We charge no up front fees. What’s more, I will provide a free opinion of valuation, a detailed report that accounts for the most recent 3 years of performance: annual revenues, net income EBITDA and/or SDE, Seller’s Discretionary Earnings or cash flow, whether or not you decide we are the right advisor to find a buyer and help facilitate your business transfer, all the way to closing.
That is, before I ask to list your company for sale, I’d like to introduce myself personally, and tell you about our firm in a free face-to-face consultation. If I gain your trust, and you would like to explore marketing your enterprise, I would ask you to provide 3 years of tax returns, and an income statement year-to-date, compared with the same period last year. I’ll prepare a spreadsheet that examines the cash available to a buyer your company is producing. Most of our clients’ businesses will trade as a multiple of earnings, and I’ll explain the benchmarks, software and comps research we will use to determine an asking price based on earnings.
We will maintain confidentiality, ALWAYS
When my research is complete, and I have consulted with other of our brokers who may have experience selling a business in your particular industry, I’ll present my report. If the asking price meets your expectations or is close, I’ll ask if we might represent you and begin marketing your company confidentially to our pre-screened buyers* and the world. Not this year? No worries… I’ll stay in touch and hope you will think to call me when I can help you. Yes? Here’s our listing agreement, referencing the fee we expect to collect at closing from seller proceeds realized.
*Our promise to our sellers is bring them qualified buyers. How do we qualify buyers? See below.
When we are engaged to market a company for sale, we’ll develop generic on-line ads that do not identify you or the company— sharing only general industry, the very approximate geographically (“Mid South / Middle Tennessee”, etc.), and financial highlights. This is usually enough to get interest, and bring in new buyers who will then go through our vetting process: new buyers must execute and return our confidentiality agreement, and submit a personal financial statement. This is non-negotiable— we want to make sure little time is wasted.
Meanwhile, all listings are circulated among our 12 affiliate brokers, each of whom has a growing network, often of thousands of buyers who are already in the network- they have been carefully screened. These buyers receive notification that your enterprise is for sale, and have access on request to the Confidential Business Review we’ll have prepared—the detailed specific profile featuring who you are, your website, pictures and all the dynamic details of your viable enterprise. Buyers are usually individual investors looking to buy themselves a new job, private equity and family office buyers looking for investments or fold-ins for platform industries in their portfolios, or they are strategic buyers, larger companies in your industry looking for expansion.