Here are some frequently asked questions by our clients. if you don’t find the answer you seek, please book a free consultation
How will you put a market price on my business?
Firstly we will have an informal chat to understand what your goals are both for you personally and your business, and to discuss the exit strategy. If you then wish to further explore the selling of your business we will send you an in-depth evaluation questionnaire and we will also need to see your accounts. Once we have this information we arrange a telephone conversation with you to do a full evaluation and appraisal of your company and also talk to you about how we will sell it. A detailed written report is then emailed to you. It’s no obligation, so you don’t have to engage us but it will give you all the information you need to make the right decision for yourself and make sure your business is ready to go to market.
Please see a link to our blog on How to value a business
I’m not sure if I should sell or not. How can you help me decide?
Every client and every business we represent is unique, having personal, financial, and business goals. We help you understand these goals and to help design an exit strategy that suits your needs.
How will you maintain confidentiality during the process?
All marketing is vetted by you before publication, and you are in control of the process throughout. No information, even the identity of your business is released until a Non-Disclosure Agreement has been signed by the Interested Party and you have given us permission to engage with them. We realise the effect news of the sale of your business can have on your company so confidentiality is of upmost importance to us.
When will I need to tell my staff?
Staff are sometimes not told until very close to completion, so you are in control when they are informed subject to TUPE regulations.
Who will buy my business?
This will depend on your business, whether a competitor or an investor will pay the best price. In any industry, there are many different relevant Buyers so an open mind, especially at the early stages, is a sensible approach. Please see blog post for types of Buyers.
We will produce a well-researched list of potential acquirers for you for your final approval before any approaches are made.
How will we find a buyer?
We use various sources and market any business with the utmost confidentiality. Databases, various internet sites, mergers and acquisition platforms, international buyer-side agents and worldwide investment platforms are all utilised and we also approach your competitors and those from complementary and other relevant industries. All Buyers are vetted and they all sign Non-Disclosure Agreements before any information is released.
What types of deals am I likely to get?
There are many different types of deals, and this can vary from an outright sale to you remaining in the business retaining shares. The Acquirer will want to make their investment as safe as possible therefore an earn-out may be the most beneficial deal in most cases. Please see my blog Types of deals when selling a company.
How can I achieve the best market price?
Preparing the business for sale as well as having a good marketing strategy when you are selling are key elements. We do offer a free unlimited telephone consultation where we can help you to prepare your business for sale to achieve the best value and design a bespoke exit strategy.
What can I do to prepare my company for sale?
The most important consideration is to look at your business from an acquirer’s point of view. Can the company operate without you? Is there a lot of potential in the business? What type of acquirer has the most synergy with your business? For a more detailed list please see our blog post: 20 tips to ready your tech company for sale
How long will the process take?
You need to allow around 12 months to complete a deal.
Can I maintain some shares in the business?
Yes, you can and some acquirers prefer you to have a continued role and interest in the business as it gives them more security.
I don’t want to sell all of my business. Can I become part of a larger organisation?
Yes, you can, and sometimes a merger or an acquisition can suit both parties. All conditions are negotiable and we once we know what you are looking for we will search for a suitable buyer and do all negotiations on your behalf.
When is the best time to sell?
There are different reasons owners sell a business, but in our opinion, the best time to sell is when the business offers the most potential for an acquirer. Owning your own business is the same as owning shares on the stock market and timing is key. A shrewd business owner is always looking to sell. Please see our blog When is the right time to sell a business
Why should I use a business broker or a mergers & acquisitions agent? Can’t I sell my business myself?
Selling your business can be a minefield to navigate if it’s not your job to know how. It is complex and time-consuming. The end results can vary hugely according to the types of acquirers approached and who has undertaken the negotiations. A good broker has done the journey many times before and can more than justify their fees. Please read our blog post I have found my own buyer... What next?
We can offer professional knowledge and comprehensive insight that only comes from a wealth of expertise.
We are able to undertake detailed negotiations over the details that ultimately affect you, the seller. We are familiar with all the hurdles that can arise during negotiations and how to overcome them and how to deal with different profiles of Buyers. We are often able to close deals which would not be possible without our experience.
Think carefully before you decide to both sell and run your business. Please download our guide to selling a business.
What should I look for in a reputable broker?
Experience of the lead negotiator is important as well as specialization and an understanding of the industry. Are they able to devote the time and energy to your business or do they have hundreds of other businesses they are trying to sell at the same time?
How long are your agreements for?
Our agreements are usually for 12 months
What are your fees?
We do not charge upfront fees and charge a percentage of the sale price upon completion. The actual percentage charged will be determined on a case by case basis. The initial consultation and valuation are free and we also send you a free appraisal of your business.
Do I have to pay any fees if you don’t sell my business?
No, as long as you allow us 12 months to sell your business. After 12 months you can give us notice and there are no fees to pay at the end of the agreement.