that all necessary paperwork is completed on time. An escrow attorney will conduct lien searches, prepare closing documents, such as a bill of sale, note and security agreements, closing statements, and noncompete agreements prior to closing for all parties to review. Final preparations will be made for lease assignments, utility transfers, financing, merchant service accounts, inventory counts, alcohol or other special license transfers, and any other last minute preparations to make the transfer as seamless as possible. After the closing documents have been approved by the principals, a closing date is scheduled. A formal closing takes place in our office where legal documents are signed, funds are received and ownership is transferred. We realize that you depend on us to guide you through every step.