Frequently Asked Questions
No Don’t Qualify Buyers Yourself.
The owner of a very successful, specialised manufacturing company decided to sell his business himself. He estimated that the business was worth around $1.2 million. Having advertised the business for sale he entered discussions with various parties. To his horror he later discovered that among the potential purchasers was someone on a fact finding mission for one of his main competitors.
Business owners who attempt to sell their businesses themselves often report that the process of meeting and vetting potential buyers is the most difficult and time consuming of all. Distinguishing legitimate buyers from among the raft of respondents, that may include time wasters or even inquisitive competitors, requires a great deal of judgement and background research. LINK brokers handle this delicate and often difficult process with integrity and discretion, ensuring that any sensitive information that could identify the business is withheld until the purchaser as signed a legally-binding Confidentiality Agreement.
Also I will never send information to a respondent without having a phone call with them to determine if they are a suitable buyer. Often I will require a face to face meeting and for certain businesses I send the persons details to the seller to check it is OK to disclose confidential information to them.
The signing of the Sale and Purchase Agreement does not mean the business is sold. The buyer will want to verify the information supplied and review any additional information not previously made available due to commercial sensitivity. The length of the due diligence process a buyer requests will often depend on the complexity of the business.
A buyer can terminate an agreement for a number of reasons during the due diligence process, but this is less likely to occur if the Information Memorandum is explicit and accurate.
“The time allowed for due diligence will be detailed in the agreement and is normally 5 to 15 working days.”
• Products lists
• Customer lists
• Supplier lists
• Plant and equipment lists
• Plant or equipment leases
• Building Leases
• Supply agreements
• Distribution agreements
• Copyright or licence agreements
• Any pending legal actions
• Employment agreements
• Profit and loss accounts – three plus years
• Year to date sales figures
• GST returns
• Aged debtors and creditors
• Staffing and payroll
• Stock values and quantities
• Work in progress estimates
• Budgets and forecasts
We make sure that the price is right. If you price your business too high, serious buyers won’t even consider it. Price it too low and you are throwing away hard earned money. Your LINK broker can guide you on what the market is paying for businesses similar to yours and what else is on the market in the same broad category.
Present it Right
You will get a better price if your business looks professional and organised and is clean and tidy in all respects including signage, interior, fittings, office, and storage areas. Your plant and equipment should be in good operational order.
Write Down Your Systems
Show the prospective buyer how easy it will be to take over. List your suppliers and major customers, the jobs to be done, the hours of operation, service providers, and what records must be kept.
Allow Time to Sell
On average, businesses take three to four months to sell. If you have to sell in a hurry you are in a weaker negotiating position and likely to be disadvantaged.
Prepare for the Sale
Buyers (and their accountants) will want to see up-to-date figures – financial accounts, daybooks, banking and GST returns. Lease agreements should be available for inspection and ideally have a reasonable term to run. Being ready with this information keeps the sale moving along smoothly.
Be Totally Honest
Don’t try to hide or disguise anything. Any irregularities or problems with a business will almost certainly be discovered by a buyer and their advisors during the due diligence process. It’s vitally important to establish trust up front and throughout the process.
Use a Business Broker
LINK brokers have specialist expertise derived from many years of experience in business sales. We can provide advice and guidance every step of the way, protecting your confidentiality, qualifying the genuine buyers and taking care of all the details.
The first step in preparing your business for sale is to get the books up to date so there is a clear picture of your operation, with supporting facts and projections.
“You only have one chance at making a positive first impression”
We determine if you should invest in your business prior to the sale.
We also look at YOUR requirements, during the process and after the sale.
You’ll be working with…
BUSINESS BROKER (BBS, CA)
Bachelor of Business Studies 1988
Chartered Accountant 1990
Diploma in Business – Marketing & Finance 1996
Email: [email protected]