The CFA Process

Over the years, we have developed and refined a specific process we use to market and sell our client’s businesses.Our proven system includes a number of steps designed to conduct the successful sale of your company in an efficient and professional manner, as follows:

  • Introductory Meeting – We  first meet with you to discuss the possibility of a sale, review your goals  and objectives, and determine your level of interest in selling your company  at this time.
     
  • Business Appraisal – Once you have made the decision to sell, together we determine an asking price for the business. We utilize recognized business appraisal methods and actual  completed transactions to determine a realistic asking price.
     
  • Tax Evaluation – After  your business has been valued, we work with your professional advisors to determine the tax-related ramifications of the sale. This allows us to help structure the terms of the transaction to minimize your taxes and maximize your value. We are CPA’s and have been involved with hundreds of transactions over the years.
     
  • Business Profile – After all pertinent information has been gathered from you and your advisors, we compile a comprehensive business profile (the marketing “book”), which is one  of the major tools we use to sell your business.
     
  • Executive Summary – In addition to the “book”, we also prepare a shorter, less detailed summary of  the business. This synopsis gives potential buyers a basic description of the  business without revealing the identity of your company. Confidentiality is always of the utmost importance.
     
  • Marketing Plan – Taking into account the unique nature of your business and your personal goals and desires, we work with you to determine the best strategy to sell you business  in an efficient and successful manner. Some of the marketing techniques we use include database searches for synergistic buyers; targeted mailings to previous contacts who have shown an interest in businesses like yours or companies in other cities which might want to enter your marketing area;  advertising in local newspapers, business publications (e.g. Crain’s Cleveland Business), and industry trade journals; Internet listings (our website, as well as state and national on-line networks) showing the highlights without disclosing the identity of your company; and other industry-specific methods best suited to your company’s specific situation. We don’t just  sit and wait for the right buyer to come along – we actively market the  companies we represent.
     
  • Qualifying Buyers – We sort out the unqualified prospects, and then go a step further. We have developed a buyer profiling system that documents the needs, interests, and  ambitions of all our buyers. We can then explore businesses they may never  have considered before. Sellers can be sure that their business will be  matched up against hundreds of potential buyers for the right fit.  In many instances we already have buyer-paid fee agreements in place whereby the buyer (not seller) pays our fee directly - in which case we will identify this to you in advance.
     
  • Introduction – We make a  confidential introduction of your business to buyers we feel are qualified and  may have an interest. Each buyer must sign a Confidentiality/Non-Disclosure  Agreement promising to maintain complete confidentiality. We take precautions  to prevent your employees, customers, competitors or suppliers from learning  about your plans to sell.
     
  • Follow-up – Making the  decision to buy is often as hard as deciding to sell. We follow prospects and  can pursue a buyer without weakening your bargaining position. If you tried to  actively pursue a potential buyer on your own, the price might go down with  each contact.
     
  • Negotiations – We guide  you through even the most complicated contract negotiations and work with  other professionals to help put tax, legal and business issues in perspective.  We find solutions to even the most difficult problems when they  emerge.
     
  • Buyer’s Assistance – We  have found that the best way to assure a successful sale is to closely assist  the buyer through every step of the buying process. We unravel the “mystery”  of buying a business and make the buyer comfortable with the whole process. We  prepare them to act quickly when we uncover the right opportunity. We explain  the seller’s needs to the buyer prior to the negotiation stage. After  agreement, we help facilitate the buyer’s review of the books and records of  the business and the transfer of the lease, licenses and necessary  approvals
     
  • The Close – We coordinate  the administrative maze of the close and work with the appropriate attorneys  and accountants to accomplish a smooth sale.
     
  • Transition – We assist at  the time inventory is taken and with other activities that must take place  during the transition. Because we are an active part of the business  community, we will be there long after the sale, acting as a continuous  resource to you and to the new owners.
     

Considering selling - Questions & Answers - Do's and Don't's - What buyers look for
Seller's checklist - The meeting - Transferring ownership

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