Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I’m thinking about selling my business. Where do I start?
Answer: The very first thing that a business owner needs to address when contemplating a sale is the choice of the firm to handle the proposed sale. This is one of the single biggest decisions the owner may face in the entire exit process. The choice of broker or intermediary can not only impact the business owner’s return on investment but more importantly it can determine whether the business is sold at all. Take time to consider the choice of broker or intermediary to be used. Create a short list and take the time and trouble to conduct interviews and obtain references.
Q: What is my business worth?
Answer: There are ‘rules of thumb’ used in pricing businesses in various types of industries based on a multiple of gross income or actual cash flow but the multiples are of a general nature. A prudent business owner should expect to invest in the cost of a Certified Business Valuation business or at the very least the cost of a Letter of Opinion from a qualified broker. We urge our seller clients to obtain a valuation of their business and we counsel buyer clients seeking to purchase a business to obtain a Certified Business Valuation.
Q: How much time would it take to sell my business?
Answer: A quick sale could be as fast as 2 to 3 months if the business owner has staged the business for sale in advance of taking it to market. By
staging we mean conducting pre-sale due diligence, having all requisite documents in place, researching the market, pre-qualifying the business for a buyer loan and preparing an Offering Memorandum. The normal period from start to finish is more likely 4 -6 months with larger more complex businesses taking an average of 9-10 months in some cases.
Q: How do you find a buyer?
Answer: Pope Estates is a national affiliate of Business Brokers Network in the United States and Canada and has access to a large pool of registered and pre-qualified buyers from our network database. Our unique matching process determines the type of buyer the business will attract. Our vast network of offices across the nation places your business before the largest audience of buyers in the industry. Prior to listing a business for sale we will conduct an analysis of the business to determine the buyer type that the business will be of interest to. By doing so we match the business with the right buyer profile from the outset creating a singular focus on the particular buyer types.
Q: How do I choose a broker?
Answer: We recommend that you interview qualified intermediaries to find the firm that fits your needs. Consider some statistics. The success rate of buyers on their own is 2%, with a rookie broker 2%, an experienced broker 5%, an Intermediary 17% and an exceptional Intermediary 50%. Look for experience, certifications and most of all references to sellers who sold their business through the Intermediary. At Pope Estates we have a proven record of success and a long history of client references all the way from Wall Street.