OCA offers options to Business Owners to help locate Buyers and sell their business – Full Brokerage Services or Transactional Management Services.
Business owners are oftentimes very good at operating their business, just as we are here at OCA. Preparing, marketing, negotiating, and navigating the entire scope of the purchase or sale of the businesses – is our business. As it has been said many times, “You don’t know what you don’t know, and what you are certain you know – may not be so.” Value is lost or gained at every turn of the transaction.
We‘ve heard countless stories from those who “almost did a deal” but it fell apart because “_______________”. Our focus is to get the deal done and make it happen. This requires great focus on details, and oftentimes requires micro-management throughout the transaction, which we do at OCA. Properly and professionally preparing for a sale transaction is a critical part of getting a deal done. You must rely upon deal-making experience to anticipate all the challenges that will arise and have the solutions already prepared to address them. OCA knows in advance what to anticipate and how to resolve the issues.
Deals are not done in a vacuum. It may start with a Buyer and Seller in general agreement, but other parties will follow. The other parties who become involved will influence the transaction in deal-terms, possibly the price or how it is to be paid, or if the deal should even move forward. Each of the parties brings new and unique perspectives and issues to address. Who are the parties joining the transaction? Ordinarily they include: Contract Attorneys, CPAs, Tax Advisors, Underwriters, Lenders, Small Business Administration, Valuation Analysts (Business, Real Estate and Machinery & Equipment), Environmental Engineers, Business Management, etc. . . . OCA has decades of experience working with and through all the ancillary professionals.
We’ve been representing clients from a wide range of industries for over 35 years. We are recognized regionally and nationally. We have experience working with “mainstreet” businesses and lower middle-market companies (M&A – mergers & acquisitions). We’ve negotiated and navigated transactions with various types of buyers (individuals, entrepreneurs, partners, investors, net-worth buyers, and private equity groups). We’ve worked with various types of lending (senior, junior, and mezzanine). We’re not the new kids on the block, and we have both educational and experience-based credentialing specifically related to the sale of businesses.
Oftentimes there is more “art” than science in deal-making. There are other parties involved and each will have differing thoughts, perspectives, personalities, goals, objectives, agendas, and temperaments. The “art of dealmaking” must encompass the knowledge of all the science needed for the assignment while also employing the soft-skills and deal-experience to coach, guide, and lead everyone toward the goal of closing. Having a professional who knows when and how best to execute on all the necessary steps and has the dedicated time to do so, can be critical.
Packaging, marketing, screening buyers, soliciting multiple offers, negotiating terms, preparing documents, schedules, agreements, contracts, constant communication and interacting with all the various advisors, and navigating the due diligence process becomes all-consuming. Having a professional allows the business owner to focus on operating the business while the sale process is underway. If the owner’s focus is diverted the performance of the business can decline and that will reduce buyers’ and lender’s interest and lower the offers being made (if any).
An ole’ adage is especially true for business sale transactions. “You don’t know, what you don’t know. And what you think you know, may not be so.” In other words, value is lost or gained at every step along the way. Without the professional you may still complete a transaction, but you may have given up a great deal in value or in terms or conditions without realizing it until after the sale, or perhaps never. In such a case then the other adage may prove true. “Ignorance is bliss.”
Most “mainstreet” businesses will take six months to a year, if they sell. There are no two businesses or sales that are the same. Just a few of the variables include: motivations of the parties, lending environment, price, terms, conditions, approvals, lease arrangements, SBA approvals, real estate issues, environmental concerns, employee retention issues, quality of the assets and the financials, what is included and excluded in the sale, etc.
For larger or more complex transactions it also varies. There are a few critical elements to expediting a sale: use a professional to navigate the process, have the appropriate sellable ranges of value, properly prepare the business in advance for marketing and due diligence, and be open-minded and negotiable.
NO! We do not post information about our Client’s business that will help people to identify your business (no photos of your business or the surroundings). We’ve seen those who do such things – it’s brainless and reckless! Confidentiality is extremely important to OCA and our Clients. We require Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements before releasing any information. The amount of information or discussions will be aligned with the Buyer’s capability of consummating a transaction, and other factors determined by OCA’s interaction with the Buyer and OCA’s decades of experience.
National brokers (franchises) sell business owners on the concept that they have access to a national and broad market to locate buyers among their many offices. The truth (especially for “mainstreet” businesses): the actual buyer is almost always going to come from the same region the business is located in (there are occasional exceptions), so doesn’t it make sense to use someone who knows your market. Also, most credible brokers / intermediaries (certainly us) has the same national market exposure through subscription websites where buyers tend to look. Many of the national (franchise) brokers come and go over time (their models often focus on recruiting “new blood” who tend to grow disenfranchised and leave , i.e, high turnover) and therefore many have little deal experience (especially true of businesses that are of higher value or more complex). Fee structures are generally the same for independent firms.
Selling a business is NOTHING like selling real estate. Real estate is based upon a stationary asset that usually has a fairly rigid range of value relative to the area in which it is located and its condition. Commercial and rental properties will require some common practice calculations for income and expenses. A business is a dynamic asset that is continually adjusting to market requirements and influences, and therefore the value also changes based upon a multitude of elements. Imagine how a buyer’s or lender’s interest and perception of value might shift with only a few of the continually changing elements: Customer concentration, competitive concerns, positive or negative cash flow, condition of the assets, employee tenure, salaries and benefits, inventory, leases, orders or work in process, accounts receivable and payable, quality of financial statements, branding, vendor and supplier agreements, increasing or decreasing market demand for the product or service, achievable growth opportunities, etc. . . OCA is trained, skilled, educated and experienced in all the elements of a business sale transaction and the fluid dynamics of businesses, and OCA will serve you best (not a Realtor).