When buyers are looking to make a purchase, the most important step they can take is to perform due diligence on both the business and the seller. And yet, many sellers don’t their due diligence on buyers.
Deals fail all the time. Sadly, this means that all parties lose a tremendous amount of time and effort. Additionally, sellers not only waste time, but often lose money due to business disruptions while working with a prospective buyer.
Let’s look at a few warning signs that might identify a troublesome buyer. The sooner you spot these red flags, the sooner you can avoid potential problems.
Sellers should ask several key questions of buyers:. The list includes:
-What, if any, other businesses have you considered to date?
-How much equity will you be committing?
-Do you have any experience with my kind of business?
Sellers should look for warning signs early on to avoid wasting considerable time. Listen to your gut instincts. If you feel that a prospective buyer isn’t serious and may only be window shopping (or if you feel that the buyer is looking for a far greater deal than you are willing to provide), then simply move on. When you cut your losses early on, this frees you up to focus on prospective buyers that are a better fit.
What if your intermediary informs you that there has been no communication from the prospective buyer after they received the memorandum? Simply stated, this lack of communication could mean that the prospective buyer has changed their mind, or was never that serious in the first place.
Another red flag you might see is when the process is turned over to a junior member of the prospective buyer’s management team. Another is when the prospect doesn’t provide details or information concerning their financial capability to successfully complete the deal. If any of these three red flags pop up, you should consider being proactive. You and your broker might want to reach out to the prospective buyer and ask to meet to discuss the situation.
Warning signs can also occur just prior to closing. Even after the letter of intent has been signed, problems may arise. An inexperienced attorney representing the buyer, one that simply doesn’t understand what is involved in a deal, can doom what could have otherwise been a good deal. The same is true for an over aggressive attorney. One potential remedy for this situation is for your own attorney to intervene and discuss the situation.
Spotting warning signs is about more than not wasting everyone’s time. When you can observe these indicators and act effectively to address them, it can help keep deals on track. Working with a business broker or M&A advisor is an excellent way to not only spot red flags, but also to know how to respond appropriately. The end result will be more successfully completed deals.
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic in 2020, many Georgia business brokers continued to sell more than a million dollars worth of businesses. GABB board member Tanya Nebo and six members of the GABB Million Dollar Club offered a wide variety of advice on Tuesday, Feb. 23, during a panel discussion of how to buy and sell businesses during a pandemic.
To view their comments on how they prospered in 2020, watch this video posted on GABB’s new YouTube channel.
Among the 2020 members of the GABB’s Million Dollar Club who will be on hand on Feb. 23 are Jefffery Merry, senior business analyst at the BUSINESS HOUSE, inc.; J. Snypp, Vice President of Preferred Business Brokers, Inc.; Matt Wochele, founder of Preferred Business Brokers, Inc.; Rob Margeton, an M&A Intermediary with Ryco Advisors, LLC; Brian Judson, a business broker with Best Business Brokers; and Jon Roman, business intermediary, franchise consultant and developer at Transworld Business Advisors.
Ms. Nebo is both a business broker and an attorney. Her law practice, real estate agent and business brokerage services focus on commercial real estate, franchising and general business matters (including joint ventures and equity participation models). She is a graduate of Columbia University in New York and the University of Virginia School of Law.
The GABB is the state’s premier association of professionals who help in the purchase and sale of businesses. GABB is committed to promoting professionalism, education and high ethical standards in the profession of business brokering.
For more information, contact GABB President Judy Mims at 404-842-1997 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Ms. Loupe at email@example.com or 770-744-3639.Read More
When it comes to buying or selling a business, a solid confidentiality agreement is a must. A key way that business brokers and M&A advisors help buyers and sellers is through their extensive knowledge of confidentiality agreements and how best to implement them. In this article, we will give you an overview of what to expect out of your confidentiality agreements.
A confidentiality agreement is a legal agreement that essentially forbids both buyers and sellers, as well as related parties such as agents, from disclosing information regarding the transition. You should have a confidentiality agreement in place before discussing the business in any way and especially before divulging key information on the operation of the business or trade secrets.
While a confidentiality agreement can be used to keep the fact that a business is for sale private, that is only a small aspect of what modern confidentiality agreements generally seek to accomplish. Confidentiality agreements are used to ensure that a prospective buyer doesn’t use any proprietary data, knowledge, or trade secrets to benefit themselves or other parties.
When creating a confidentiality agreement, keep several variables in mind:
- What information will be excluded
- What information will be disclosed
- The term of the confidentiality agreement
- The remedy for breach, and
- The manner in which confidential information will be used and handled.
Any effective confidentiality agreement will contain a variety of key points. Sellers will want their confidentiality agreement to cover a fairly wide array of territory. or example, the confidentiality agreement will state that the potential buyer will not attempt to hire away employees. In general, this and many other details, will have a termination date.
The specifics of how confidentiality is to be maintained should also be included in the confidentiality agreement. Parties should agree to hold conversations in private; this point has become increasingly important due to the use of mobile phones and in particular the use of mobile phones in out-of-office locations. Additionally, it is prudent to specify that principal names should not be used in outside discussions and that a code name should be developed for the name of the proposed merger or acquisition.
Safeguarding documents is another area that should receive considerable attention. Digital files should be password protected. All paperwork should be kept in a safe location and locked away for maximum privacy when not in use.
In their enthusiasm to find a buyer for their business, many sellers have overlooked the confidentiality agreement stage of the process. Most have regretted doing so. A confidentiality agreement can help protect your business’s key information from being exploited during the sales process. Any experienced and capable business broker or M&A advisor will strongly recommend that buyers and sellers always depend on confidentiality agreements to establish information disclosure perimeters.
The post Getting the Most Out of Confidentiality Agreements appeared first on Deal Studio – Automate, accelerate and elevate your deal making.
There is a direct relationship between the asking price and the amount of cash on the table at the time of the sale. Buyers and sellers alike should keep one fact in mind. Most businesses involve some level of seller financing. It is customary for both buyers and sellers to have concerns regarding this kind of financing; after all, sellers don’t want to take their businesses back from the buyer. Buyers want to generate enough money to help the business thrive and make a living. One proven way to ensure the successful sale of a business is to turn to the experts.
Screen out Window Shoppers
The simple and very established fact is that when you choose to work with the professionals, it can streamline the entire sales process. Business owners are typically very busy people. That means they don’t have time to waste with window shoppers. They also don’t want to divulge confidential information to parties that don’t possess the means to actually follow through with a successful sale.
Business brokers and M&A advisors know that most prospective buyers are just dreamers or will ultimately fail to qualify. When you work with the professionals, it means that you have a shield to protect you and your valuable time. Experienced brokers have a range of techniques that screen out unqualified candidates and match you with buyers who are the best fit.
Anyone who has ever sold a business, or even contemplated selling a business, knows all too well that confidentiality is of the utmost importance. Sellers need to know that the information they reveal will not spill out all over the web. Brokers are experts maintaining confidentiality and impressing upon prospective buyers the tremendous importance of honoring the agreements they sign.
It is important to note that leaks regarding the sale of a business can cause a range of often unexpected problems. Key employees may get nervous about their future prospects and begin looking for a new job, competitors may begin attempting to poach employees, or customers and key suppliers may get nervous and turn to your competitors. In short, serious buyers and sellers alike benefit from maintaining confidentiality.
Matching the right seller with the right buyer is truly an art and a science. Many factors are involved ranging from financing to psychology. When the right match is made, then it is possible to move through the process of seller financing more quickly and with fewer roadblocks or complications. Working with a business broker or M&A advisor is the single most important step that any buyer or seller can make to help ensure that seller financing, and in fact the entire sales process, progresses as smoothly as possible.
The post Turn to the Professionals for Best Results appeared first on Deal Studio – Automate, accelerate and elevate your deal making.
The Corona Close: How to Prospect Effectively in Today’s New Market
Sales coach Dan Jourdan says now is a great time to be reaching out to prospective customers. Why? “Everybody is waiting for something to happen,” Jourdan of “Sales Arbiter” told attendees at the Sept. 15 virtual meeting of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers.
While getting referrals is always a great way to get new clients, Jourdan — or “The Deej” as he is known — said cold-calling prospects is also a good strategy. He encouraged entrepreneurs to prospect by using publicly available information about business owners, such as Reference USA, a business database available through public libraries.
Another tip, avoid contacting prospects with messages laden with words such as “I, we, us.” “Those three words literally repel your prospects,” he said. Instead, try “you, yours, y’all.”
The seven magic words for breaking the ice? “I wonder if you could help me?” Most people will respond to people seeking help. Another good ice-breaker: “I wonder if you could give me some advice?” Queries that criticize a potential clients business or web page are huge turn-offs.
One recent solicitation from a potential client included a video clip, which instantly puts a potential partner into the client’s office. “It’s like you met them without meeting them,” he said.
Videos and cold calling are great ways to prospect.
“If you make enough noise, you’ll get more referrals,” Jourdan said.
Jourdan is a salesman who has successfully started from scratch, built up, and sold five out of six of his own businesses. But he is not a businessman, he is a salesman. The one business that failed was when he tried to be a real human, instead of a salesman. With his current firm, “Sales Arbiter, ” Dan and his partner Crispin Cruz work with small businesses in town that want to have self-functioning, highly profitable sales organizations within their company in which the owner is not involved. This way business brokers can sell the companies for more money! His business philosophy is a cross between Confucius and Robin Williams. Dan lives in Georgia with his wife Sharon and two children Matthew and Sophie.
The Georgia Association of Business Brokers, or GABB, is the state’s premier organization devoted to buying and selling businesses and franchises, and operates the state’s only real estate school dedicated to business brokering. For more information about GABB, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, call or text 404-374-3990, or contact GABB president Dean Burnette at email@example.com or (912) 247-3209.