It’s time for your annual checkup! No, not another trip to the Doctor’s office to ignore their advice again!
It’s time to check your Business Estate Plan! Where do you start? At the beginning with Phase I, of course!
Conduct Presentable Due Diligence
Approximately half of all business sales fall apart during the formal due diligence stage. One of the most common reasons this happens is due to the buyer uncovering an issue which the seller did not disclose earlier. How do you prevent your business sale from falling apart? Get the due diligence done first, before you invite a single buyer to consider buying your business.
When the formal due diligence by the buyer does occur, you’ll have 90% or more of the work already done. This will accelerate the sales process, reduce the chances your business transition falls apart and maximize your value.
Create Your Marketing Presentation
You have sold a home or two during your lifetime. What do you do first – before you stage the home and your Realtor kicks you out for endless open house weekends? You convey a list of attributes of your home that are attractive to the RIGHT buyer. You want to present that your house has 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, a covered patio, a beautiful pool and a flowery cherry tree. This enables buyers to “check the boxes” to determine if your home meets their wants and needs.
You need to do the same thing when it is time to sell your business. But conveying all of the attributes of your business is much more complicated than listing a house. We create a marketing package for your business that provides the right information for the right buyer. Although we never reveal the name, location or price of your business, potential buyers can “check the boxes” of the right business for them. We’ll tell them about your flowery cherry tree too!
Build Your Online Data Room
It’s great that you’ve decided to develop your business estate plan. But while you are preparing to transition your business, you still have a business to run. The last thing you want to spend time on is creating and recreating documents to share with prospective buyers. It’s time consuming, tremendously unproductive and exceptionally frustrating.
It is good idea to establish a data room even if your business is not imminently for sale. Periodic updates ensure you are ready to go when it is time to sell. We create online data rooms for our clients where every single document in the business transition process is stored and secured.
When qualified buyers express interest, we simply reach into the online data room and confidentially share the right information at the right time. Our clients lose no time or productivity, while avoiding all of the frustration of managing the complexity.
Develop Your Buyer Prospect List
You’ve mastered finding buyers for your products and services. But now you need to master the “who, what, where’s” of finding the right buyer for your business.Who are your prospective buyers?
- Competitors– They are always potential buyers, but you want to be careful about who to approach and how.
- Strategic Buyers– These buyers have complementary products/services where your business would make an attractive acquisition.
- Financial Buyers– These are professional investors who would buy your business with the goal of expansion.
Each of these buyers have unique goals and needs in a transaction and need to be evaluated in detail before any contact or communication is made. We help tether your transactional goals with those of a potential buyer to ensure the initial communication with a buyer is as smooth as possible.
Establish Buyer Qualification Process
Once you tell the world that your business is for sale (no matter how discrete you are about revealing your business name and location), you will attract people who claim to be interested in buying your business.
The key at this point in the process is managing your time. You don’t want to waste a single minute on someone who isn’t qualified to buy or who is using your information on their own fishing expedition.
What must happen is prospective buyers need to be qualified on both their capability to complete the transaction and their genuine interest in your business. Our processes filter out the “lookie-loos” and focus on viable buyers for your business.
This process is tailored to each business owners goals and needs so that anyone who does not fit those needs doesn’t get past the starting line … saving time effort and energy for all parties involved.
Once you’ve completed Phase I, you can pull the trigger anytime on Phase II to secure an offer and Phase III to close the deal and realize your well deserved maximum value in transitioning your business.
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Alex has advised hundreds of small businesses on strategic planning, business development and all areas of corporate finance, specializing in helping business owners sell their business or raise capital for growth and acquisition. In his work with business owners, he has found many have done very little planning for an eventual transition away from the day to day operations or out of the business altogether.
As a native Arizonan, his passion is working with and advising local companies and helping business owners gain comfort in their eventual retirement and have the knowledge that when the time comes to sell the business they have a well designed plan of action already in hand, a good idea of what that business is worth, and who the next owner will be. He founded Arizona Business Transitions to assist business owners plan for an exit or transition, even if that transition is not on the horizon.
Alex attended Brophy College Preparatory and graduated from DePauw University – Economics and Management. Member of the Tempe Diablos Charities. He lives in Tempe with his wife Trish and two boys, 10 year old Carter and 7 year old Aidan.