Sunbelt sells more businesses than any other firm in the whole world.
What are the steps of the selling process?
Below are the general steps your Sunbelt intermediary will guide you through when selling your business:
- Help you identify the goals you expect to meet with the sale of your business.
- Prepare a business analysis and Most Probable Selling Price report.
- Help prepare your business for sale.
- Develop a marketing strategy and marketing materials.
- Market your business confidentially. Your employees, customers and competitors will be unaware that your business is for sale.
- Screen potential buyers before presenting them to you.
- Work with you to arrange meetings with potential buyers (this may include evenings and weekends).
- Begin negotiations between you and the potential buyer when both parties feel comfortable proceeding.
- Help you evaluate each offer based on the marketplace, competitive bids and your personal goals.
- Manage the negotiations, keeping your interests in the forefront.
- Facilitate due diligence and manage professional processes with hired professionals.
- Work towards a successful closing of the deal on a timely basis.
- Assist with transition preparation and transfer of operations to the new owner.
- Support the initial interaction and training processes with the new owner.
What can I do to help sell my business?
As we begin the process of selling your business, there are many things you will need to do:
- Maintain normal working hours.
- Make sure your financial records are an accurate reflection of revenues, business expenses and assets/liability levels.
- Conduct business as usual while maintaining normal inventory levels.
- Keep the business clean and in good repair.
- Remove equipment or furniture that is not part of the sale.
- Provide us with required information in a timely manner.
- Be as accommodating as possible in setting appointments to meet with buyers.
How can Sunbelt assist me in determining the value of my business and establishing an asking price?
Sunbelt provides its clients with a thorough business evaluation called our Most Probable Selling Price analysis. On the open market, an evaluation of this scope. For most businesses under Pho 150,000,000 in value, we charge a small fee for this evaluation.
Your intermediary will explain the importance and value of this document as well as the detailed analysis that goes into its development.
How does Sunbelt market my business to potential buyers?
Sunbelt has the expertise and reach to be able to market to the right prospects locally, nationally and internationally. With 300 offices and more than 2,000 brokers worldwide, your business will receive broad exposure across our network, augmented by appropriate newspaper, internet and direct marketing initiatives to reach your prospects.
Our proprietary buyer-matching systems also allow us to search our internal database of thousands of registered buyers to identify prospective buyers whose profiles match your business.
What types of offers should I expect to receive when I sell my business?
An astute buyer will typically start with an offer that is substantially below your asking price. This initial offer is normally used as the first step in the negotiation process to “test the waters”. All offers will contain contingencies, including a review of the books and records, obtaining a satisfactory lease, and agreement on training and transition periods. Other contingencies specific to your business may also be included. Contingencies are normal as they provide the buyer with the opportunity to verify the information presented in the marketing materials. They also provide some negotiating room for the purchaser as the process moves forward.
How long will it take to sell my business?
There are many factors affecting the length of time it takes to sell a business including: asking price, the buyer’s ability to secure financing for the purchase of the business, the business’ location, local economic conditions, the nature of the business etc. Consequently, there are wide variations in the amount of time required to sell a business, however, a selling period of six to twelve months would be the typical.
Does Sunbelt qualify the buyer financially?
No. We usually ask for a signed personal financial statement from the buyer and try to get a sense of the validity of what is presented by asking questions, but we do not initially verify that the information submitted is correct. If negotiations become serious and there is any question of financial capability, we are authorized to run a credit check and will do so if appropriate. If you are financing a substantial part of the purchase price, you should verify income and asset and liability information as carefully as a bank would.
SUNBELT SERVICES, FEES AND HOW WE ADD VALUE
FORMAL VALUATION OF THE BUSINESS and/or APPRAISAL
We prepare a third party Cash Flow & Return On Investment analysis to specifically justify the highest possible asking price. We also ensure that you are not under-priced or overpriced so that you can accomplish your goal of selling your business.
MAXIMIZE AND JUSTIFY THE SELLING PRICE
We utilize tools such as Analysis Software, Comparable, Business and/or Land Appraisals, Detailed Demographic Information etc. A key to selling a business for the highest price is being able to justify the selling price in a way that is understandable by a buyer’s advisor.
PREPARE INFORMATION NEEDED FOR THE SALE
Corporate Documents and Data, Lease review, Lease transfer and Sub-lease requirements, Tax returns, Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment Details, Franchise Agreement, Review of Asset Allocation issues.
PREPARE BOUND PRESENTATION
Goal of Answering Key Questions so that Buyer will want Meeting with Seller. We focus on Upside Potential, Business Details and defending the businesses defects.
MARKET THE BUSINESS FOR SALE
Your ad will appear on over 125 National Business for Sale Internet Sites, Newspaper Sites, wsj.com-Wall Street Journal, sunbeltnetwork.com etc. We utilize National Buyer Pools. The goal is to generate many buyers and not just one buyer.
SCREEN BUYER PROSPECTS
All potential buyers sign a non-disclosure statement and are screen for the ability to purchase the business
ANSWER THE QUESTIONS ALL BUYERS ASK
Why are they selling? How do they justify the price? Is the income verifiable? What is the upside potential? Is the seller willing to carry or is financing available? Will it pay me a fair salary & still pay the debt service?
SHOW THE BUSINESS
Prepare Seller for all Meetings with Pre-Screened Buyers.
ASSIST IN NEGOTIATIONS
We handle all Negotiations, which are often Detailed & Confidential.
ASSIST IN DUE DILIGENCE
Contingency Sign Offs, Timing Issues, Franchisor and Landlord Issues
ASSIST IN FINANCING
Qualify Business & Buyer, Promissory Note Terms
ESCROW & CLOSING
Review Escrow Documents, Notes, Loans, and purchase agreement
ORDERLY TURNOVER PLAN
Give advice or make recommendation with Licensing, Tax Bonds, Utilities, Business Services, Banking, Entity Formation, Accounting, Legal Services, Insurance, Franchise Requirements, Training Plan etc.
The Value Sunbelt Business Brokers brings often far exceeds the commission. Our COMMISSION is based on the Selling Price.
The seller will pay the broker the amount equivalent to Ten Per cent 10% of the total selling price including inventory and receivable, if any between Seller and Buyer, net of all applicable taxes.
WE DO NOT GET PAID UNTIL YOU DO and there are NO UP-FRONT FEES
Why Are You Selling?
It’s perfectly acceptable to most buyers if you’re selling your business because of retirement, relocation or a death in the family. Yet, if you’re business is in decline or facing some sort of obstacle, you want to present this information as even handed as possible. Start by highlighting your business’s strengths and future potential, and don’t leave out what makes it unique. Once you’ve shared the truth as to why you’re selling your business, a buyer may see its potential as a worthwhile investment. You may even have suggestions as to how the right person may be able to turn it around.
Is The Business A Good Fit?
This is something the buyer will determine on their own, but you can help them in reaching this decision. You should already have a sense of your ideal buyer. This is someone with the knowledge and skills to operate your business successfully, not just someone with the financial means to make the purchase. If a potential buyer appears to be a good fit for your business, then you should let them know this when they first contact you.
Is the Business Profitable?
One of the first questions a buyer will ask is whether or not your business is profitable. They will want you to show them the bottom line in your financials, including revenue, cash flow and profit and loss statements. Also, they will want to see a healthy multi-year trend of increasing revenue and a forecast for continued revenue growth. Providing documentation that business is steady and growing will likely make a positive impression.
What Is Its Position in the Market?
Is your business uniquely positioned in the market? Buyers will be impressed if your business offers products or services that differentiate it from competitors. Smart, forward-thinking prospects will scrutinize your products and operational processes in order to assess your businesses ability to retain its position in the market.
Is It Priced Right?
A smart buyer will ask to see detailed proof that validates the financials you’re presenting. Can you prove the numbers? To ensure that purchasing the business is a solid investment, you must be certain that the revenue and profits can be supported.
Is Your Business Staffed with Experienced Employees?
A business staffed with highly skilled, experienced employees can make all the difference to would be buyers. Moreover, key employees under contract who will remain with the business for a set period of time offer stability and continuity to the business after the sale. This is a value-add and further sweetens the deal.
Does Your Business Have an Established Customer Base?
An established customer base that will remain with the business after the sale is invaluable to prospective buyers. It further demonstrates that the business is well-established within its market with a loyal group of customers. This is especially true for a business with a limited number of active customers.
Can The Business Be Financed?
Very rarely will a buyer offer an all-cash deal and most buyers expect to put down a substantial deposit with the remainder financed. Yet, acquiring the needed financing from lenders can be a challenge. This leaves you, the seller with two options: lower you asking price or work with the buyer to overcome their financial challenges. Seller financing is becoming more and more popular, as sellers realize it not only dramatically increases the pool of buyers, it also allows them to get a better price.
Will the Lease Be Assigned?
If the business relies upon its location, the lease can be a critical factor. More than likely, the lease can be assigned to the new owner. But, before putting your business on the market, check the terms of your lease and see if it allows for an assignment. There may be conditions, such as personal guarantees and increased deposits imposed on the seller and the buyer. If the lease cannot be assigned to the new owner, ask the landlord what is required for the new owner to be approved for a new lease.
Are There Hidden Complications?
Expect prospective buyers to ask whether or not you have any skeletons in the closet. They will most likely be uncovered during the due diligence process, so it’s best to be upfront with buyers and deal with them early on. These sorts of things may include legal liabilities, sketchy financials, labor relations problems, a history of poor customer service, or any other hazards that affect the sale of the business. If you try to hide them, or put off mentioning them, they will eventually surface and you will likely lose your credibility that you’ve established with any prospective buyer.