The Process of Selling
Protecting confidentiality during the process is critical to preserving value and to a successful sale. Confidentiality is essential when you are exploring options for exiting your business
Employees, customers or competitors learning of your plans could seriously damage your business’ market value. Establishing and maintaining confidentiality is extremely important to Metro and we take all practical steps to protect the identity of your business.
In the initial stages of conversation with a seller, Metro makes the commitment to keep all information confidential. In fact, our Broker to Owner/Seller Confidentiality Agreement is the first document signed when discussions require the disclosure of your confidential information such as financial statements, leases, and agreements.
Potential Buyer Confidentiality
Confidentiality is further secured during the marketing process by requiring all interested parties to execute a Non-Disclosure and Confidentiality Agreement and a Buyer Profile prior to receiving any identifying details of the business or other sensitive information. As the seller, you also have the option to exclude certain unacceptable potential buyers from receiving the Confidential Business Overview.
Offer & Due Diligence Confidentality
Finally, maintaining confidentiality is emphasized to all parties throughout the offer, negotiations and buyer’s due diligence phases of the process. Breaches in confidentiality at these critical stages can be damaging, resulting in delays, anxiety, and potentially reduced values.
Having been owners and sellers ourselves, we understand the importance of confidentiality. You can trust Metro’s professional commitment to confidentiality.
Phase 1: Preparing your Business for Sale
80% of businesses don’t sell for the asking price. The reason? Lack of business analysis and comparable market data.
Preparing your Business for Sale can be an intense process…rely on Metro to make the process manageable
Metro will guide you through the steps to:
Analyze the business—Pre-Sale due diligence
Metro wants to know your business. What has made the business successful? What does the future hold for the business and the industry? We learn the business history and specialties from the seller, then view the business from the eyes of a buyer. We recommend ways to increase the business value, potentially increasing the sale price by thousands of dollars.
Determine the business value and asking price
Metro will perform a market valuation to determine the actual cash flow of the business, extracting owner discretionary expenses. Researching for comparable sales data and determining what the market is offering for like businesses is essential, in combination with historical financial data, to provide support of the business value. We then collaborate with you to set the asking price.
Calculate balance sheet sale analysis
It’s not what you make from the sale of your business… it’s what you keep! Your silent partner Uncle Sam wants his reward for your hard work. Metro believes that knowing the effects of all adjustments to the selling price and determining net owner cash benefit is essential prior to listing the business for sale. Please consult your CPA for tax advice.
Develop marketing materials
Metro will create a Confidential Business Overview (CBO) describing the operations, history, market, opportunities and financial results of the company in detail. This document introduces prospective buyers to the highlights and flavor of your business. The CBO is only given to qualified prospects who have executed a Confidentiality Agreement and demonstrated the necessary financial capacity.
Together we develop a comprehensive marketing plan to educate potential buyers about your business – past, present and future.
Metro has extensive networks to market the business for sale locally, regionally or nationally. In many cases, the size of the business will determine the most appropriate market and identify the prime type of buyer.
Metro is in regular contact with entrepreneurs and investors looking to buy a business. Our extensive network of attorneys, accountants, financial planners, bankers and other advisors also shares business profiles with their clients when an appropriate opportunity arises.
Many channels are used to get the word out while maintaining confidentiality, including but not limited to:
- Metro Exchange eBlasts to our network of 4,500 plus contacts
- Internet business sites
- Targeted industry contacts
- Print ads in business or trade journals
Phase 2: Marketing your Business
When marketing a business for sale, we create a customized communication plan using multiple channels.
Phase 3: Navigating the Offer & Due Diligence
Pre-sale due diligence pays off. Maximize the proceeds of the sale of your business by addressing critical issues early.
Metro is your objective partner who has experienced the crucial negotiations of offer and acceptance many times. We work with you to reach acceptable terms and financing for the deal. Metro represents you and will present the pros and cons of each offer while providing you with the necessary information to make an informed decision.
If you need legal or accounting resources, Metro maintains close ties with professionals who specialize in business sale transactions and we are happy to make referrals to a professional that is a good match for your situation.
Likewise, Metro is there to manage the buyer’s due diligence process to successfully avoid or resolve the issues that undoubtedly will occur during this critical stage. Our priority is to protect you and your interests and to do our best to keep the process moving forward.
You need to continue to focus on running your business and maintaining its market value. Due diligence can be a period of high anxiety and stress for owners. Metro is at your side providing the perspective needed.
Metro manages the final stage of the process as well. We coordinate with your attorneys, accountants and financial advisors to ensure an efficient, smooth closing. With you, we also structure a transition plan to ensure the business continues to operate seamlessly for your clients during the transfer. Finally, we all convene at the closing table with the documents necessary to close the deal and transfer ownership.
Metro will be with you every step of the way.
Phase 4 : Closing the Sale
Closing the deal is a detail-filled process. Being prepared with all the necessary agreements and documents is critical.