In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the initial elements that play a major role in closing a business sale of any kind. Closing your sale is one of the final and most important stages you'll go through, and knowing the basic steps to move through will be very helpful in the long run.
At Utah Business Consultants, we're here to help with any and all needs you may have while selling your business in Salt Lake City or surrounding areas of Utah. We assist with everything from exit planning and business valuations to sale closing and much more. Today's part two of our series will go over the final elements of closing your business sale, ensuring you know how to manage these important areas.
Approval of Financing
While this is an area that primarily involves the actions of a business buyer and the lender they're using to finance the purchase, there will still be conditions that need to meet in order for your sale to move forward. Generally, you and your buyer's attorney can help ensure that all financing terms are approved by both parties before any closing documents are signed.
As you're going through the process of closing, be sure to also work with your buyer's lender about any specific holdbacks and conditions that need to be met in order for the sale to happen. These may include things like a certificate of occupancy or other compliance documents that needed prior to closing.
Drafting the Final Agreement
When closing a business sale, a lot of details will need to be ironed out in order for the Agreement of Sale to be accepted by both parties. In most cases, you'll use an attorney or legal expert to draft up your Agreement of Sale for the particular transaction that's taking place. This document could include things like any contingencies, purchase price details, and the responsibilities of both parties after closing.
Once you feel confident in the Agreement that's been drafted, you can move forward with signing it and officially closing your business sale.
Signing Closing Documents
The final step before closing a business sale is to sign all of the necessary documents related to the transaction. This could include things like the Agreement of Sale, some closing forms, and any other documents that were required by your buyer or their lender.
At Utah Business Consultants, our experienced team can help you review all of these documents and ensure they're in order before signing. By doing this, you'll be able to move forward with confidence knowing that all of the paperwork is handled.
For more on this or any of our other business consultation services, please contact us today!
Keeping things positive and upbeat is often helpful in many areas of our lives, and a good example here is among those engaged in selling their business. The general approach here should be all about focusing on the positive, helpful aspects of your business and how they'll benefit prospective buyers, and there are several ways to ensure you're ready to approach things in this manner.
At Utah Business Consultants, we're here to assist any client looking to sell their business in numerous ways, from broad themes like these down to the vital details of your business valuation and sale. What are some simple ways to keep a focus on positive, helpful elements of your business during a sale situation, which will in turn help improve your prospects at a great sale? This two-part blog series will go over several basic tips.
Why is Positivity Important in Business Sales?
Firstly, let's discuss why keeping a focus on positivity is important in this situation. Of course, you need to be realistic about the strengths and weaknesses of your business, but emphasizing the positives can help potential buyers see its worth. Your upbeat attitude will show that you have faith in your product, which may also encourage prospective buyers to trust that they're making a wise purchase.
Also, it's important to remember that potential buyers are looking for a good deal too. So, making sure you’re able to point out the positive aspects of your business and its potential will help them feel more confident about their investment and thus make them more likely to choose your product over others.
Have Everything Prepared Well in Advance
From a broad standpoint, the simplest way to ensure you're ready to highlight the positive aspects of your business is to ensure you're always prepared and organized. Have all the necessary documents ready and on hand, from financial reports to legal papers and everything in between - this will help reduce any anxiety that might come with not having paperwork readily available if a buyer requests it.
Keep your books up-to-date so you can have a clear financial picture of your business and its operations, and if you're not sure how to organize everything in the most efficient way, consulting a professional can save you time and help provide proper guidance.
Maintain Normal Operations During Sale Negotiations
One important concept when it comes to selling your business is to try and maintain its normal operations as much as possible during the sales process. This can show prospective buyers that you have faith in your product and that it still has a place on the market even though it's being sold. Potential buyers will be more likely to jump at the opportunity if they see that there are currently active customers or that sales are strong even during the sale process.
In part two of our series, we'll dig into some other helpful tips on how to utilize positivity during business sales and what it means for potential buyers. For more advice on the process of selling your business, reach out to the experts at Utah Business Consultants today. We look forward to helping you secure the best possible outcome for your sale!
In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the positive signs that a prospective buyer of your business is serious about their interest. Finding serious buyers is an important part of the process of selling any business, and knowing how to spot their signs is always good.
At Utah Business Consultants, we're happy to assist clients with a huge range of services to help you sell your business in Salt Lake City, including assessment and identification of quality buyer candidates and numerous other areas. In today's part two of our series, we'll look at the flip side of this coin: Some telltale signs that a prospective buyer for your business isn't serious, and in some cases may even be looking to scam or otherwise take advantage of you.
Refusal or Inability to Provide Basic Financials
Viewing the financials of any prospective buyer is a totally standard part of the business sale process, so any prospective buyer that refuses to show you their financials is exhibiting a pretty severe red flag. A typical deal will involve share price negotiations, and your business most likely has basic information with respect to how much the buyer is willing to pay for shares of stock in the company on display in their public filings with regulators like the SEC.
However, if a prospective partner refuses to show you other details, such as revenue figures, profit margins, cash flow projections and other basic elements of their financials, you should be very cautious. Some buyers will even be so bold as to provide fake numbers for these purposes in an attempt to defraud or otherwise game the negotiation process for their own benefit.
False or Misleading Statements
In other cases, you'll spot the signs of a non-serious or even potentially fraudulent business buyer by catching them in a lie. For example, if they tell you that their company has huge annual revenue before showing you more accurate numbers, this may be a warning sign. They might claim to have millions of dollars in the bank without evidence, or provide information about their business operations that doesn't check out with other sources.
Stories About "Creative" Purchasing Methods
While certain legitimate buyers may ask questions about cash required up front and similar purchasing methods, be wary of those who ask about methods like notes, the seller co-signing a loan with the buyer, or similar methods. These should be completely unnecessary and transparent to you unless there is a specific reason that the buyer requires such additional information.
"Creative" financing or purchasing arrangements are sometimes used as a means of defrauding prospective business sellers, and many unethical buyers will attempt to convince you to use these types of tactics when they know it's not a good idea. This is one area where working with our team of experienced business brokers will help you avoid all such risks, as they've seen every example of this.
For more on the signs that a prospective business buyer for your company isn't entirely serious or may even be looking to defraud you, or to learn about any of our exit planning or business sale services in SLC or nearby areas, speak to the team at Utah Business Consultants today.
In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on how to help differentiate your business from others in your industry if you're looking to sell. Buyers are always looking for unique qualities that will draw them in, and being able to highlight these well is often a vital part of listing your business for sale.
At Utah Business Consultants, we're happy to assist clients with every part of their prospective business sale, from proper business valuation through numerous techniques that will help you promote your business and get it in view of ideal buyers. In today's part two of our series, we'll go over a few other themes and tips for helping distinguish yourself from others on the market, especially those in your industry.
If your business boasts a price advantage over some or all of your primary competitors on the market, this is a major strength worth leveraging in your marketing and promotion of the business. This edge can be a function of any number of things, such as:
- Lower overhead expenses (rent, utilities, taxes)
- A lower cost-per-unit price to the customer due to more efficient operation
- Higher profit margins than your competitors
- A strong brand image, such as luxury products and services vs. mid-market or bargain brands
Whatever the cause, your business having a price advantage over some or all of its competition is well worth drawing attention to during your sale. This is an important point in countering the general tendency for buyers to assume the market rate in any given area is the most competitive price.
Difficulty of Replication
Another primary feature to highlight, if present, is any products or services you produce that are difficult for competitors to replicate. This can take many forms, but it's usually best if the difficulty of replication is inherent in the product or service itself, rather than a function of something you do that poses an obstacle for other businesses.
Some examples might be:
- A patent or proprietary technology for creating your product or rendering your services
- A customer base that is difficult to target, such as a patent or an unusual demographic
- A location that makes it costly, time-consuming, complicated to enter the market in your area
- A strong brand image and/or name recognition that takes years and millions of dollars in advertising and marketing investment to build and maintain
Finally, there are certain other intangibles that will often attract buyers in small ways. A long, business-friendly lease in your building, for instance, may not be the kind of thing that will entice a buyer to make an offer, but it can help push your sale over the top in certain close cases.
Other types of intangibles that might interest buyers are things like customer lists, proprietary software, proven advertising programs, and more.
For more on how to highlight the best attributes of your business to position yourself for a sale, or to learn about any of our exit planning or business sales services, speak to the staff at Utah Business Consultants today.
Business owners are often looking for the qualities that separate their company from others, and this remains true even in cases where you're thinking of selling your business. Your unique qualities will often be some of the most attractive to prospective buyers of your business, so knowing and highlighting them is a central part of navigating a successful sale.
At Utah Business Consultants, we're here to help with a wide variety of business valuation and business sale services in Salt Lake City, including assistance with a number of different elements that will help you promote your business's unique characteristics. In this two-part blog series, we'll go over some of the specific themes you might look to highlight and promote while you look to help your business stand out on the market.
Perhaps the single most important quality a prospective business buyer will be looking at is the company's standing within its market. If you're producing a product or service that stands out from the rest, or if your company boasts a special kind of relationship with customers, then those qualities will be just as important to highlight as they are in any other context.
It's often worth thinking about market position in terms of both relative and absolute positioning. In relative terms, you'll be looking to demonstrate the ways in which your company differs from its competitors or market rivals. In absolute terms, you'll want to elaborate on the kind of reputational capital your business has managed to build up within its industry.
In both cases, it's important that you're able to clearly and effectively illustrate these qualities to prospective buyers. Keep in mind that the language you'll want to use will likely need to be oriented a bit more toward business and finance professionals, rather than your everyday customers or existing business contacts.
Brand Name and Brand Identity
In addition to the actual standing you have in the market, buyers want to know that your company and products are recognizable through a strong brand. When buyers know that your company is instantly familiar to many of the client bases you are selling to, they will generally be much more interested.
Robust Customer Lists
Over the years, your company may have built up several different email lists, subscriber lists and others that help you track your loyal customers. These will also be very important to prospective buyers, as that kind of information can be quite valuable in the years ahead.
Strong Relationships with Important Suppliers
Buyers will also be interested to know what relationships you have been able to build up over the course of your business career, as this may speak volumes about your ability to work effectively both internally and externally.
For more on how to help your SLC business stand out if you're putting it on the sale market, or to learn about any of our business brokerage services, speak to the staff at Utah Business Consultants today.
[vc_row type="in_container" full_screen_row_position="middle" scene_position="center" text_color="dark" text_align="left" overlay_strength="0.3" shape_divider_position="bottom" bg_image_animation="none"][vc_column column_padding="no-extra-padding" column_padding_position="all" background_color_opacity="1" background_hover_color_opacity="1" column_link_target="_self" column_shadow="none" column_border_radius="none" width="1/1" tablet_width_inherit="default" tablet_text_alignment="default" phone_text_alignment="default" column_border_width="none" column_border_style="solid" bg_image_animation="none"][vc_column_text]In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some basics on how to identify prospective businesses if you’re in the market or considering entering it. Business owners may sell their businesses for a variety of reasons, and will be looking for ideal buyers – how do you go about evaluating which of these are best for you, plus moving forward with the very top options?
At Utah Business Consultants, we’ve provided assistance for a variety of clients with identifying and eventually acquiring quality businesses for sale in Salt Lake City and other parts of Utah. What are some of the other important steps that go into this process, and how will our business brokers assist you? Here are some basics.
Once you’ve worked with your broker to identify a good business, it’s vital to take all the proper time required to put in due diligence. There are numerous themes to look into here, from the valuation of the business to future planning and many others.
A big part of this is assembling an acquisitions team, which will include an attorney and potentially a third-party business valuation partner – however, this latter individual won’t be necessary if you’re working with our brokers, who handle business valuation themes in-house. You and your team should evaluate the comprehensive financials of the business to confirm there are no issues, plus to raise any questions or liability concerns that could crop up during the process.
Unless you’re among the handful of buyers who are independently wealthy, you’ll likely need to obtain some level of financing or funding to assist with your purchase. There are several options here, from standard seller financing (where the seller allows you to make payments over time, including interest) to angel investors or forms of venture capital that involve you giving some percentage of the business to the investor.
There are also business loan options available in some cases. Which of these options is best for you will depend on your precise circumstances, but you should have your funding arrangements made before you move forward with the sale.
Once the funding is secured, the terms are set and both parties are ready to move forward, it’s time to proceed with the drawing up of the sales agreement. This is the part of the process where working with a quality attorney is important – this party will be able to draw up the agreement and make sure all parties understand every section, plus can answer questions or solve problems. Ensure every detail of the agreement corresponds to your negotiations, plus is written clearly.
For more on how to find a business to purchase, or to learn about any of our business sales or business valuation services, speak to the staff at Utah Business Consultants today.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Like with many other negotiation types, final price is often the major sticking point in a business sale negotiation. There are many cases where the business seller and buyer will have agreed on all the major term areas for the sale, but there’s still a gap in terms of the final price itself.
At Utah Business Consultants, we’ve seen this situation for many of our past business sales. We provide quality busines sale and exit planning services for a wide variety of business clients, and we’re experienced with circumstances where the parties are trying to bridge a price gap to finalize a given business sale. Here are several themes often considered for bringing the two sides closer together in these situations.
In cases where real estate was a planned part of the original deal, there may be options where the seller chooses to instead hold onto ownership of the real estate and rent the premise to the buyer. This allows the real estate itself to be removed from the price of the transaction, often allowing buyers who were a bit short on the required funds to make up the difference easily.
In some cases, the buyer can choose to pay a higher rent total than would actually be required. This is viewed as a goodwill portion of the sale. Also, sellers may choose to retain building titles, machinery or other equipment and lease it to the buyer under similar circumstances.
Another possible theme for buyers who don’t have the full purchasing price or cannot agree on a total will be the buyer only acquiring portions of the business rather than 100%. A buyer may purchase 75% of a seller’s stock, for instance, plus an option to buy further stock based on pre-set agreements. The seller retains their share of profits and earnings, while the buyer can complete the process in two or even three or more steps.
There are other situations where a royalty setup will be introduced. This can be structured based on factors like revenue, gross margins, EBIT or EBITDA.
In other situations, the buyer will look to acquire only the fastest-growing portion of the business in a subsidiary. Both buyer and seller will share in profits for this part of the business while the full payment waits in limbo, and will be fully transferred to the seller when the original transaction is paid in full.
Finally, one of the cruder but effective methods of bridging a price gap in a business sale is to simply remove certain assets from the equation. Particularly if there are non-business assets or other real estate that aren’t a central part of the acquisition, these can often be easily enough removed to arrive at an agreement.
For more on how to bridge a price gap between buyers and sellers during a business sale, or to learn about any of our business valuation or exit planning services, speak to the staff at Utah Business Consultants today.
[vc_row type="in_container" full_screen_row_position="middle" scene_position="center" text_color="dark" text_align="left" overlay_strength="0.3" shape_divider_position="bottom" bg_image_animation="none"][vc_column column_padding="no-extra-padding" column_padding_position="all" background_color_opacity="1" background_hover_color_opacity="1" column_link_target="_self" column_shadow="none" column_border_radius="none" width="1/1" tablet_width_inherit="default" tablet_text_alignment="default" phone_text_alignment="default" column_border_width="none" column_border_style="solid" bg_image_animation="none"][vc_column_text]For any business owner, even those who aren’t directly considering selling in the near future, having a handle on basic exit planning steps is still important. A good exit plan contains several elements that help you achieve business success, plus keeps you prepared when either market factors or your own desires dictate that the time to sell has come.
At Utah Business Consultants, we’re proud to high-quality business broker and business exit planning services to a variety of clients, from those looking to sell right away to those simply trying to be prepared for the future. In today’s blog, we’ll go over a few themes or questions to go over for yourself if you’re wondering whether you’re ready to exit your business, including both practical and personal factors.
Assess Business Value
First and foremost, many of the answers you’re looking for here will present themselves when you take inventory of the business’s value. While you can get a broad idea of your business’s value with certain online tools, we recommend working with both your internal accounting team and our business brokers to get a clear, precise value.
Simply put, it’s very common for business owners to find that the actual value of their business is much different from what they think it is. There are several market factors that play a role here, and it’s important to remember that the marketplace makes the final call here.
Do You Truly Want to Sell?
If you’ve done the legwork to obtain a precise business value and the numbers line up favorably, the next big question to ask yourself is often a personal one: Do you truly want to sell? Some get right up to the one-yard-line before deciding they can’t leave a business they’ve built from the ground up.
This decision might also be financial, however. Your valuation efforts might reveal that this is a poor time to sell, either based on unfavorable market conditions or some issue with the business itself. This just underscores the importance of a precise, accurate business valuation.
If you’ve moved through both the above steps and have determined you still want to move forward with the sale, it’s time to get organized. If you are not already working with a business broker, now is well past the time to get in touch with one. The goal will be ensuring that any prospective buyers will have the proper information on the business, from prior year profit and loss statements to tax returns, lease documents, loans, franchise agreements and many other potential items.
For more on the themes and questions to ask yourself when determining if you’re ready to exit your business, or to learn about any of our exit planning, business valuation or business brokerage services, speak to the staff at Utah Business Consultants today.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]