Here’s how our business selling process works:
1) Evaluating the business for sale
Crowne Atlantic Business Brokers starts out each process by meeting with potential business sellers and evaluating each business for sale. Even though many businesses such as restaurants have similarities, every business is different. When we meet with owners we go over the history of the business, how the business is run, and attributes the new owner will need to run the business.
2) Marketing the business
After Crowne Atlantic evaluates each business, we discuss with sellers the best way to go about selling and marketing each business. One of the reasons why business owners hire broker that specializes in business brokers is because business brokers are skilled at marketing businesses for sale to a wide audience yet they do it while keeping the identity of the business confidential from the public. This skill is what differentiates a business broker from an ordinary real estate agent. Because we have been selling businesses for so many years, and have sold hundreds of businesses, we recognize that you have to be creative in finding the right buyer to purchase the right business and have a successful transaction. Less than 10% of businesses which go to market actually sell. However, we have an 80% success rate of selling the businesses which we take to market.
3) Working with Buyers
Once Crowne Atlantic locates a potential buyer, we qualify the buyer to see if they are a potential match for the business. If the buyer appears to be a match we introduce them to the seller. If the buyer is interested, we help them put together an offer.
4) Due diligence
Due diligence is a process where buyers investigate all aspects of a business they are looking to purchase. Historically this is where most deals have the potential to fall apart. This is exactly where Crowne Atlantic Business Brokers works their hardest to fill in the blanks to make sure that deals come together.
5) The closing of the sale
When due diligence is complete and all aspects of the deal are finalized, Crowne Atlantic Business Brokers works closely with closing attorneys to make sure the deal closes without issues. Our Buyers take it from there.
Items a seller needs in order to sell a business:
When agents at Crowne Atlantic Business Brokers meet with potential business sellers, one of the first things we go over is what information potential business buyers want from the seller. We commonly encounter many sellers that figure that buyers will simply meet them, see the business, and then instantly write them a check to purchase the business. The reality is that Buyers, even ones that have been established in business for many years, like to see as much detailed information possible. They like to see that all this information is organized, updated, and readily available because the more information that is not available, the more buyers will be concerned that the information is not favorable.
Below is a list of items that Buyers like to see when they view business:
1) Up to date Financial Records
Different brokerages have different methods of displaying financials. Some offer tax records and extended profit and loss statements right up front and some simply have a summary sheet that they put together to show business earnings to potential buyers. Regardless of the process, Buyers want to see financial numbers that are updated, and if there are previous financial years available they like to see those too. The financial numbers give Buyers a pulse on how the business is currently doing and helps them come up with a value for the business. Many sellers assume detailed financial numbers on paper are not urgent when selling, but it is one of the first things Buyers ask for.
2) List of Inventory and Assets
It is always important to get a list of inventory and assets included in the business purchase prior to showing the business to buyers. We cannot stress enough how often times sellers state to potential buyers that everything they see is included and further down the line it comes out that some equipment is leased such as a POS system or a truck that was seen at the business is not included. To avoid confusion and again help buyers place their own values on businesses, it is important to have this information organized and up to date.
3) Copy of a current lease for the business premises or specifics on a business property for purchase.
Seasoned business brokers can tell you leases can be one of the biggest hurdles business owners have to overcome when selling businesses. Sometimes a lease doesn’t present any problems, but other times Buyers feel they need changes to current leases. A more common occurrence is potential buyers trying to qualify with landlords to obtain a new or assigned lease for a facility. Being able to review the lease can give Buyers, Sellers, and Business Brokers a heads-up on any potential issues. So we always advise business sellers to locate their lease and scan a copy of it for potential buyers.
4) Everything else
Business buyers can never have too much information, especially when going through due diligence so it is best to think about what items apply to each business. If the business purchase includes real estate, then a copy of a recent real estate appraisal and/or information on the specifics of the property should be prepared for buyers. If the business is a service business and deals with monthly accounts, Buyers would love to see a breakdown, even a confidential breakdown, of how the sales are spread throughout the accounts.
Things to look for in a business Broker:
1) Broker Licensing
It is important to know that the Department of Business and Professional Regulation regulates business brokerage in the State of Florida. Plus, all business brokers must have a valid Real Estate License. Crowne Atlantic Business Brokers is a smaller division of Crowne Atlantic Properties, a Licensed Real Estate Broker.
2) Familiarity with your kind of business, knowing what the selling points are and the attractive features of the business.
Is the broker familiar with selling your type of business? Are the familiar with the area? Have they previously encountered buyers that would want this type of business.
3) Ability to deliver a clear strategy for selling your business.
At Crowne Atlantic Business Brokers, we can offer clients different ways of approaching each sale and give an idea of what results sellers can expect based on past business sales.
4) Access to the right networks to market the business and facilitate a transaction.
Marketing businesses to the public at large without openly advertising takes an experienced broker. At Crowne Atlantic we have agents that have been in Florida real estate for decades and we have built up a database of potential buyers always looking for opportunities. We also do lot of advertising and co-brokering with other experienced business brokers in the area. Crowne Atlantic Business Brokers is a Member of the Business Brokers of Florida (BBF), the International Business Brokers Association, (IBBA)
As business brokers we are paid based on our performance, so we only get paid if we sell your business. By keeping potential sales confidential and getting paid based on performance, our business sellers have absolutely nothing to risk and everything to gain. Call us and we can give your business a free on the phone or in-person valuation.