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The Pitfalls of Going it Alone When Trying to Sell Your Business

Many business owners approach Deal Leaders only after being unsuccessful in selling their businesses independently. The scenarios are all the same:

  • The businesses are trading extremely well.

  • They have been approached by acquirers and have also approached specific acquirers.

  • In some cases, an Information Memorandum had been prepared but was largely inaccurate and inadequate. In most instances, there was no structured presentation of the business.

  • Price and deal structure is always an issue that does not get resolved, with the main problem usually being the ability of the acquirers to come up with appropriate funding.

Our initial discussions with business owners in these situations follow a common theme. In all these cases, the business owners believed they’d followed the correct process and done everything possible towards achieving a sale and that the failure to secure a buyer was ‘proof’ that a deal could not be done.

However, what each case lacked was the following:

  1. A comprehensive presentation of the business, its benefits to an acquirer, a clear presentation of differentiators, growth opportunities, etc.

  2. A broad and thorough analysis of the buyer ecosystem, including international acquirers.

  3. A structured engagement – knowing when to share what information, when to get the acquirer to sell themselves as good acquirers, when to ask for offers, and on what basis.

  4. A workable strategy about price and structure. Far too much “take it or leave it” and not enough formal offers, which would lead to common ground and a platform for deal-making.

Let’s unpack this further:

1. A comprehensive presentation of the business

Our business evaluation and marketability assessment reports provide a comprehensive analysis of your business to ensure you can make a calculated decision on if and when to engage the market.

Upon completion, our clients have a thorough understanding of the value, risk, timing, and acquirer appetite for their businesses before approaching the market.

2. A broad and thorough analysis of the buyer ecosystem

Through our in-depth research and analysis of the market, we move past the apparent buyer market by compiling highly professional investor information packs and teasers. The teasers are an essential component of our process and success rate. They provide just enough information to stimulate interest to weed out potential buyers who are not a good fit. Through this process and our extensive local and international networks, we can attract a far wider audience than the obvious choices if a seller is trying to go at it alone.