Don’t Save Due Diligence Until It’s Time To Sell

When it comes to the process of buying and selling a business, there’s the sellers side and the buyers side of the deal. Because selling a business can be a lengthy process, it’s helpful for buyers and sellers to be knowledgeable about each other’s perspectives. Due diligence is typically performed by the buyer during the process of selling a business. Due diligence is the thorough process of examining a business to see if what you see is what you get with the purchase. Because of the critical nature of due diligence, current business owners and future business sellers may be wise to consider incorporating their own due diligence as part of their annual business review. Why would a business owner want to go to the trouble of performing due diligence on their own company? There are a couple reasons for this. The first is that business owners may find themselves in a situation where they need to sell the business quickly due to unexpected circumstances or an offer from a buyer. If … [Read more...]

Want to Sell Your Business Quickly? Make Sure You Price It Right

Recent studies indicate that the average business takes 8-12 months to sell. While this may seem like a long time to a business owner, this is the best-case scenario. Unfortunately, businesses that are overpriced in the beginning often take longer than average to sell. Even if your business is appropriately priced, having unreasonable or undesirable terms can also ward off potential buyers. There are a variety of factors that go into pricing a business correctly. Seller’s discretionary earnings are often used to price a small business. Seller’s discretionary earnings are the earning of a business before the following items: Income taxes Nonrecurring income and expenses Non-operating income and expenses Depreciation and amortization Interest expense or income Owner’s total compensation for one owner/operator, after adjusting the total compensation of all other owners to market value Once a seller’s discretionary earnings are calculated, a multiplier is added to … [Read more...]

Choosing the Right Business Broker to Sell Your Business

For many business owners, selling their business represents the culmination of many years of hard work and dedication. Whether the reason for the sale is to fund a retirement or simply to move on to the next venture, sellers need a team of professionals ensuring the most successful outcome. Because selling a business typically represents a significant investment of time (the average business takes 6 months-3 years to sell), it’s crucial to select a business broker who can successfully represent your best interests. When it’s time to sell, it’s important to look at the following qualifications when choosing a business broker. 1. Marketing Strategy The best business broker will emphasize finding the right buyer and pre-qualifying buyers over selling a business to anyone with the financing. The best match for selling your business in NJ and the Tri-State Area, will also be a broker with experience selling businesses of the same scope or industry as yours. Understanding your … [Read more...]

How to Keep Employees Engaged During an Ownership Transition

Ensuring that your employees stay on course during your ownership transition should be one of your key areas of focus. There are many key steps that you should take during this delicate time. Let's explore the best tips for keeping your employees engaged throughout the entire ownership transition process. Step 1 – Establish and Implement a Training Program Early On If you are selling your business, then be certain that you train replacements early on in the process. Failure to do so can result in significant disruptions. Additionally, if you are buying a business it is of paramount importance that you are 100% confident that there are competent people staying on board after the sale. Step 2 – Address Employee Concerns No matter what your employees say or how they act, you must assume that they are worried about the future. After all, if you were them wouldn't you be concerned at the prospect of a sale? The best way to address these concerns is to meet with employees in small … [Read more...]

Is It Possible to Sell to a Business Competitor?

A common question in the realm of buying and selling businesses is, “Is it possible to sell to a business competitor?” The short answer is yes, it is quite possible and rather common. That stated, selling to a business competitor is different than selling to a buyer who is completely new to the industry. The two types of buyers should not be treated the same way, as there are various differing variables. A Competitor Can Be a Great Buyer One reason is that a competitor may indeed be the right party to buy your business, is that they usually have an excellent understanding of how your business and your industry works. They may also enter the negotiation process already understanding the value of your business, and this can serve to speed up the process. Always Proceed with Caution Competitors, however, must be approached carefully. Unfortunately, there have been many cases where competitors acted as though they wanted to buy in order to acquire access to inside information. That's why … [Read more...]

The Importance of Having a Dominant Position in the Market

In order to get top dollar for your business, it is necessary to prepare for the sale well in advance. In short, a tremendous amount of strategy and preparation goes into a successful sale. The amount you ultimately receive for your business is directly tied to how well you prepare. At the top of the list of making sure that your business is attractive to potential buyers is to make certain your business is as well positioned in the market as possible. Of course, this is often easier stated than done. Here are some of the best ways to make sure your business is optimally positioned. Tip One – Start Positioning Your Business Well in Advance Selling your business isn't something you should just do one day. You should start positioning your business at least one year before the closing. Quite often, experts say business owners should always operate as though a sale is on the horizon. This makes a great deal of sense on one hand. If you ever experience an unexpected turn of events and … [Read more...]

Are You Emotionally Ready to Sell?

Quite often sellers don't give much thought to whether or not they are ready to sell. But this can be a mistake. The emotional components of both buying and selling a business are quite significant and should never be overlooked. If you are overly emotional about selling, then this fact can have serious ramifications on your outcomes. Many sellers who are not emotionally ready, will inadvertently take steps that undermine their progress. Selling a business, especially one that you have put a tremendous amount of effort into over a period of years, can be an emotional experience even for those who feel they are more stoic by nature. Before you jump in and put your business up for sale, take a moment and reflect on how the idea of no longer owning your business makes you feel. Emotional Factor #1 – Employees It is not uncommon for business owners to form friendships and bonds with employees, especially those who have been with them long-term. However, many business owners are either … [Read more...]

Learn the Dynamics and Save the Deal

Many business owners are unfamiliar with the dynamics of selling a company, because they have never done so. There are numerous possible “deal breakers.” Being aware of the following pitfalls and their remedies should help prevent the possibility of an aborted transaction. Neglecting the Running of Your Business A major reason companies with sales under $20 million become derailed during the selling process is that the owner becomes consumed with the pending transaction and neglects the day to day operation of the business. At some time during the selling process, which can take six to twelve months from beginning to end, the CEO/owner typically takes his or her eye off the ball. Since the CEO/owner is the key to all aspects of the business, his lack of attention to the business invariably affects sales, costs and profits. A potential buyer could become concerned if the business flattens out or falls off. Solution: For most CEOs/owners, selling their company is one of the most … [Read more...]

Selling: What Does An Intermediary Expect From You

If you are seriously considering selling your company, you have no doubt considered using the services of an intermediary. You probably have wondered what you could expect from him or her. It works both ways. To do their job, which is selling your company; maximizing the selling price, terms and net proceeds; plus handling the details effectively; there are some things intermediaries will expect from you. By understanding these expectations, you will greatly improve the chances of a successful sale. Here are just a few: • Next to continuing to run the business, working with your intermediary in helping to sell the company is a close second. It takes this kind of partnering to get the job done. You have to return all of his or her telephone calls promptly and be available to handle any other requests. You, other key executives, and primary advisors have to be readily available to your intermediary. • Selling a company is a group effort that will involve you, key executives, and … [Read more...]

Keys to a Successful Closing

The closing is the formal transfer of a business. It usually also represents the successful culmination of many months of hard work, extensive negotiations, lots of give and take, and ultimately a satisfactory meeting of the minds. The document governing the closing is the Purchase and Sale Agreement. It generally covers the following: • A description of the transaction – Is it a stock or asset sale? • Terms of the agreement – This covers the price and terms and how it is to be paid. It should also include the status of any management that will remain with the business. • Representations and Warranties – These are usually negotiated after the Letter of Intent is agreed upon. Both buyer and seller want protection from any misrepresentations. The warranties provide assurances that everything is as represented. • Conditions and Covenants – These include non-competes and agreements to do or not to do certain things. There are four key steps that must be undertaken before the sale of … [Read more...]