Is it an art or a science? Actually, it is a little bit of both. Either way, attracting the right buyer for your business requires a specialized process that can only be delivered by a skilled business intermediary. First and foremost, operators need to remember this: Your business is a valuable, scarce commodity and you only get one shot at getting the price you deserve for years of hard work.
That one concern
At VBB Advisors, we have facilitated the sale (as a sell side broker exclusively) of over 150 convenience services businesses. Before the process begins, we often see one real concern among sellers, a concern that is quickly mitigated once a client sees what our process is all about. In an article on LinkedIn last year, that concern was portrayed perfectly. Here is an excerpt that spells it out:
“Do they like me? Are they going to call back? Did they think we were attractive? We are not talking about nerves following a first date, we are talking about finding a buyer for your business. When a business owner decides it is time to sell, the next thing they often wonder is “who will buy my business?” Many private business owners tend to underestimate the number of buyers who may have an interest in their company. They view buyers as scarce and believe that few highly interested buyers exist outside of close competitors.”
Because of that misunderstanding of how much demand there is among buyers for well-run coffee service, vending and micro market operations, operators often make the huge mistake of taking their deal directly to the one obvious buyer. That is a BIG error. On average, clients of VBB Advisors enjoy the enviable position of having three or more offers to choose from.
How do we attract the right buyers to your business? It’s an art, a science and most importantly, it is a proven process.
STEP 1 - It starts with a proper valuation of your business.
Option 1 – A Standard Valuation - A concise 35+ page Standard Appraisal Report created by a NACVA Certified Appraiser. This includes a summary based on multiple approaches, industry benchmarking against peers and a comprehensive financial analysis.
Option 2 – A Certified Valuation – This comprehensive approach offers a detailed 65+ page certified report crafted by a NACVA Certified Appraiser.
Either approach sets the table for sellers to evaluate your business with confidence. Having a proper valuation in hand will generate interest from the right buyers.
STEP 2 – The VBB Exit Advantage – for operators who are willing to plan and maximize the value of their company.
You have probably read my writing about this regarding a recent sale in Arizona – Camelback Vending. It was a one-year process that positioned the company perfectly, attracting interest from multiple buyers.
After the valuation is completed, we ask – ‘Where do we want that valuation to be when we market the company and how do we elevate the business to that level over the next 12 months?’ We then establish key benchmarks to enhance the value of the company along the way. For example:
•We need to have the financials cleaned up by this date.
•We need to cut certain costs by this date.
•We need to raise prices at these locations by this date.
•We need to sell this many new accounts by this date.
The VBB Exit Advantage gives operators access to our team and our resources. That means quarterly calls to review the financials and periodic conference calls to discuss capital expenditures. We’re looking at every aspect of the business, positioning a company for sale. The VBB Exit Advantage implements steps that will make a business as desirable as possible during the marketing process. It works – it is proven. Just ask Jodi at Camelback Vending.
STEP 3 – Putting out some feelers, then marketing the company once the non-disclosure agreements are signed.
Once legitimate buyers have been attracted and vetted, they receive extensive, comprehensive marketing materials and information about the company for sale through an online portal. At this point, the seller’s early concerns are replaced by excitement, especially when it becomes apparent that multiple offers will soon be coming in. For the seller, it is an exciting time!
Whether you call it an art or a science, that is how VBB Advisors attracts the right buyers for their clients.
Take that first step
Buyers come to me because they know that I serve sellers who have thoroughly and thoughtfully considered their exit strategy with my help. That is the type of seller that you want to be – a seller who has their ducks in order, has taken steps to make their business as attractive as possible and a seller who values their employees enough to make a deal that everyone will feel good about.
Take that critical first step. That is often the toughest one to take.
Order my free 2024 Exit Strategy Planner. At the very least, it will provoke some thought, and this is a good time to think about your future.
Whatever your reasons are to sell your company - the timing, a sense of frustration, the desire to enjoy life or an interest in rewarding yourself for years of hard work – VBB Advisors can help you realize your goals.
I am Mike Kelner, the leading sell side intermediary in the convenience services industry. Let’s sit down and have a conversation. Use this appointment scheduler to set up a meeting with me.
Or – give me a call at 704-942-4621