Step 2 — Overview

Selling a business begins with preparation. As a team, we prepare your business for sale before we put it on the market. Step 2 involves preparing several key documents that will be used to communicate the details of your business to prospective buyers. These documents are released to buyers in measured stages during Step 3 of our process after buyers have signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). The process generally takes four to five weeks to prepare your business for sale before we begin the confidential marketing process (Step 3).

Step 2 Services & Timeline

  • CIM: We begin preparing the confidential information memorandum (CIM) immediately after moving to Step 2.
  • Seller Interview: We immediately connect you with the host to schedule your session to record the Seller Interview.
  • Teaser Profile: We begin preparing the Teaser Profile after the first draft of the CIM is complete.
  • Financing Pre-Qualification: We submit your business for pre-approval for Small Business Administration (SBA) financing only after receiving your documents and the CIM and adjusted financials are complete.
  • Pre-Sale Financial Assessment: We begin your Pre-Sale Financial Assessment immediately after we move to Step 2.


  • We recommend you put the buyer on hold until we complete the process. We recommend focusing 100% of your energy on finishing the preparation stage so you can show the buyer the completed documents once they are finalized. For most of our clients, we generate dozens of qualified buyers before we successfully close a deal. Waiting for one buyer is imprudent and can prove to be a waste of energy. Additionally, the buyer will be more motivated to move quickly if they see you have had professional assistance in preparing your company for sale. The fact that the business is active on the market will also motivate a buyer to move quickly because if they don’t, you may soon be negotiating with other buyers.

  • We recommend updating your CIM and adjusted financials any time significant changes occur in your business or at the end of the fiscal year after you’ve closed the financial books for the 12 months. Note that we intentionally do not include interim financial results (e.g., partial year) in your CIM and adjusted financials. This is done so that the buyer must request interim financials.

  • Savvy buyers ask to see balance sheets, which helps determine the level of quality and accuracy of your financial information. Nearly all buyers expect to see financials before making an offer. Experienced buyers also ask for a year-to-date profit and loss (P&L) statement.

  • We recommend preparing backup material for due diligence, but this information should only be released during due diligence after an offer is accepted. This information includes bank statements and tax returns. The bank statements should match your financial statements. Some buyers hire an accountant or a certified public accountant (CPA) to perform the financial due diligence. You can be sure that the accountant will reconcile the financial statements with the bank statements, and, possibly, the invoices or receipts. We recommend you organize the backup financial data for the prior three years. It is best to organize the data by month. Organize the bank statements, invoices, receipts, etc., for every month in a hard folder or a digital folder on your computer. You should also document any add-backs or adjustments to the financial statements, and you should have backup data (invoices, receipts, etc.) for each adjustment to your financial statements. For example, if you added back $1,500 from the telephone line expense on the P&L statement, you should find the original invoices or receipts to back up these claims.