Your business is more than just a financial spread sheet. It represents your hard work, sacrifices and your hopes and dreams. Parting with something so valuable should not be attempted alone. VR Business Sales can help you navigate the complex undertaking of selling a business of any size to ensure you get the best value and avoid costly mistakes.
If you have decided now is the right time for selling a business in Tampa, working with a professional, experienced business broker is your best bet for getting the optimal price and most favorable terms. If you have not sold a business before, or if it has been a very long time since you have done so, you may have a lot of questions. That’s why you need a business brokerage firm that is knowledgeable with answers and can offer you a proven plan for success.
Questions to Answer Before You Sell
Is this, in fact, the right time to sell?
An experienced business broker with their finger on the pulse of the market can tell you if whether not now is the best time to sell your business. There will very likely be variables you may have not considered. They can help you with the timing and execution of the sale for maximum value.
How much is my business really worth?
This is one of the very first and most important questions you will need an answer to once you have determined now is the best time to sell. An experienced business broker can help you determine the true value of your business so that you price it correctly. Over or under pricing can derail the entire process and have long-term consequences that can be quite costly.
There are a great many factors that go into determining your business’s true worth. Depending on the industry you are in, current costs of doing business versus the price of your goods or services are all going to affect the sale value. With the research and guidance of a business broker, it’s possible to determine your company’s true value.
Because we have your best interest at heart, we will be brutally honest about your business’s worth and what changes you may need to make before you can sell it for the best price possible. While this may mean a delay in selling, in the long-term you will receive a higher price, more favorable terms and have a bigger pool of buyers.
How long will it take to sell my business in Tampa, FL?
The most honest answer to this question is; it depends. There are no guarantees that your business will sell quickly or at all. But with the help and guidance of an experienced business broker, you can get it done in the most efficient, streamlined and timely manner. On average, it takes nine to twelve months to a year to sell a business, so it is not a quick process and you should plan accordingly.
How long will it take to sell my business?
Selling your business will typically take anywhere from nine to twelve months. Because it’s such a long process, we would definitely recommend that you consult a business brokerage office such as us. During this long period of time, you’ll still need to keep your business operating and with the added stress of the sale, you might find yourself overloaded with stress. You want your business to be efficient and perform well when you finally make the sale, so let us take care of the legwork for you. Check out our Sale Process section below to help you get a better understanding of the entire process.
How do I keep the sale process confidential while still running my business?
Confidentiality should be a top priority for you, and so it is for us too. You could lose customers, employees, vendors and have difficulty negotiating contracts, leases, etc., if your intent to sell is revealed too soon. In order to keep running your business smoothly, efficiently, and most importantly, profitably, you need an experienced business broker who will help you through the process while protecting you from the potential negative issues that could derail the entire process should it be known you are selling.
We have a process for ensuring private data is secure from employees, customers, competitors, and suppliers so you can continue business as usual with confidence. We screen all potential buyers rigorously before we provide any specific details about your business to protect your privacy.
We are always happy to discuss this in more detail to answer your questions and address your concerns regarding this matter. We have helped dozens of business owners successfully sell their companies while protecting their information and ensuring that important data that could be damaging in the wrong hands is protected.
If I Sell My Business in Tampa, FL, What Can I Expect from the Process?
Our success relies on strict adherence to a nine-step process that will be tailored to fit your business and individual needs. We know it works because we have used it over and over again to help our clients achieve their goal of selling their business at the right time, at the right price, to the right buyer.
Here are the steps:
- The Initial Meeting – the first meeting is when we will get a thorough understanding of your business, your goals for the sell, and begin the process of determining its true value. For your convenience we can meet at your office, our office or at a neutral location of your choice. The meeting will include details about our process so that you fully understand how everything will proceed. Your questions are encouraged and welcome at this meeting. Once we are confident you understand everything and we have secured your permission to proceed, we’ll get to work and provide you with your complimentary valuation.
- The Valuation (based on your broker’s opinion) – there are many different factors we will be considered to determine the value of your business. The type of industry, level of risk, business performance and the type of buyer most likely interested in this type of business are all carefully researched.
We will request the following documentation:
- 3 years of business tax returns & balance sheets
- Profit and loss statements in a monthly comparison format for the previous 3 years and year-to-date
- Year-to-date balance sheet
- An approximate fair market value of the company owned assets
- The average value of your inventory of saleable product on hand at any given time during the year
- Accounts receivable aging report
- A summary of revenue distribution by customer
- All lease information and a copy of the lease
- A copy of your current tax bill and/or a real estate appraisal (when applicable)
Armed with this information, we usually be able to get back to you in three to five business days with the value of business based on the broker’s experience and research. In the documents we will provide a probable selling price, a seller’s pre-tax proceeds report, terms of the sale you can expect to receive, and a profile of the type of buyer most likely interested in your particular business.
We will also pre-screen everything with third-party lenders to determine the possibility of SBA financing. If not immediately, we will get that information to you in a timely manner, before your business is listed for sale. As the seller you will need to know what the net proceeds of the sale will be once all fees and taxes are paid.
It is highly recommended that you discuss this information with your accountant and/or financial planner to ensure the amount you will receive is sufficient to achieve your financial goals.
- Building a deal team – in a complex transaction such as selling a business you need a team of experts to oversee the details and protect your interests. We recommend:
- Us as your business broker
- Your account
- Your financial advisor
- A transaction attorney
If you need assistance filling any of these roles, we can recommend people we know and trust to do an excellent job for you.
- Identifying buyers and confidentially marketing your business – When your team is in place, we will provide a confidential business review report with:
- a description of the business
- financial summaries, market and industry information
- potential opportunities and details
- personnel for your business
The purpose of all this data is to provide the necessary information to potential buyers to pique their interest in your particular business. This is how we find those who are truly interested in buying and arrange for them to meet with you, tour the business, and possibly make an offer.
We will never start marketing your business until you have approved this report. You will always remain in control of the process. Potential buyers will not see anything until they have signed a confidentiality agreement and disclosed their financial resources to determine if they are able to afford it. Protecting this document from misuse is a top priority for us.
Once everything has met with your approval, we will present our marketing strategy to reach potential qualified buyers.
This is our usual methodology:
- Search our internal buyer database of investors, representatives of private equity groups and individuals.
- Utilize research gathered from subscribed databases and internet searches to profile potential buyers.
- Post generic confidential descriptions of your business on as many as eight different business brokerage websites used by buyers from all over the world that we subscribe to
Our approach to marketing is targeting a large audience in an expansive pool of qualified buyers with the goal of finding at least three to create favorable competition to maximize the sale price. All of this is only done with your approval and consent.
- Pre-screening Potential Buyers
You cannot afford to waste time meeting with people who cannot qualify financially for your business. You also cannot waste time meeting with those unsuited to owning your type of business or those who may actually be competitors. All buyers are carefully pre-screened via a telephone call or email. Only after they have signed the confidentiality agreement and provided their financials will we go forward and share any of your specific data. When this is all received, we will present them with your pre-approved confidential business review.
- Meeting with Prospective Buyers – You will only meet buyers who have been carefully vetted and are known to be serious about purchasing your business. We will arrange the in-person or video conference meeting. In most cases a serious potential buyer will want to meet with you in person and on-site, though. One of our representatives will be present for the meeting, and it will be scheduled after-hours or whenever it is most convenient for you.
- Purchase Offer – if the meeting goes well the buyer will most likely want to make an offer. This is done in the form of an APA, or asset purchase agreement, or LOI, a non-binding letter of intent. These documents outline the terms of the transaction and whether or not to accept, decline or counter the offer. We will make recommendations to you regarding all of this based on our research and experience. If there are multiple offers, we ensure all potential buyers are treated fairly and offered an equal opportunity to present their offer so you get the best sale price.
- Due diligence – After the APA or LOI is accepted, the buyer usually will have 30 to 45 days to perform their due diligence. The buyer will present us with a due diligence list requesting bank statements, tax returns, copies of leases and other contracts, lists of suppliers and customers, etc. We will review this list to determine if it is appropriate and acceptable before you turn over any information.
During the due diligence process, you agree not to negotiate with other buyers. However, we will continue to monitor and follow up on any buyer inquiries in the event the offer is withdrawn. If all proceeds normally and the due diligence period has ended, you are almost ready to seal the deal. In the event an LOI was used, we will request the buyer present the purchase agreement and other relevant documentation required for closing. We may also work with the buyer to secure financing.
- The Closing – This is it! Due diligence is finished and both parties are satisfied with the purchase conditions. Now it is time to have your attorney review everything to ensure all agreements have been met in the closing documents. This process usually takes between 70 and 90 days to complete.
Over the years, we have successfully guided business owners through the complex process of selling a business in Tampa. With strict adherence to our process, we help owners get the best deal for their business in a timely and efficient manner.
If you are ready to sell your business or would like to ask us any questions about the process, please contact us so we can start the conversation. Give us a call at (813) 260-3127 or click here. We look forward to hearing from you.