That is the million dollar question, and one that we help you determine the answer to. We have spent a lot of time both selling and trying to sell businesses, and through experience have a good idea of what buyers are looking for in a business prior to them purchasing it. You can rest assured that we will have a candid conversation about the probablility that your business will sell based on our past experience and knowledge of the market as it stands today.
When we begin a dialogue, and after the signing of a confidentiality agreement, I request financial information for the purpose of putting together a brief multiple analysis of the value of your business. We come up with the value that we think we can obtain in the market and compare that to the value that you think your business is worth. It is important that these two values are similar prior to proceeding with an engagement, as we do not want to take on the project if we do not think that we can attain the value that you are expecting for the business.
We can do an anonymous 'buy-side' inquiry for you and learn as much information as possible about the target acquisition prior to you having to disclose your identity. We are always happy to discuss buy-side searches.
No, in fact, most business owners tell very few if any employees. We are very careful about confidentiality during all phases of the process and take steps to insure that the word that the business is for sale does not get 'leaked' out to the best of our abilities. We also time the disclosure of information to match when the owner is comfortable sharing this news with employees, usually leading up to the final days prior to closing the deal.
The process that Sage Intermediaries uses is comprised of 4 separate stages; information gathering, producing the marketing materials, marketing the business, and finally, once a buyer has been chosen, the Due Diligence and Negotiation stage. We are present through each stage, guiding and managing the process, especially when the business is 'in the market' during which time we are reaching out to prospective buyers to showcase your company and to obtain valuable market based feedback from would be buyers. We also are very involved during the due diligence/negotiation stage which is critically important to keep the process on track and moving forward.