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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.