The following information provides an overview of the services and benefits you can expect when you are clients of Sunbelt.
When Selling a Business
The Services You Need
Our Strategic Selling System
Stage One – Business Appraisal/ Valuation
Stage Two – Market Preparation
Stage Three – Marketing
Stage Four – Negotiating and Due Diligence
Stage Five – Closing
Conclusion and Getting Started
Benefits and services of selling your business with Sunbelt
Selling a business is more complex than most people realize. At Sunbelt, we understand the issues and we’ll help alleviate much of the anxiety that comes with such an important decision.
With Sunbelt you can be confident that you’ll get what your business is really worth; we’ll also help you sell it with the least possible disruption, headaches and risk.
Three of the top reasons sellers choose Sunbelt:
- Sunbelt sells more privately owned businesses than any other business broker in the world
- We have more highly trained brokers than any other organization in the world
- We have the proprietary processes, resources and technology to support the successful sale of your business
You’ll find many benefits to working with Sunbelt. Here are some of the ways we help our clients succeed.
- Managing Confidentiality: For most businesses, confidentiality is a critical factor in a successful sale and maintaining top value. Because of the potentially disastrous consequences, you will likely not want your staff, suppliers, bankers, customers or competitors to know you’re selling. We know how to manage confidentiality.
- Valuation: Identifying and presenting the real value of your business to prospective buyers is not easy. In most cases, your financials do not fully reflect the true benefits of ownership. We know how to present the real value of your business to prospective buyers.
- Preparing For Sale: There are long lists of things that must be done in order to prepare your business for sale. We’ll help you prepare to sell, and then manage the process to ensure that you are as ready as possible to hand over the keys to the new owner.
- Positioning for Success: Properly positioning your business in the minds of prospective buyers is critical. We’ll ensure that the merits of your business appeal to the right buyers and that they fully understand the real potential of taking over your business.
- Marketing Your Business: Sunbelt does more advertising and promotion of our businesses for sale than any other company in the business. From our exclusive list of pre-qualified buyer prospects to our mass marketing reach across all major media and strategic industry websites, nobody does a better job of advertising than Sunbelt.
- Screening Buyers: The last thing you want is to be wasting your valuable time with unqualified buyer prospects. We’ll pre-screen every prospect to confirm not only if they really do have the financial capability to buy your business, but we’ll also do our very best to determine whether or not they’re the right potential fit to run it successfully.
- Managing the Process: There will be a seemingly endless number of steps, and countless details that need attending to in the process of selling your business. Each one of them in the right order is critical to a successful outcome. We’ll manage the process, keep things on track, and keep you fully informed every step of the way.
- Professional Recommendations: It will take a whole team of experts to sell your business, protect your interests and maximize your bottom line. From lawyers and accountants to tax specialists and wealth planners, we have a team of exceptional professionals that we can recommend.
- Negotiating the Deal: Creating a win-win deal is the best way to sell your business. Thus, understanding your unique needs and objectives, as well as those of your buyer is critical to negotiating the right deal. Sunbelt’s approach to facilitating successful, win-win deals is one of the reasons that we sell more privately owned businesses than any other company in the world.
- Developing Creative Solutions: Selling a business often requires many rounds of creative problem solving. Whether it’s structuring the terms of training and coaching or creating the best approach to minimize tax, Sunbelt’s world-wide network of industry specialists and consulting professionals puts creative problem solving expertise at our fingertips virtually 24 hours a day.
- Allowing You to Focus: Staying focused on your current business is what you need to do to keep it in top shape and maximize its sale value. When Sunbelt takes responsibility for selling your business, you can stay focused on the important job of running your business.
- Delivering Results: The extraordinary part about all of these services is that you pay nothing for them unless we succeed in selling your business for the price and terms that are acceptable to you. Our compensation is 100% success-based.
Sunbelt’s refined and time-tested approach to successfully selling your business has 5 distinct phases. During each phase, we’ll guide you through the details, strategic thinking, and critical decisions while providing professional insights to ensure that you’re completely comfortable. Top
Complete Understanding: Before you commit to selling your business, we want to be sure that you have thought everything through in detail. We also want you to have a thorough understanding of the entire process you are about to embark upon. A Sunbelt intermediary will be pleased to take the time to explain everything, and answer all of your questions.
A Thorough Review: One of our early goals is to try to get to know as much as possible about both you and your business. This involves considerable candid discussion about your business, your reasons for selling, your goal in selling, what you plan to do after selling, and what you plan to do with the proceeds of the sale. Each one of these areas of discussion impacts how we undertake selling your business as well as the terms of sale.
Engagement Agreement: Once you are comfortable with Sunbelt’s capabilities and approach to selling your business, it’s time to get started. This requires your signature and the signatures of all owners on our Engagement Agreement. This agreement sets out the terms of our relationship, as well as disclosure and confidentiality considerations that allow us to go to next steps.
Detailed Business Analysis: One of the most critical steps in this process is the determination of what we expect will be the most probable selling price for your business. This process involves gathering a tremendous amount of data for analysis on a confidential basis including: financial statements, operational details, inventory, furniture fixtures and assets, market conditions, company history, building details, leases, staff, proprietary technologies and processes. We need to look at every single consideration of value in order to determine the Most Probable Selling Price of your enterprise.
Financial Recasting: An important part of determining the Most Probable Selling Price of your business involves revealing and reflecting some of the hidden value of your business that doesn’t always show up on the financial statements. This process of recasting of financials is essential to more accurately reflect the true value that a purchaser might actually expect as the future owner of your business.
Most Probable Selling Price: Once all of the information has been collected, digested, analyzed and researched against similar businesses, comparable purchase options and industry standards, we present you with a comprehensive report that forms our professional “broker’s opinion” of what we realistically think your business might sell for in the current marketplace.
IBBA Accredited Process: Our Most Probable Selling Price recommendation is based on an evaluation of 13 different approaches to business valuation that have been developed and recommended by the International Business Broker’s Association. They also comply with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice as set out by the Appraisal Foundation, the world authority in appraisal practice. These complex calculations involve considerable number crunching, detailed industry analysis, objective analysis, and the use of comparable statistics and industry research. The result is an exceptionally detailed and insightful report that has tremendous value to any business owner.
Decision Time: Because of the large amount of work that goes into the process of determining the Most Probable Selling Price of your business, we charge a small fee for this process. However, the work is done without any contractual obligation on your part to either sell your business, or to sell it through Sunbelt. Once the report is complete, you and your intermediary will determine what the best asking price for your business should be. If for any reason you choose not to sell your business at this time, the Most Probable Selling Price analysis process and the discussion with your agent will most certainly reveal strategic opportunities to increase the value of your business for future selling consideration.
Engagement Agreement: Stage two begins after you have reviewed and agreed with the findings of the Most Probable Selling Price and signed the Engagement Memorandum to confirm that you wish to proceed at the agreed upon asking price. It is now time to get your business ready to take to market. Marketing Tools Development: We use two primary documents to begin marketing your business throughout a wide range of media and marketing opportunities.
Blind Profile: In order to begin attracting prospective purchasers for screening, we create a teaser document that we refer to as a Blind Profile. Our Blind Profile is a one or two page advertising overview of your business that gives just enough information to solicit interest in a business of your type in a general classification with only high-level financial information, in order to ensure the identity of your business remains confidential. All marketing materials used to promote your business are approved by you.
The Confidential Business Profile: Our Confidential Business Profile is an elegant marketing document or business prospectus designed to provide prospective buyers with a detailed overview of your business. This substantial presentation summarizes all key aspects of your business that a buyer would need to know in order to start getting serious about making an offer. It is only made available to qualified prospective buyers who have been pre-screened by your Sunbelt representative. They must also have signed a strict and detailed, legally enforceable, non-disclosure agreement prior to viewing the Confidential Business Profile.
We now begin to pro-actively market your business and bring solid, qualified offers to the table. Our goal is to sell your business quickly, under terms and conditions that achieve your goals.
Marketing Campaign: We use a multitude of approaches to market your business. These include radio, newspaper, internet, internal buyer lists, Sunbelt Network contacts, targeted searches and solicitations, as well as web advertising on the Sunbelt Network and other top business marketing websites.
Buyer Screening: All responses and requests for information are filtered, screened and qualified in order to select only legitimate buyer prospects. Once we are confident of the viability of a potential buyer, we will meet personally with that buyer to do further due diligence. This may include verifying financial statements, confirming credit worthiness, net worth and liquid assets, often with 3 rd party references.
We also undertake personal, lifestyle and business capabilities interviewing to confirm that the prospective buyer is suited to and capable of running your business with a reasonable likelihood of success. Top
Managing Buyer Expectations: This is the stage where the process becomes exciting and often challenging. Managing the expectations of a prospective buyer, as well as the negotiation process, may be the most difficult and critical part of what we do. It’s also very important that all negotiations are handled exclusively by your Sunbelt agent in order to ensure the greatest likelihood of success.
Negotiation: In most cases, because of seller financing and seller training, there is a requirement for an ongoing relationship between a buyer and a seller. It is therefore essential to maintain a positive relationship and create a win-win outcome between the buyer and seller. Your Sunbelt intermediary is trained to objectively manage this often challenging and often emotional process in order to create the best possible outcome.
Proceeds of Sale: Once an offer is received, we prepare a financial analysis of the terms and conditions as presented and use this as the basis for preparing and evaluating counter-offers. Small changes in terms, rates and other considerations can often make a significant difference in the net outcome and viability of an offer.
Due Diligence: Another critical role of your Sunbelt agent is to manage the due diligence process with the lawyers, accountants, financial and business advisors of the prospective buyer. This monitoring and coaching that we undertake on your behalf is pivotal to a successful outcome. It is at this very late stage that the very best of potential deals can go wrong, if not handled with proven processes and seasoned expertise.
More Negotiation: Typically the will be additional rounds of negotiation and additional rounds of due diligence once the negotiating process has begun. Your Sunbelt representative will use their expertise to continue to expedite the process and create the outcome that you are looking for.
This is the final stage in the process of selling a business. Your Sunbelt representative will again manage all details to expedite this potentially delay-prone process. We’ll keep the lawyers and accountants synchronized on both sides to ensure a timely and successful conclusion.
Once the sale has closed the new owner is invited to participate in a Sunbelt affiliated program called the Inner Circle. The Inner Circle is a peer group of 10-12 business owners who own and operate growing companies with revenues between $500,000 and $50M. Members of the Inner Circle meet once a month for three hours in a unique forum that allows group members provide one another objective, high quality professional counsel as well as direct, no-holds-barred insights.
Members are committed to supporting each other’s unique visions while holding each other accountable to their stated goals. We believe that this is an excellent way to help ensure the success of new business owners.
If you are serious about selling your business and you want the sale to be managed as expediently, professionally, and profitably as possible, you owe it to yourself to spend some time with a Sunbelt representative.
Please contact the closest Sunbelt office at your convenience to speak with one of our representatives, who will be glad to answer any additional questions you may have.
In this private and confidential interview we can provide further insights that will help you determine if your business is ready to sell and if your sales expectations are realistic.