your business is a major decision!
have devoted your time, money, and energy to building, running, and operating
your business. It may well represent your life's work. You may have already
decided that now is the right time to sell, and you want the very best
professional guidance you can get. This is when working in tandem with The THOR
Group LLC can make the difference between just getting rid of the business and
selling it for the very best price and terms! And, we specialize only in the
sale of businesses - on a strictly confidential basis.
Below are some of the major services we offer to the business owner.
on the Entire Process of Selling a Business
THOR Group offers a no-cost, no-obligation consulting meeting to fully explain
the details of preparing, marketing and selling a privately held business.
We will discuss the profile of likely Buyers, what they are looking for,
and what motivates them. You will
come away from this session armed with the information necessary to make your
decision to sell or continue working to improve the business for selling at a
a Business Valuation
THOR Group uses the services of the largest, independent third-party valuation
to create these reports for our clients who are trying to secure full market
value for their business. They perform thousands of business valuations
each year and have access to the largest databases of closed transactions in
the nation. They know what price other businesses, like yours, are really
bringing. Their reports are reader friendly and can be shown to
prospective buyers. They justify that the price recommended is the most
obtainable for the business owner and the report proves the asking price is
realistic to a prospective buyer.
your need for a business valuation is usually the first step in the
decision-making process. You may need valuation expertise that counts for any
one of these purposes:
your business at the “Stand-alone,” Fair Market Value or at a Strategic
a valuation for lending purposes
a merger or acquisition
an estate plan to protect your wealth
a buy-sell agreement with partners
exit strategies for business owners
the value of assets and liabilities for a divorce settlement
litigation support services
an insurance settlement
up an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP)
is critical to determine the purpose of the valuation and what the practitioner
will include in the estimate of value. This determination shapes the choice of
valuation methods to apply, because different approaches and concepts may be
more appropriate for different purposes or industries.
valuation services firms used by The THOR Group will bring valuation solutions
is a big difference in the quality of valuation reports that can be performed.
You must ask: "Is the report designed as a marketing tool, or is it
something that has to be put in a drawer and not shown to a buyer? Was true
analysis of the business performed? Were factors such as industry trends, age
of the business, client base, and other intangible assets that will affect the
price taken into consideration?"
the Process of Selling your Business
you have made the decision to sell your business, The THOR Group will manage
the entire process with the goal of finding the BEST Buyer for your business
while minimizing the time, expense and energy you spend.
of the following steps may be taken by The THOR Group in our time-tested
process of ownership transfer for your business:
owner’s goals and objectives.
the company, industry, competition, and marketplace.
analysis to determine price and terms consistent with the marketplace and
the owners’ goals and objectives.
Company for sale or acquisition.
of company’s balance sheet and financial statements to increase and
document the real value of the business.
for an independent third party business valuation to verify price and terms.
a blind Business Listing Outline and Business Profile for
a Confidential Memorandum, a necessary tool for buyers.
review and approval of documents and on structure of sale.
and analysis of the industry.
BEST buyer criteria and profile.
and classify potential buyers.
and implement targeted marketing strategies and programs.
plan, obtain input and approval from client.
schedule of events and time line.
and record marketing events.
a blind Business Profile into several business brokerage network websites.
potential buyers via affiliate networks, the Internet, advertising, direct
mail, and telemarketing.
and qualify potential buyers.
a Buyer’s Profile, a signed Financial
Statement, and a Confidentiality and Warranty Agreement
from all serious buyers.
the BEST buyers for your business
buyers are “qualified” and interested, provide buyer(s) the company’s Confidential
and provide the buyers with deal requirements.
initial site visit with potential buyers.
buyer requests for information needed to develop Offer to Purchase
Offer to Purchase
with buyer and their advisors to prepare an Offer to Purchase.
and clarify Offer to Purchase.
price and terms.
Offer to Purchase.
Discovery and Negotiations
in Obtaining Financing
need be, we can assist the buyer in obtaining financing.
Banks are reluctant to finance business purchases for good reasons.
First, all small businesses attempt to minimize profits shown on
financial statements to reduce tax liability.
And secondly, a bank cannot come in to manage a business if foreclosure
becomes necessary. But, the Small
Business Administration sponsors a loan program and we have numerous contacts
in the banking community who are ready and willing to help the buyer qualify
for a loan. In some instances, we
may suggest that the business be pre-qualified for a SBA loan.
you have any questions that we have not covered please do not hesitate to
contact us, click
Asked Questions for Sellers
Question: I don't want anyone to know I'm selling
my business. How can I do
Answer: At The THOR Group, every buyer is required to sign a
confidentiality agreement, which details his or her legal responsibility in
having access to your information. The identity of the business is never
disclosed before we have this contract on file. We also require the buyer to
submit a personal financial statement which serves the dual purpose of
financially pre-qualifying the buyer and discouraging frivolous requests from
Question: How long will it take to sell my business?
Answer: In a recent study for the year 2001, it took 225 days on
average to sell a business, much longer than 20 years ago. Besides the
confidential nature of the sale, buyers are better educated and informed,
requiring more information from the seller, using outside advisors more, and
the regulatory requirements for the closing have also increased. Other factors
include the fact that each business is completely unique and buyers have
varying approaches to evaluating a business. We handle the time and effort
involved in selling your business so that you can stay focused on running your
Question: My business is unique. Are
there really buyers for my business?
Answer: Absolutely! Unless your
business requires a highly specialized skill or certification that only the
owner can provide, every business will be attractive to a broad array of buyers
- if it is profitable. The business
cash flow must allow the new buyer to take home a decent salary, pay off the
debt and earn some return on the cash down payment.
The best thing an owner can do to prepare a business for sale is to get
the revenues up and the expenses down
Question: I get letters form business brokers all the time.
Do they really have a buyer for my business?
Answer: Most brokers and intermediaries have a database of pre-qualified buyers
who are looking for good businesses. In
most instances, these buyers are interested in fairly general business
categories within a specific geographic area.
Some other buyers (especially corporate entities) are very specific
about the businesses they want. More
rarely, an intermediary is retained to do a very specific targeted search on
behalf of a single client.
Question: How do you market the sale of my business?
Answer: Depending on its likely buyer market, we will market using direct mail,
telemarketing, and advertising coupled with promotion through our network of
affiliates. This is handled in a blind fashion. By that we mean that your
business is described but not identified by name. Advertising on the Internet
is a very effective means for advertising businesses for sale. We utilize a
number of the top business transfer websites available in the world.
Question: I am still concerned. How
can I insure confidentiality?
Answer: You are right
to be concerned. Employees, suppliers, customers, and bankers are key factors in the
success of a company. News of a possible business sale can often disrupt these
relationships and affect a company's ongoing business. As stated above, The
THOR Group is meticulous in ensuring only qualified buyers obtain confidential
information. However, employees may
become suspicious upon seeing non-typical behavior. We can advise you on some
steps you can take to prevent disclosure of your intentions within your own
Question: I am not quite ready to sell my business now.
What should I be doing to prepare my business to sell in a year or
Answer: While not applicable to every business,
you should strive to do the following:
Increase your sales yearly
Remove yourself from the business
Develop a strong management team
Replace family members working in
the business with other employees
Reduce the amount of personal perks in the business
Sell off all unnecessary assets
Develop a strong sales force (if applicable)
Diversify your customer base
We can advise you on prioritizing what
approaches to take.
Question: Why should I
have a Business Valuation done on my business?
Answer: Determining the value of a business is the first step in the
process of selling a business. The value of a business is related to the risk
involved, the ability to generate an income stream, and the value of the
tangible assets. With a
professionally completed valuation, you can rest assured that you will not be
“leaving money on the table” when setting your asking price.
Even if not quite ready to sell, this valuation will point out those
things you can do now to increase the value of your business later.
Question: Do I have to
put an Asking Price on my business?
Answer: The short answer is No. If
the likely buyer is a strategic buyer, it is best to not set a price and let
the market decide – while using the Business Valuation as a floor.
For smaller businesses where the only likely buyers are financially
oriented, it is best to set the price – again using the Business Valuation as
Question: I want to
sell my business but am worried about the tax liability.
Are there things I can do to minimize the tax bill?
Answer: The short answer is Yes – but we
cannot give many details. As the
tax code is very complex and its impact highly dependent on your overall
financial situation, it is best to involve tax professionals who are
experienced in the business sale process. We
at The THOR Group can provide some references.
Tips on Selling Your Business
Engage An Expert Business Broker
A breach of confidentiality surrounding the sale of a business can change the
course of the transaction and damage a business in the future.
Prepare For The
Well In Advance
A good business broker will prepare an confidential memorandum for the business
to have ready when potential buyers are qualified. The business owners
can help in the process by "housecleaning" - as well as a literal
sprucing up of the facilities.
Place A Reasonable Price On Your
An inflated figure either turns off or slows down potential buyers.
Rely on your business intermediary to arrive at the best
"win-win" price. An "unrealistic price" discourages
many buyers from even looking at a business.
Carry On "Business As
Don't become so obsessed with the transaction that your attention wonders from
day-to-day demands, affecting sales, costs, and profits.
Anticipate Information The
Buyers And Their Financing Sources May Require
In order to obtain financing, the buyer will need appraisals on assets.
Lenders will require at least three years of tax returns and the most recent
Achieve Leverage Through Buyer
A good business priced properly will many times create interest from several
buyers and create a competitive situation.
Don't be the kind of seller who wants all-cash at the closing, or who won't
accept any contingent payments or an asset based transaction. Depend on
the advice of your business broker - their knowledge of financing and tax
Negotiate; Don't Dominate
You are used to being your own boss, but be prepared to learn that the buyer
may be used to having his way, too. With your business broker's help,
decide ahead of time "when to hold and when to fold."
Keep Time From Dragging Down The Deal
To keep the momentum up, work with your business broker to be sure that
potential buyers stay on a time schedule and that offers and counter-offers
move in a timely fashion.
To Stay Involved
Even if you are feeling burned-out, realize that the buyer may want you to stay
within arm's reach for a while. Consult with business brokers to
determine how you can best effect a smooth transition.
each of the following, place a number on a scale of 1 to 4.
“1” Means strongly agree while “4” means strongly disagree.
The idea of making payroll, paying taxes and suppliers, and getting
paid by customers has me “counting sheep” at night.
The thought of keeping track of, listening to problems of, getting
backup for, and recruiting for employees makes me want to schedule a trip
to the Psychiatrist
The notion that there are more taxes to pay than I have fingers on
your hands has me thinking about amputation
The fact that I spend much more time with my accountant than with my
travel agent has me dreaming of a much needed vacation
I would rather schedule an appointment with my dentist than one with
a potential customer
Going on a vacation means bringing a swimsuit, sandals and sunglasses
- not a cell phone, pager and laptop
your friendly business intermediary NOW.
You are ready to sell.
are definitely losing the desire. You
should start preparing your business for sale – Call The THOR Group for
are still doing OK but it is never too early to start thinking about an
Exit Strategy. Call The THOR
Group for details.
you still have the fire. Even
so, you should be doing the things now that can pay dividends down the
road when the fuel begins to run out.
While this test is meant to be humorous and is certainly non-scientific, it
does highlight some of the things that constitute the life of an independent
business owner. Many owners wait
too long, lose the passion, and consequently, the business performance
degrades. Do not let this happen to
you. Sell at the top, when the
business is doing well, while you still have your health and you still have the
energy to help train the new owner so as to ensure that your life’s work will
thrive for many more years.