We first meet with you to discuss the possibility of a sale, review your goals and objectives, and determine your level of interest in selling your company at this time.
Once you have made the decision to sell, together we determine an asking price for your business. We utilize recognized business appraisal methods and actual completed transactions to determine a realistic asking price.
After your business has been valued, we work with your professional advisors to determine the tax-related ramifications of the sale. This allows us to help structure the terms of the transaction to minimize your taxes and maximize your value. We are CPA’s and have been involved with hundreds of transactions over the years.
Confidential Information Memorandum (CIM)
After all pertinent information has been gathered from you and your advisors, we compile a comprehensive business profile (CIM, the marketing “book”), which is one of the major tools we use to sell your business.
In addition to the “book”, we also prepare a shorter, less detailed summary of the business. This synopsis gives potential buyers a basic description of the business without revealing the identity of your company. Confidentiality is always of the utmost importance.
Taking into account the unique nature of your business and your personal goals and desires, we work with you to determine the best strategy to sell you business in an efficient and successful manner. Some of the marketing techniques we use include database searches for synergistic buyers; targeted mailings to previous contacts who have shown an interest in businesses like yours or companies in other cities which might want to enter your marketing area; advertising in local newspapers, business publications (e.g. Crain’s Cleveland Business), and industry trade journals; Internet listings (our website, as well as state and national on-line networks) showing the highlights without disclosing the identity of your company; and other industry-specific methods best suited to your company’s specific situation. We don’t just sit and wait for the right buyer to come along – we actively market the companies we represent.
We sort out the unqualified prospects, and then go a step further. We have developed a buyer profiling system that documents the needs, interests, and ambitions of all our buyers. We can then explore businesses they may never have considered before. Sellers can be sure that their business will be matched up against hundreds of potential buyers for the right fit. In many instances we already have buyer-paid fee agreements in place whereby the buyer (not seller) pays our fee directly - in which case we will identify this to you in advance.
We make a confidential introduction of your business to buyers we feel are qualified and may have an interest. Each buyer must sign a Confidentiality/Non-Disclosure Agreement promising to maintain complete confidentiality. We take precautions to prevent your employees, customers, competitors or suppliers from learning about your plans to sell.
Making the decision to buy is often as hard as deciding to sell. We follow prospects and can pursue a buyer without weakening your bargaining position. If you tried to actively pursue a potential buyer on your own, the price might go down with each contact.
We guide you through even the most complicated contract negotiations and work with other professionals to help put tax, legal and business issues in perspective. We find solutions to even the most difficult problems when they emerge.
We have found that the best way to assure a successful sale is to closely assist the buyer through every step of the buying process. We unravel the “mystery” of buying a business and make the buyer comfortable with the whole process. We prepare them to act quickly when we uncover the right opportunity. We explain the seller’s needs to the buyer prior to the negotiation stage. After agreement, we help facilitate the buyer’s review of the books and records of the business and the transfer of the lease, licenses and necessary approvals.
We coordinate the administrative maze of the close and work with the appropriate attorneys and accountants to accomplish a smooth sale.
We assist at the time inventory is taken and with other activities that must take place during the transition. Because we are an active part of the business community, we will be there long after the sale, acting as a continuous resource to you and to the new owners.
If you're looking to sell a business, the CFA process will help ensure the transition is a smooth one: