Selling a Business Articles


Be a Winning Seller: Good Negotiation is the Key

You've made the big decision to put your business for sale. Your reasons for selling are valid, carefully-considered, and “good” – the kind that won't make a prospective buyer shy away. Now, you may tell yourself, comes the fun part. You'll come up with a price – maybe a little high, but why not? – and let gut instinct (an attribute common to successful business owners) lead the way. Wait just a minute. Or maybe a quarter of an hour; however long it takes you to bone up on your negotiation skills with the following steps as a guide. Being a smart negotiator is tantamount to effecting the successful sale of your business. Gather Your Forces The first step is to engage the help of a business broker professional. He or she understands the sales negotiation process as well as tactics for marketing the business for sale. Before sitting down with your business broker, however, you should gather the following information: profit and loss statements (for three years), current federal … [Read more...]

Points to Ponder for When Selling Your Company

Who best understands my business? When interviewing Business Brokers and M&A Advisors to represent the sale of your firm, it is important that you discuss your decision process for selecting one. Without this discussion, a Business Broker / M&A Advisor can’t respond to a prospective seller’s concerns. Are there any potential buyers? When dealing with a Business Broker, it always helps to reveal any possible buyer, an individual or a company, that has shown an interest in the business for sale. Regardless of how far in the past the interest was expressed, all possible buyers should be contacted now that your company is available for acquisition. People who have inquired about your company are certainly top prospects. Lack of communication? It is critical that communication between the seller, or his or her designee, and the Business Broker involved in the sale, be handled promptly. Calls should be taken by both sides. If either side is busy or out of the office, … [Read more...]

Selling Your Company and Starting Your Retirement

When the day comes to sell a business, it is important that prospective buyers understand why you have made this decision. Buyer’s find this important and having a valid reason why it is time for you to sell can make your business more attractive to prospective buyers. After all, it is only natural that you will have to retire at some point even if the business is thriving. In fact, it is safe to state that buying a successful business from an owner that is retiring is just the kind of the situation that most buyers look for but they understand it can be for other reasons. Owning a business and retirement, of course, is far different than retiring from a job. You likely have many friends ranging from vendors and employees to customers, clients and other business owners. It is vital that your departure does not disrupt the operation of your business and that prospective buyers understand that you have taken steps to ensure a smooth transition. In short, you want to create a situation … [Read more...]

Avoiding Legal Mistakes When Selling Your Company

A common mistake that many make when preparing to buy a business or sell a business is to overlook all the various legal issues involved. A legal mistake can bring the entire process to a screeching halt or even worse case cost you a small fortune. For this reason, it is important to carefully evaluate the full slate of relevant legalities. This article will explore some of the key legal points one needs to consider long before placing your business for sale. Mistake #1 Neglecting to Have a Non-Disclosue Agreement Having potential buyers sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement, or NDA, is critically important when selling your company. One benefit to having this agreement signed and sealed is that in the event that the deal falls through, which often happens, the buyer can't disclose the details to other parties. However, if you don't have an NDA, the buyer could reveal important aspects of your discussions. This could impact any future sales. Mistake #2 Failing to Get an Experienced … [Read more...]

5 Things to Consider When Transferring Your Business to Family Members

Letting go of a business isn't a process that one should jump into lightly, and that fact holds true even when it comes to your loved ones. Let's take a look at five of the most important factors to consider when selling or transferring a business to a family member. #1 The All-Important Buy-Sell Agreement One of the single most valuable tools available when it comes to selling your business is a buy-sell agreement. Simply stated, this essential document puts everything in writing. In situations such as a family owned business, people may be tempted to skip a contract, but that doesn't mean they should. When transferring your business, you should have an expert created document in place that outlines the following: The business valuation Who is to be kept on the payroll and the amount he or she will receive The amount being paid What level of involvement you will have in the business once the transfer has taken place #2 The Benefits of Gifting Consider the option of gifting. … [Read more...]

How to Ensure Confidentiality During your Sale

Selling a business is a process that depends upon Professionalism and Confidentiality. Selecting a Business Broker who understands the critical role that confidentiality plays is simply a must. Unfortunately, countless sellers have in fact dealt with a situation where a breach in confidentiality has caused a deal to fall apart and it has affected their business. A failure to maintain confidentiality can lead to a slew of negative reactions from a range of parties. Everyone from supplies and vendors to creditors could react in a way that could harm your business, for example, vendors could change their terms and this could in turn negatively impact your cash flow. A breach of confidentiality could also lead to negative reactions amongst both employees and customers. The reason is that employees may begin to worry about the security of their jobs and may also become nervous about the change in management. These fears could prompt employees to find a new job and leave you with a … [Read more...]

Can you Understand Your Buyer’s Key Motivations?

Negotiations can be tricky affairs. One wrong move can undo a tremendous amount of work. In negotiations, it is best to take a moment and think about where the other party is coming from. What are their needs and how best can you meet them? Understanding your buyer’s motivation increases the chances of a successful negotiation. What Appeals to Most Buyers? When it comes to selling a business, you likely will not know your buyer personally. This means that you will not know what they value most, how exacting their standards will be, and how easy or challenging they will be during negotiations. That’s why it is imperative to err on the side of caution and act in such a way that would appeal to most buyers. Ensuring that your business is in strong financial health means that your business will be appealing to both a corporate executive as well as an individual buyer with a leadership/managerial background. Keep in mind that individuals who buy businesses will want a strong … [Read more...]

Seller Financing

It is important to understand how a buyer finances the purchase of a business. The majority of business sales include some form of seller financing. Typically, seller financing is when the seller provides a loan to cover part of the purchase price. The rest of the purchase price is covered by the buyer’s down payment, typically 50%+/- or SBA finance, if the business qualifies for a SBA loan. Summed up another way, the seller is essentially acting as a bank for the buyer in some form. When sellers offer financing, it often helps them achieve a higher final sale price. Sellers who are not open to some form of seller financing will likely limit their possibilities of selling their business or need to discount the price to attract an all cash buyer, which are difficult to find. Performing Due Diligence When a seller opts for seller financing, it is necessary to do much of the work that a bank would usually perform, for example, checking a potential buyer’s resume, credit … [Read more...]

The Power of Recurring Revenue

Buyers and sellers alike love recurring revenue. But what is it exactly that makes it so attractive? Recurring revenue is generally viewed as a very good factor as it indicates positive cash flow, the potential for growth, business success and business stability. Let's take a closer look at how it can benefit you. Show You're in Demand Businesses, including IT companies, are valued higher if they can show recurring revenue, such as monthly subscriptions, SaaS subscriptions, or a transaction that consistently occurs. If your business is centered on a subscription based platform and you have high subscription levels, then you can expect keen interest from prospective buyers. If you want to show a prospective buyer that your business is a good bet, then recurring revenue is a great place to start. Recurring revenue indicates that you have ongoing consumers and that means ongoing revenue. But recurring revenue indicates something else as well, namely, it indicates that your business … [Read more...]

Five Reasons Business Brokers Improve Closing Rates

It has long been a well-known fact that Business Brokers can help improve closing rates and create a smoother transaction. In this article, we will take a closer look at the five top reasons why having a Business Broker on your side can make all the difference in the world. #1 – Business Brokers Reach the Most Buyers and a Wider Audience What seller isn’t looking to reach more buyers? When more candidates are reviewing your business, the odds of selling your business for your desired price goes up tremendously. The simple fact is that Business Brokers are able to reach more buyers through their marketing efforts. In fact, they usually have a long list of prospective buyers looking to purchase quality businesses. #2 – Business Brokers Know How to Navigate Negotiation Hurdles As the old saying states, “there is no replacement for experience,” and this definitely holds true for Business Brokers. Business Brokers know what it takes to circumvent negotiation hurdles and how to … [Read more...]

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Matt Coletta, CBB, CBI, is a Certified Business Broker and a Certified Business Intermediary with over 25 years of experience in successfully representing Business Sellers and Buyers in various industries. Matt is a Los Angeles Business Broker and represents Business Owners and Businesses for Sale throughout Southern California including: Los Angeles County, Orange County, Ventura County, West Los Angeles, City of Industry, Downtown Los Angele, Gardena, Whittier, San Gabriel, Upland, South Bay, Torrance, Newport Beach, Irvine, Brea, Anaheim, Long Beach, San Fernando Valley, Woodland Hills, Chatsworth, Sherman Oaks, North Hollywood, Northridge, Van Nuys, Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, Sun Valley, Valencia, Santa Clarita, Palmdale, Ventura, Camarillo, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley and other cities in the greater Southern California area.