When you work with our VR office in St. Louis, Missouri, you get an experienced, hard-working team that will do what it takes to help your business stand out in the crowd. When we represent a business, we do the proper preparatory work well before taking the company to market. You only have one chance to make a good first impression on a buyer and we do not want to squander the opportunity.
Every business sale assignment is unique, particularly from a marketing standpoint. Nonetheless, there are elements of the process that are consistent. These are outlined in the bullet-point format below, followed by a few more details on certain key elements and how we approach assignments.
VR Manages the Selling Process
- Data gathering and owner interview.
- Recast financial statements.
- Agree on price and terms.
- Sign exclusive listing agreement.
- Prepare confidential business profile.
- Develop a marketing strategy.
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- Activate buyer search plan.
- Screen responses.
- Financially qualify buyers.
- Obtain nondisclosure/confidentiality agreement from buyers.
- Meet with the buyer to present confidential business review.
- Determine buyer’s interest.
- Buyer tours the business and/or views video and asks questions.
- Probe buyer’s interest.
- The buyer makes an offer or passes.
- Assist buyer, as necessary, with an offer to purchase.
- Facilitate negotiations.
- Reach an agreement. Contract signed by buyer and seller.
Professional Business Profile: The most important tool we use in positioning your company to sell for the best possible price is a Business Profile. VR profiles are in a league of their own and may include extensive trade area analysis, risk management data, extensive comparable sales information from industry leading resources, such as BizComps (VR's exclusive proprietary database), DealStats (formerly Pratt Stats), FirstResearch, MergerStats, the Institute of Business Appraisers (IBA), and other sources not available to the general public.
- Coordinate due diligence.
- Loan purchase package.
- Lender instructions.
- Assist in resolving any outstanding issues.
- Authorization to close.
- Review final documents.
Business Valuations: We assist Sellers in determining the asking price for their business every time we take an assignment. We use a formal certified business valuation which will assist in determining the business value and the selling strategy. Preparing the business valuation is the single most important phase of the selling process because potential Buyers will be conducting their due diligence in a similar manner to validate the selling price and evaluate their investment risks. We want a solid business valuation to stand up to the Buyer's due diligence and we want salable businesses which are attractive to buyers. You do not get that kind of quality or insight from a Broker's Price Opinion (BPO) or Broker's Opinion of Value (BOV). We work from real numbers and utilize proven and industry accepted valuation methods.
Marketing & Advertising: Depending on the selling and engagement strategy of the particular type of business, we will market the opportunity across a tactical and targeted range of investors and advertising outlets. Our strongest value comes from the continued investment of our office in VIP investors, private buyer lists, and proven relationships which trust our business offerings. We also advertise to other Brokers and their agents, locally and across the country, to create the maximum awareness of the listing across the brokerage industry. We follow up on popular sales media as well as key industry business sales websites and industry related international organizations.
Confidentiality: At VR, we are keenly aware how important maintaining the confidential nature of your sale is likely to be to your business, its employees, and suppliers. You can count on us to make all efforts to preserve the confidentiality of your business. Our ads and internet postings are "blind", or what we call "vanilla" in that your business' identity is hidden from the public. Only the facts necessary to generate buyer interest are presented. Buyers must sign a confidentiality agreement and demonstrate the financial wherewithal to purchase your business before they are given your Business Profile, and then only with your approval. Behind the scenes, we safeguard your sensitive information in our virtual vault room, which provides a secure and confidential exchange service where we can collect, organize, share, and monitor your important documents.
Co-Broker: There is no true Multiple Listing Service ("MLS") for businesses like there is for residential home sales or commercial property. While businesses are kept confidential by the lack of an MLS system, all too often they are kept secret from potential buyers because the listing brokerage or M&A firm does not want to share its commission with a co-broker. We understand that you do not want your business to sit on the shelf in the hopes that a potential buyer is going to stumble across it hidden among a closed broker's internal listings. In VR's St. Louis office our focus is completely on a successful, expeditious closing. We work closely with other broker offices within the VR network and we have close relations with a number of high-quality M&A firms which we draw on in support of your transaction.
We also work with other business brokerages under friendly co-broker agreements to ensure the best opportunities are presented to all our Buyers and Sellers. In fact, VR Business Brokers of St. Louis is a founding member of the region's local Mid-America Business Broker Association (MABBA), which is an official chapter of the International Business Broker Association (IBBA), where we actively participate and cooperate with business brokers from Missouri, Southern Illinois, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Iowa and across the nation.