The Sale Process

The Sale Process

The business sale process has a number of distinct stages and typically takes 6 to 10 months to complete.

The Business Sale Process

Finding the Right Buyer

Finding the Right Buyer

There are strategic and financial buyers. The best buyer is the one that benefits the most from the purchase.

Finding the Right Buyer



A business's value is determined by market comparables as well as business specific analysis.


Financial Buyer

What Will a Financial Buyer Pay?

What is a financial buyer and what logic drives their approach to price and structure? A financial buyer is one who is buying strictly for a financial return.  Financial buyers include individual investors, who have either saved up or cashed out, and institutional funds such as Venture Capital Funds, for early stage high growth opportunities,…

Normalization Adjustments

Normalization Adjustments to Arrive at Adjusted EBITDA for Private Companies

Adjusted EBITDA is becoming a more common term for public companies.  Companies are reporting adjusted EBITDA to convince analysts that reported income contains a number of one-time items that they should not be concerned  about. While controversial for public companies, “normalization adjustments” have always been a practice in the private company sales process, largely because…

EBITDA Multiple

A Multiple of What (and When)?

When you hear an owner of a similar business to yours saying  “I sold my business at a 10 times multiple!”? or … the tech sector is trading at a 25 multiple.  Early stage companies trade at 2 to 3 times.  The question is a multiple of what?  In the first case it might be…


Valuation – Discounted Cash-flow Analysis (DCF) and Forecasting

Company specific valuation approaches include the capitalized earnings and the Discounted Cashflow (DCF) method.  A DCF requires a forecast of the company’s revenues and earnings and then a terminal value is established (to represent the value beyond the forecast period), all of this is then discounted to arrive at present values to be added up.  The…

how to choose a business broker

5 Things you Should Know About your M&A Advisor

In the process of choosing an M&A advisor to manage the sale of your business, you will undoubtedly have a discussion about valuation and price expectations.  During such discussions, some advisors will lead you to believe they will secure a higher price than others. How much should you weigh such differences in your decision to…

Selling a Small Business

What are the Steps in Selling a Business?

Steps in selling a business include four phases of progressive information release to smaller and smaller audiences. Phase 1: Prepare Marketing Materials The first document used is called a teaser and is typically only one to three pages in length.  The teaser is a “blind” (i.e. it should include no specific information from which the company name…