© 2022 All rights reserved
The amount of time you will remain involved in the business after closing will be up to you. This can include everything from staying on as a majority owner to completely exiting your business. Our selling continuum outlines the spectrum of options that we will discuss with you as your exit strategy is developed. The timeframe for exiting could be anywhere from leaving the day of closing to staying on in some capacity for several years. We will work with you from the beginning to define what your goals are so there are no surprises after the sale takes place.
The perfect time to sell your business is when you are ready; NOT when you have to! This means planning your exit strategy in advance and having the time to build the value of your business. Buyers want a business when it has hit its peak performance or when it has a steady revenue with signs of future growth. Partnering with an M&A professional can help you work on an exit strategy. With that partnership, you can achieve your future goals and be prepared for when it comes time to sell.
The buying and selling of a business is a different valuation process than valuing real estate. There are multiple ways to value the business. The most common are multiples of EBITDA, discounted cash flow, asset-based, and multiples of revenue (for service organizations). All these are legitimate valuation calculations but each has a different purpose. Each buyer will establish their perceived value based on their reasons for purchasing. Buyer motivations include geographic expansion, expanding customer lists, creating a competitive advantage, adding to a platform, and product line diversification.
Though the time it takes to sell a business can vary for many reasons, the average time is typically 9 to 12 months. An M&A advisor can help you avoid common pitfalls and delays while allowing you to focus on the continuing operations of your business. Our objective is to carry 90% of the load to get you successfully through a transaction. When you work with S. Lawrence & Co., we take the time to guide you through the process every step of the way.
Mergers and acquisition specialists are your advocates, marketers, project managers, and advisors throughout all levels of the transaction. We will assemble all the necessary materials needed to put your business on the market and bring thoroughly vetted buyers to you. Our team of M&A specialists will build a plan with you to meet your specific needs and prepare you for the selling process.
S. Lawrence & Co. works with businesses that have revenue between $18M and $100M. A business broker services a specific or local area and their deals usually cap around $18M in revenue. Our M&A advisors go the extra mile and don’t just publicize that your business is for sale. We walk you through every step of the process, from forming an exit strategy to the transaction and closing.
Yes. S. Lawrence & Co. will do a deep dive into understanding your business. This means we can position your businesses value based on holistic pictures, rather than just financials. We will help document growth strategies, key employees, operational efficiencies and financial models which makes you more attractive to the buyer and increases transaction values.
Selling a business is a complex experience. S. Lawrence & Co. has the experience to manage those complexities and deal with sophisticated buyers, who have most likely done this multiple times. We are your advocates in this process. It is our role to help you avoid the common pitfalls, such as taking your eyes off the day-to-day operations, or accepting terms that are detrimental to your goals. Having experts with you in the negotiating process helps you avoid these pitfalls and drive up the transaction value.
S. Lawrence & Co. watches the market trends and does industry research to help you hit the market at the right time for the right price. Since 2006, we have been developing relationships with Private Equity firms and Strategics, this helps us bring the right buyers to the table.
Every sale is going to be unique to the sellers’ goals. We carry 90% of the workload in this process, so you can stay focused on your business. We take a Relationship-Based Approach to understand what is unique about you and identify a buyer that’s the best fit. At S.Lawrence & Co., we will interview you first and get to know your personal and professional goals and future plans.Your exit strategy can include staying in control of the operations or leaving at the time of sale. Once we have the groundwork done, we will work with you to build your unique exit plan and sales strategy.
The earlier you build your exit strategy, the more likely you will be prepared for success. Once it’s time to sell, we will begin marketing your business by identifying a list of vetted buyers. Vetting means interviewing buyers to identify ones that align with your vision for the future and the culture of your company. S.Lawrence & Co. will facilitate the meetings between you and a select few potential buyers. Once a buyer is selected, we will help negotiate the LOI and purchase agreement and project manage the due diligence and closing process. You should never be alone during any portion of the process and you will always have the full support of your S. Lawrence & Co. team.
While it is possible to exit your business at closing, most buyers would like you to stay for at least 6 months to help with a transition or up to 5 years or more to help continue to grow the business. How long you stay and in what capacity will be a discussion and mutual agreement between you and the buyer. Our selling continuum outlines the spectrum of options that we will discuss with you as your exit strategy is developed.
Our goal is to carry 90% of this process. As part of your role it is important that you communicate to us your business operations, culture with employees, relationship with vendors, and the relationship you have with the community that your business is located in. While our team is working on marketing and seeking buyers, it’s your responsibility to keep the business running as usual. The demands on your time will vary as we move throughout the sales process. First, it’s important we get time with you upfront to understand your business both from an operations and financial perspective. Second, you will be involved in accumulating financial and due diligence information. Third, you will have time invested in meeting with the vetted potential buyers. Throughout the process you should plan on one or two hours a week for communication and ongoing tasks. One of the things you can do to keep the project moving forward is to provide requested information on a timely basis. The SLC team will lay out a projected timeline so you can anticipate when you will need to be more or less involved.
Remember the rumor mill can do more damage than good. The only way to keep a secret is not to tell anybody. You probably are aware of the damage a “we are for sale” rumor can do. To ensure continued success of your business both for employee retention and relationships with customers, information needs to be shared on a need to know basis only. Most of this process up until the closing will be kept among the business owners. The S. Lawrence & Co. team has the expertise to guide you on when is the right time, what is the right message and how it should be communicated.