Gold Country Advisors’ Approach to brokering the sale of a business is customized to our clients’ needs.
Every business is different and requires a customized marketing approach. GCA’s preparation of sales presentation material, research of prospective buyers, and the strategy employed to sell a company are tailored to our clients’ needs … an important distinction between M&A Specialists and “Main Street” business brokers.
Our process for selling your company is consistent across every deal. This process comprises ten critical activities, each one professionally executed to ensure our clients that nothing is left to chance and the odds of success are in favor of the client.
GCA’s 10-STEP SALES PROCESS
Step 1: Assessment Meeting and Preliminary Valuation. The process begins with a confidential meeting with you to discuss the potential sale of your company. Our objective is to listen and learn about your business, review financial statements and other information, and make a preliminary assessment of the value of your business and its marketability. Potential buyers and an outline of our sales strategy are also discussed.
Step 2: Engagement Agreement. At this point, you the seller make the decision to go forward with exploring a sale. You are under no obligation to sell. If you decide to move forward with exploring a sale, we will require you to sign our standard Engagement Agreement.
Step 3: Confidential Marketing Document. This confidential business review (CBR), sometimes referred to as the “deal book”, is the official selling document for your company. It contains much of the information a prospective buyer will need to make a decision on pursing acquisition of the company. This comprehensive document discusses the company’s products and/or services, operations, personnel, the market, and financial information. In general, it takes between one and three weeks to prepare the book, depending on the availability of the information requested.
Step 4: Buyer Research. During this phase we tap into our proprietary database of buyers and affiliated national networks as well as conduct our own research to identify the most logical prospective buyers of the business. This list is used as a starting point, but is inevitably expanded as contacts are made and new prospects emerge in the process.
Step 5: Marketing to Buyers. At this stage we begin making calls to prospects, explaining the business in general terms without disclosing the name or exact location of the business. If buyers expressed interest based on the preliminary information provided, we require them to sign a confidentiality/non-disclosure agreement before releasing the sensitive financial and marketing information we have prepared.
Step 6: Coordinate Information Sharing, Conference Calls, & Schedule Visits. After reviewing the CBR, interested buyers may request further information and request a conference call, activities that we coordinate in our own ongoing communication with buyers. Buyers prepared to make an offer will typically require a site visit to see the operation, inspect the physical facility, fixed assets, etc. We facilitate any and all communication between buyers and sellers and coordinate all of these activities.
Step 7: Letter of Intent/Acceptance of Offer. This is the buyer’s preliminary offer. The letter of intent (LOI) spells out the basic elements of the transaction, most notably the offering price, terms and conditions, financing arrangements or contingencies, working capital considerations, and anticipated closing date. We assist buyers with the relevant deal points that must be addressed in the LOI to ensure there is no ambiguity in the offer. In this stage we present the offer(s) to our client and serve as an intermediary to negotiate an acceptable final offer.
Step 8: Due Diligence. During this phase, the buyer with the winning offer begins due diligence. If the intermediary has done his job, this process should be a formality. That’s because the buyer has already been fully informed of all issues impacting the business, and reviewed and based his offer on accurate information provided by the intermediary. Even so, most buyers will hire an accountant to verify financial information and conduct on-site due diligence to ensure there are no hidden surprises that might be considered “material” prior to taking ownership.
Step 9: Contract Preparation. After due diligence, the buyer directs his attorney(s) to prepare the necessary legal documents. In some cases, particularly those involving seller financing, the seller will hire attorneys to prepare these documents. The draft contracts are reviewed by both sides, marked-up, and prepared for closing.
Step 10: Closing. After the purchase agreement and all other legal contracts have been finalized, a formal closing is held, documents are signed, money changes hands, and the transaction closes.