River's Edge Alliance Group

FAQ

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Business Bokerage

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Q: How will you market my business?

A: Creating an active marketplace for the sale of your small business is done in many different ways. First and foremost we custom match your business to potential buyers through our proprietary company maintained database. Our business brokers spend tireless hours locating, calling and presenting your business to a list of similar businesses and potential small business buyers within your industry or similar industries.

In addition to the active buyer search conducted by our professionals, we confidentially present a “high level understanding” of your business to hundreds of local professionals including: accountants, attorneys, financial planners, insurance agents and others through our confidential business snapshot. These professionals often are already aware of potential corporate acquirers and individual buyers through their professional dealings. We recognize the value of the professional community in marketing your small business and work tirelessly to maintain positive relationships in this community in order to maximize the exposure for your business.

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Q: What is the retainer used for?

A: Our professionals spend tireless hours making calls to potential buyers and selling your small business. In addition, we prepare a thorough confidential offering memorandum and financial analysis which we present to those interested in buying a small business. These buyers must sign and complete a confidentiality agreement and financial qualification form prior to receiving the information on your business.

The retainer is used to offset the costs of our business brokers to perform these services as well as our marketing costs for the various websites in which we maintain a presence for marketing your business. River’s Edge Alliance Group accepts the majority of the risk associated with selling your business by performing on a commission or success fee basis. We require that you share in a very small portion of this risk by committing to us and our process. Your commitment to us is rewarded by our policy of crediting your retainer against the commission owed at sale. We pride ourselves on being fair!

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Q: How long does it take to sell my business?

A: This is a great question but, a very difficult one to answer. The probability of selling a small business depends on a number of factors. One of which is the business broker’s ability to create a market and locate potential buyers. Depending upon the industry in which you operate, the financial performance of your business relative to your peers, the diversity of your customer base, the strength of your relationships with vendors and many other factors the time required to sell your business may vary. We typically request that you allow us 12 months to sell your company. However, our tireless effort and commitment to the sale of your business has resulted in sales of multimillion dollar companies in as little as 3 months!

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Q: Will you help me price my business?

A: Absolutely. There is no market for a business that is not priced properly. River’s Edge Alliance Group is committed to understanding the value of your business BEFORE we present it to potential buyers. Our business brokers provide you with insight into the fair market value of your company. We can then determine the most likely available buyer and / or buyers for your business, support the asking price, and maximize the likelihood of sale. We have a number of pricing products available for you. Please feel free to view our Pricing Analysis page and other Valuation Services pages for more detail about these services.

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Q: This is my first time buying a business or selling a business. Will you provide me with information and help me through the process?

A: This is what we do. We pride ourselves on educating our clients as to the value of their companies, as well as the process of buying a business and selling a business. Business transfers are typically complex and intricate transactions. We will take the time to answer all of your questions, prepare you for the process and guide you every step of the way. For a description of our services please view our Buy-Side and Sell-Side representation pages.

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Q: How can I be sure that only prescreened buyers are receiving information about my business?

A: All parties that receive information on your business are required to sign a confidentiality agreement as well as provide a signed financial statement to us before any information is shared or released. If a buyer is not willing to provide their financial information to us, we will not share the confidential information of your business with them. Once a buyer agrees to the terms of our confidentiality agreement and shows that they have the financial ability to complete a transaction, we will present your business to them.

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Q: What information must I provide to get started?

A: The first step in selling your small business is to provide you with a copy of our information request list which details all the necessary documentation to begin the process. The typical request includes at a minimum 3 – 5 years of company tax returns, completion of our business seller questionnaire, accounts receivable aging schedules, debt schedules, lists of assets included and excluded in the sale and copies of all lease agreements.

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Q: What information is provided to a prescreened buyer?

A: Once we have located and prescreened a potential buyer we provide them with a confidential memorandum. This marketing package provides the buyer with an overview of the business for sale including but not limited to: company history and overview, the number of employees working at the business, an understanding of the corporate structure, hours of operation, company balance sheets, statements of income, ROI analysis, market and industry data and much, much more. This document provides potential buyers with all the information about your business in a clear, concise, easy to read format that will allow them the ability to make a buying decision.

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Business Valuation

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Q: What is my business worth?

A: The fair market value of your business can be estimated by a certified business valuation expert using one or more of the following approaches to value:

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Q: What is fair market value?

A: According to IRS Revenue Ruling 59-60, fair market value is the amount at which a property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, when neither is under compulsion to buy or sell and both have reasonable knowledge of all relevant facts.

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Q: How can I determine the fair market value of my business?

A: The best way to determine the fair market value of your business is to hire a certified business valuation expert. The most widely recognized certifications for business valuation and business appraisal professionals are the ASA, a designation earned through the American Society of Appraisers, the CBV, earned through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the CBA, earned through the Institute of Business Appraisers. Please note: all business valuation experts and business appraisers associated with River’s Edge Alliance Group, LLC carry one or more of these designations.

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Q: Should I have a company valuation done even if I don’t plan on selling my business right now?

A: You may need a business valuation for a number of reasons: management planning, estate planning, succession planning, ESOPs, divorce litigation, etc. A company valuation often helps in the management planning process as business owners learn what drives value. If a piece of equipment is not creating value for the business, why do you own it? If a process is not adding value, why do you do it?

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Q: I’ve heard that business valuations are expensive. Are they really worth the cost?

A: YES it’s worth it. The cost of NOT doing a business valuation far exceeds the cost of the valuation. Due to our economies of scale, we can provide high quality cost effective business valuations at less than half the cost of our competition.

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Mergers and Acquisitions

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Q: When is the best time for me to exit my business?

A: The answer is different for every business owner. You must first assess your personal financial situation, your retirement portfolio, the current value of your business, the state of affairs of the business as well as the value of your business upon exit in order to calculate the appropriate time frame and level of income needed to comfortably sustain retirement.

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Q: What are my options to exit my business?

 

  1. Sell the company.
  2. Work until you die.

A: Unless you’ve decided on #2 as your best option, you will need to eventually consider the sale of your business as a viable option. A common mistake of most business owners is to hold onto the business too long for it to be sold as a going concern. The best purchase price is typically achieved for a mature going concern business with strong cash flow and a measurable growth. As the business starts to deteriorate and decline, so will the deal value.

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Q: Who might be a buyer for my business?

A: Business buyers come from all over. The buyer for your business might be someone you’ve never met. It might be someone from across the country that lost their job due to corporate down-sizing and has decided to take control of their future and their retirement. It might be a competitor looking to obtain additional market share. It might be a supplier looking to vertically integrate their process. It is impossible to know where the “right” buyer will come from. That is why we always recommend hiring a qualified professional to concentrate on the transaction while you continue to concentrate on your business.

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Q: Is an M&A intermediary worth the cost or am I better off selling the business by myself?

A: Selling a business is an extremely delicate and time consuming process. Enlisting the help of an experienced professional will allow you the ability to manage your business while the intermediary manages the transaction. Your business is typically your largest asset and a transaction involving your largest asset should not be taken lightly. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and interview multiple business brokers to determine who is most qualified to handle your transaction.

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Q: I don’t have time to plan my exit strategy; I’m burned out and need to sell my business NOW. Can you help me?

A: While planning an exit strategy will allow you to obtain the maximum after-tax value for your business, it is not required. We get paid to sell businesses. Although we can not guarantee we will sell your business or guarantee a timetable in which it will sell, we can guarantee you our best efforts. If there’s an active buyer out there in the marketplace for your business, it’s our job to find them.

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River’s Edge Alliance Group is proud to have served the following clients: