Step 2 - Prepare

Selling a business begins with preparation. As a team, we prepare your business for sale before we put the business on the market. This is key –  preparing in advance puts you at an advantage and helps ensure a smooth and timely sale. Step two involves preparing several key documents that will be used to communicate the details of your business to prospective buyers. These documents may include your company’s financial overview, a business summary, a telephone interview and a valuation (optional).

The first step to selling any business begins with preparation. Being prepared puts you at an advantage by making your business look more desirable to potential buyers. Our efficient, comprehensive process of preparing your business for sale before placing it on the market increases the selling price while saving you time.

Your role: This is a very involved step where you will spend the bulk of your time in the process. As a team, we prepare your business for sale before we put the business on the market. This is key; preparing in advance puts you at an advantage and helps ensure a smooth and timely sale.

Fees: $1,000 - $5,000. Varies based on the size of the business and level of preparation.
 

Process

  1. Questionnaire and documents: Complete the questionnaire and send the requested documents. Once received, we arrange a one-hour call to discuss the information you have provided.

  2. Preparation of documents: We prepare the initial drafts. Once you have reviewed the drafts, we set up another one-hour call to answer questions and make changes to the rough drafts.

  3. Final review: In the third one-hour phone call, we answer any final questions and make final changes to the drafts.
     

Blind Teaser Profile

The Teaser Profile is an abstracted version of the Business Summary and is often five to 10 pages in length. The Teaser Profile does not reveal the name or identity of your business and is used in initial negotiations with prospective buyers.

  • Executive Summary

  • Investment Highlights    

  • Financials & Assets    

  • Operations & Facilities    

  • History of the Business    

  • Industry Overview    

  • Company Overview    

  • Franchise Overview    

  • Product / Service Description    

  • Customers & Market Area    

  • Location & Facilities    

  • Sales & Marketing    

  • Staff    

  • Operations & Assets

  • Financial Overview    

  • Legal
     

Business Summary

The Business Summary is a 40-50+ page PDF that is emailed to interested and pre-screened buyers. Morgan & Westfield’s Business Summary is far more comprehensive than documents commission-based brokers might provide. Because commission-based brokers want to get your business on the market as soon as possible, they are not motivated to dedicate the amount of time our team spends preparing your business for sale. The Business Summary covers all major aspects of your business, including key documents, maps, photographs, equipment list, seller’s disclosure statement and buyer forms, all in one document. You email the Business Summary to potential buyers, and the document does the rest, including instructing buyers what to do next if they are interested in the business.

The Business Summary is a 40-50+ page document that covers all major aspects of your business, including key documents, maps, photographs, equipment list, seller’s disclosure statement and buyer forms, all in one PDF. Having a robust set of investment marketing materials will substantially impact the success of the M&A process in three primary areas:

  • The speed of the process - The more questions you answer in your marketing material, the fewer questions you must answer piecemeal in order to familiarize buyers with the business.

  • The efficiency of the process - The more information you provide to buyers, the more quickly they can “self-select” to determine their true level of interest in the opportunity.

  • Overall buyer perception (which contributes to their valuation considerations) - Invest in presenting your business as professionally and as attractively as possible. The ROI is substantial for well-prepared materials.

The Selling Memorandum is one of the most important documents prepared in the sales process because it provides a prospective buyer with the information necessary to generate an initial offer. Typically, the document will not include a purchase price for the business, but will provide the prospective buyer with sufficient information to appropriately value the acquisition. It is extremely important for the Selling Memorandum to clearly articulate all of the company's attributes in order to fetch a premium valuation.
 

Recorded Telephone Interview

What better way to sell your business than to talk about it with those who are looking to buy a business? But as a business owner, you likely don’t have the time to tell your story over and over to each potential buyer. This includes a professional, 30-60 minute, studio-quality recorded telephone interview with you. A link to the interview is included in the Business Summary. This interview includes a history of your business, an overview of the industry, information about your customers, staff and suppliers, and a basic overview of your business and operations. Buyers want to hear the “real you”; they want to connect with the person they will be investing time, money, energy and resources in. This interview is a pressure-free way to share your story and your business with buyers. We also professionally edit the interviews, so if you make a mistake, there is no need to worry. Buyers will be able to listen to, rather than just read, all the important information about your business, increasing the chances of a sale. 
 

SBA Loan Pre-Qualification

One of the most important and valuable actions you can take as a business owner looking to sell is to have your business reviewed and pre-qualified by an experienced, qualified SBA lending professional. Smart, savvy buyers will be more attracted to your business because they know they won’t be wasting their time looking at a business that they can’t get financed. A professionally prepared pre-qualification helps solidify your selling price, as your prospective buyers will have strong evidence that the numbers work at your offering price. It also brings a much higher level of confidence to any potential buyer when they understand that an outside, third party, has independently reviewed this business in detail and is on board. This process includes us submitting your company for pre-approval to an SBA lending professional. If pre-approved, this information can be used to market your business and attract more interest from buyers.
 

Pre-Sale Financial Due Diligence

The number one deal-killer when selling a business is inaccurate or incomplete financial records. With inaccurate financial records, you run the risk of losing a buyer because, by the time the buyer discovers the defects during due diligence, the sale must now be delayed to address the problems. After spending many months finding a buyer, losing them over something that could have been corrected from the outset is a huge disappointment, and a waste of valuable time, money and resources. We examine your profit and loss statements, balance sheets and federal income tax returns, scrutinizing key ratios, trends and other data, and provide you with a report of our findings. This helps spot potential issues that a buyer may find with your financial records and allows you to address them before you ever get an offer. Having your financial records in order before selling your business also potentially speeds up the due diligence process once you have a buyer, resulting in a higher chance of closing the deal. This is because a buyer who has issues with your financial records will most certainly conduct due diligence very thoroughly, looking for problems in other areas as well. Finally, accurate financial records may maximize the sale price of your business by attracting buyers who are confident in your business. Plainly, the more organized your business’s financial records appear, the more likely you will sell your business quickly and for top dollar. 

Potential Advantages of Preparing for Due Diligence

  • Prepares the business and management for a sale.

  • Helps accelerate the sale process.

  • Optimizes the price and structure of a prospective transaction. 

  • Helps eliminate surprises and resulting delays during the sale process.

  • Allows the seller to control the timing and presentation of information.

  • Gives the seller extra leverage throughout the process.

  • Provides the seller an opportunity to fix problems and increase the asking price.

Step 2 Pricing

  • Services: Step 2 of our process may include the following services: blind teaser profile, business summary, adjusted financial statements, pre-sale financial assessment, valuation, SBA loan pre-qualification and recorded telephone interview.

  • Fees: Fees for all of our preparatory work normally ranges from $1,000 - $2,500 for businesses with less than $1 Million in annual revenue, and $2,500 - $5,000 with businesses with more than $5 Million in annual revenue.
     

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I pick and choose the services in Step 2? Yes, you can select as much or as little help as you like. Naturally, the more services we perform, the higher the professional fees.

  • Do most business brokers help with all of these services? No, absolutely not. Few brokers offer the pre-sale financial assessment and recorded telephone interview.

  • What is the difference between you and a full commission business broker? Our level of preparation is far more comprehensive than even the most experienced full-commission business brokers. Why? Our fee structure enables us to have a full staff of experts including writers, editors, attorneys, accountants, business appraisers and more. Our support staff to broker ratio is great than 10 to 1. This means that we have ten support staff for every deal maker, whereas few full commission brokers even have one full-time assistant.

 
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