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Selling a Business
THE SIMPLE GUIDE TO SELLING A BUSINESS
“Why Should a Seller Use a Broker”
I am thinking of selling my business and after speaking to some friends about the best way to sell my business, they suggested I work with a Broker. I would like to know what benefits would I have using a broker like Libin and Katz.
Emotions: LIBIN & KATZ with 30 years of experience will hold your hand through out the process to help reduce the emotional stress of selling your business.
Experience: When a broker has many years of experience like LIBIN & KATZ they will know the difference between a real buyer and a tire kicker. A potential buyer must come down to LIBIN &KATZ prior to any details given to them on the business he then must prove his financial ability to be able to purchase the business. This proof needs to be in written statements showing liquid assets, like bank statements or a stock portfolio etc.
We are sure the seller does not want someone to go through their business, get their information and waste their time. The buyers will then drag on for weeks and they will try to figure out where to get financing from. An experienced broker like LIBIN &KATZ with 30 years in business would prevent this through our careful screening process.
THE SIMPLE GUIDE TO SELLING A BUSINESS
Confidentiality: we are positive that you the seller do not want your competitor to know your business or that you are selling your business. If they would know they might advantage of the situation and can cause serious harm to your business. They might a trail of gossip to your customers and suppliers and you could lose business. We at LIBIN & KATZ keep all information confidential and your competitor will never find out from us that your business is for sale.
Finally like any orchestra you need an experienced conductor in the front to lead the band. So at LIBIN & KATZ we are able to direct both sides to close a deal.
As a broker we will negotiate for you the best and highest price possible. As experienced brokers we will also help you by recommending business lawyers who will protect you with their experience.
“WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO SELL YOUR BUSINESS”
I am a 58 year old man and I own my own business. I have nobody in my family who is interested in taking over my business, which is doing very well at this time and getting better and better. I know I will eventually have to sell my business, and I want to know when’ is the right time to sell my business?
The right time to sell a business is when you are healthy, when the business is good, and when you have the strength to negotiate. You have to be in proper frame of mind to sell. In the event that you are not 100% decided to sell your business – don’t put a business on the market and then change your mind about selling. Do not cry wolf unless you really want to sell. The public will never go back to a bad deal after spending time and money.
These are the proper and necessary steps in preparing to sell a business:
1)You must be in the proper frame of mind to sell your business. After being in business a long time you must decide what you are going to do after you retire.
2)You must get your financial papers up to date:
a) Notify your accountant to gather all business records ready and to review the whole business with the purchaser’s accountant.
b) Get your sales slips together to be reviewed by the purchaser and then by his accountant.
c) Get all your expenses for the last three years together to be reviewed by the buyer.
d) In reality sales minus expenses should equal net profit.
e) Get your cash receipts together so that you can explain which customers pay cash and which pay by check. This will be tied in with the net profit.
f) Be able to prove the cash that you receive by keeping some sort record to tie into the sales.
g) Have your accountant cooperate with you by giving you numbers and statements as fast as possible, that are helpful to the buyer’s accountant.
h) Be ready to teach the new purchaser all about the business. The purchaser must learn in a few weeks what you learned by trial and error over a 50 year period. It will be necessary for the new buyer to learn all about the items that you are selling. He must meet all the suppliers after contract. He must be treated as a partner until he takes title.
3) Get the right attorney; one who will give you time when you need him to give you the proper advice. If he is too busy to go into contract when you are ready, get another lawyer – one who will help you before you lose the deal.
4) Get the proper business broker; one who will give you time and advice. Find one who has years of experience, has sold similar businesses, and has made many deals. Choose a broker who has been in the business line for many years, and who continuously advertises in many newspapers. Do not go to a broker who takes money up front. Such a broker is more interested in getting money than making deals.
5) The buyer will want to know if the seller has any relative who the seller think of selling his business to, such as children, cousins, mends, etc.
6) The buyer will want to know why the seller wants to sell.
In summary, the right time to sell a business is when you are in the proper frame of mind, remember once you decide to sell do not change your mind. Sell while the business is growing, and not when your sales are declining, The right time to sell is when you are in the proper frame of mind to teach the purchaser all about the business. If it is a manufacturing company, – you will have to teach him how to produce the product. You will introduce him to some suppliers. You will also introduce him ro a few of your customers.
You should sell the business when you are healthy, and you have the strength to negotiate. In the event the seller is sick, the purchaser will try to take advantage of that. If the seller is healthy, he will able to make the right decisions with a clear mind.
All in all, selling a business is hard work and it will require the full effort of the seller, the purchaser, the broker, your attorney, and your accountant.
Anyone who you hire to help you should put their full time into making the deal for you. If he does not, then you should get rid of him and get somebody who has the time.
If the seller does sell at the correct time and has the right people helping him, it will be a happy experience for him and he’ll be happy with the deal.
What Price Should I Ask For My business When I Sell”
I have been in business for the last 45 years and am close to retirement . I manufacture plastic components. I have two sons, both lawyers, who do not wish to take over my business. Because of my age I am forced to sell out How do I know how much my business is worth and what price should I ask? I realize if I ask too much I may not be able to sell it. On the other hand, I don’t want to ask too little. Please offer me some suggestions as to how to figure the right price to ask.
Naturally, if you ask too high a price for a business, it can remain on the market too long, Noticing the length of time a business is on the market may scare off potential buyers.
It’s also true that if the price is too low, the seller will be the loser. You can make a fast deal but in all fairness to the seller as well as to the buyer, you must establish a price which is reasonable to both. Each must be treated in a business-like manner. Therefore, in order to be fair to the buyer and the seller, a price must be set that is suitable to both parties.
The following is our basic formula which is acceptable throughout the whole East Coast:
You should not pay more than three times the provable net profit, provided the notes are for about five years at 2% above the prime interest.
From your description, we estimate that your net profit, including your perks, is $250,000 per year. Your inventory is about $100,000, and your assets about $250,000. The maximum price you should ask for the business is $750,000, which includes all the assets.
Your cash down payment should be approximately one third or $250,000. There are deals to be obtained for two times the net profit, as well as deals equal to the net profit.
In the event the net profit is less than $100,000, the business should be sold for two times the net profit or equal to net profit, because most buyers would rather keep their jobs than go into a business making only $40,000. Therefore, we must lower the price or try to get note payments from five to ten years. Thus, we have increased the net profit from $40,000 to $50,000.
This is just a formula – every deal is different. Every deal must be treated with gentleness and attention. The broker must bring both parties together gradually, kindly, and fairly. The seller would rather take less for his business from a person he likes, than get a higher price from someone arrogant or a “wise guy”.
Under no circumstances should we allow a buyer to make an offer until he actually has been shown proof of the real net profit – not the figure on the profit and loss statement. Once this is done to the satisfaction of the purchaser, then the actual negotiation can take place and the selling price determined.
This is a formula for business open for a five – day week. It should also have been operating for at least 20 years. The business should not have any outstanding receivables, union problems, short leases, high rents, or small mark-ups. If any of these problems do exist, then the suggested financial formula is automatically reduced proportionally.
In order to close a good deal, try to get as much security for the notes as you can. Our experience is that 95% of the buyers will not give outside collateral because they feel that since they gave a third down, the business itself should be the collateral. This means that, since you have a loan on the business (which in banking terminology is called Uniform Commercial Code and id filed in Albany), the buyer cannot go the bank or loan company to borrow any money without your consent. Therefore, if the buyer defaults on any of the notes, you have a right to call in the remainder of the notes to be paid in full. If you have a good business lawyer, this will be arranged in the contract.
The second type of security is the lease which you have with the landlord. This should be in writing, and in your name, in the event you have to take the business back.
There are many other ways for the seller to secure himself. These can be discussed between yourself and your attorney or with your professional broker.
Buying a business is hard work. The buyer must remain at the business on a daily basis for a several – week period and be a shadow of the seller. He must go every place the seller goes. If the seller goes to his supplier, the buyer must tag along. If the seller goes to a customer, the buyer must go along. The buyer must learn in a few weeks as much about the business as the seller learned by experience over a long period.
He must also understand where the seller is hiding his net profits. Whether it be cash, depreciation, pension funds, salaries of relatives who are not actually working in the business, and car, travel, and entertainment expenses that are not part of the business, etc.
All these things must be done before the potential buyer can even begin thinking about acquiring the business.
Why Would Somebody Sell Their Business?
I’ve just found a business that I am interested in buying. After I had done all my due diligence and i was ready to go to contract, I ’met a friend who told me to find out why the owner is selling the business. If it’s really such a good business. that is making out well, why is he so eager to sell it? After doing my due diligence, I see the business making the money that the seller claims he is netting. Can there be something that he is hiding from me that I should be frightened about, or should I go ahead and buy the business.
Every person who buys a business has the same question in the back of his mind; if the business is so good and it’s making money, why does the owner want to sell it?
The obvious answer can be that the owner is an elderly man who has had the business for many years, and he is ready to retire now. People think that this is a good reason for someone to be selling, and they don’t have to worry that the business may not be good.
This is not always correct, because although this 75 year old man may have had the business for 20 to 25 years, and it may have been doing very well, he may have neglected in the last few years, and it may not be worth buying it. When buying a business from someone who is elderly and retiring, one must do his due diligence just as cautiously as when buying a business that is only ten years old.
There are many other good reasons for people to be selling businesses that may be worth buying:
1) People may get tired of working in the same business so many years. They may have worked for all those years and put away a good sum of money and now they don’t want to work so hard anymore.
They may not be ready to retire, but they don’t want to put in so many hours at work anymore, and they want to take it easier. They may therefore be ready to sell.
2) People may have to relocate, and they feel they cannot handle the business and the move.
3)People may be under pressure due to marital problems, or sickness, an they feel they have to sell.
4)People may be ready to sell a good business after having it only one to two years. This does not mean the business isn’t good, but it may just not have been the right business for them. They may have thought running the business would be easier, or it may involve too much travelling, or there might be a many other reasons why it’s not their cup of tea.
These are all reasons for people to sell a good business, and there is no reason to be frightened when buying such a business.
Reason For Using LIBIN & KATZ As Your Business Broker
LIBIN & KATZ does not require an exclusive listing from a seller. Your free to sell it on your own or give it to any other broker.
LIBIN & KATZ Does not take any up front fee for listing your business or trying to sell your business.
LIBIN & KATZ will earn commission only if we sell the business and the business goes into closing and seller gets down payment.
We do not get paid for trying to sell your business we only get commission if we succeed in selling your business.
The seller has no obligation to sell their business through LIBIN & KATZ even after they sign the commission agreement.
LIBIN & KATZ HAS SOLD HUNDREDS OF BUSINESSES IN THE LAST 30 YEARS!!