The sale process starts with a meeting between the buyer and the seller’s professional IBA representative. This meeting will provide the buyer with an overview of the company, its market niche, and industry. IBA’s primary goal during this meeting is to answer questions and generate interest in the company; however we also have a secondary goal. That goal is to screen potential buyers in terms of financial capability and establish the buyer’s acquisition needs & goals, so that if a meeting is facilitated between a buyer and seller it has a reasonable possibility of leading to an offer and negotiations.
The second step for an interested buyer is to generally meet with the business owner to discuss operations and tour the facilities. It is our goal during this meeting to facilitate the free exchange of information between the parties while maintaining control of the discussion to ensure that all key issues are covered and the time is used to its maximum productivity. This first meeting is generally where business sales are made or lost, so preparation and proper presentation of information by the seller is important at this point. IBA recognizes this transactional variable and will provide the support necessary, so our clients can take the baton from IBA and return it without breaking the stride of the transaction’s momentum.
A transaction can go in one of three directions after the first buyer/seller meeting. The worst case scenario is that the buyer will determine that the business is not a fit for them and eliminate it from consideration. This action, although negative in terms of a sale, is positive in terms of the fact that if the presentation of the company has been complete no additional time will be expended by IBA or the business owner working with an individual or company that is not going to complete a transaction. The second scenario can be a precursor to the first or third scenarios. In the second possible scenario the buyer remains interested in the company, but has not reached a decision regarding whether to enter into negotiations. In this scenario, IBA will facilitate additional meetings and the provision of information in an effort to use our professional sales skills to tip the scale toward a business acquisition in the buyer’s mind. The final possible scenario involves a buyer who has decided to enter into negotiations for the purchase of the business. This decision when generated in the environment of full disclosure established by IBA for its clients typically sets the stage for a business sale to be completed. A deal is not done at this point, however in our highly skilled negotiation & facilitation hands the probability of a sale being successfully completed is high.
The negotiation of an agreement between a business buyer and seller occurs on multiple levels. The first level of negotiations generally involves the sale price and financial terms for the transaction. These negotiations are typically a straightforward, short duration activity in transactions facilitated by IBA due to the fact that our businesses are priced at “fair market” terms when they enter the market rather than at an arbitrary value. IBA prides itself in its ability to achieve its client’s goals on this level of negotiations. However, we believe our negotiating skills and transactional knowledge also greatly benefit our clients in our ability to negotiate favorable secondary transaction components like post transaction transition period training/consulting and/or employment contracts, non competition agreements, tax allocation, etc.
A successfully negotiated agreement is documented with the signatures of the buyer and seller. This achievement is a major step toward completing the sale of a business. However, IBA’s representation does not stop with that achievement. We are a complete representation company and will continue to provide administrative support and transactional expertise from the point agreement is reached until the close of escrow as issues ranging from due diligence to document preparation and lease assignment or negotiations to the counting of inventory are addressed by the parties.