We Sell Exceptional Businesses for Premium Values
By Telling Strategic Stories

Once Valuation is Complete, next is Market & Sell

MARKET

“Beacon’s understanding of the marketplace and the different types of buyers, made the marketing process focused and targeted on serious buyers who saw value and not tire kickers looking for my client list.” 

Monte Bizzarro,
Former owner, Bizzarro, Inc.

Once the Value range of the company has been determined, the professionals at Beacon go through a rigorous process to market the business effectively and discreetly to a wide pool of potential buyers.

The evolution of the marketing approach for the company starts with Beacon’s assessment of the company’s appeal to each of the four different types of buyers (Strategic, Synergistic, Entrepreneurial and Financial Investor).  Each of these buyer types will place a different price and deal terms on a business.  The assessment includes providing the Owners with feedback on deal metrics for each potential buyer group as some will likely offer a high price, but little cash at closing, while others will have a lower price, but significantly higher percentage of cash at the closing table.

Based on what we learn about the business, Beacon will create a 30-40 page Profile (example link) providing potential buyers willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement (example link) with insight into the company without disclosing the name or specific location of the company.  The profile is specifically designed to answer a buyer’s initial questions as well as provide their advisory team (accountants, lawyers, bankers, etc.) with initial confidence that the business opportunity is worth additional consideration and time.  The profile, in combination with a follow up discussion between the potential buyer and the Beacon professional narrows the field by identifying those with a genuine interest in buying the business at the desired price.

Beacon casts a wide net with an acquisition opportunity “teaser” (example link).  The summary is sent to:

  • Over 4000 qualified prospective buyers in the Beacon database including strategic buyers, private equity, venture capital groups and entrepreneurs.
  • Over 600 partners of CPA firms across New England with which Beacon works. 
  • Partners in hundreds of leading Law firms across New England with which Beacon works.

Beacon accesses private equity associations and database resources to identify other potential financial and synergistic buyers who may be a strong fit to purchase the company.  Depending on the opportunity, these buyers may be local, regional, national or international. 

We will also compile contact information for strategic companies that appear to be a good fit with the business being marketed.  Once management approves the list, we contact the companies with a combination of phone, email and direct mail to initiate a conversation about the potential acquisition.

This process takes place over several months until the right buyer is identified.

SELL

There are thousands of potential buyers for your business. The challenge is to find the buyer with the financial wherewithal and ability to close a deal to pay you well for the business you have created, honor your business culture, and maintain your key employees. 

Some business owners prefer to try to sell their business themselves.  They wonder why they would give up a percentage of the tangible value of their life’s work to someone who makes a few phone calls and puts together some marketing materials.

If selling your business was that easy, we would agree you should do it yourself.

Orchestrating the business sale process is a full time job.  That is why each Beacon professional is limited to being the lead person on only four business listings at any one time, so they can devote the necessary time to your business.

How long does it take from listing to closing?

Beginning - It takes 30 days to draft the profile, get the profile prepared, and to begin marketing the company.

Marketing - The process of finding the right buyer can take 6 - 12 months of going through the steps above.

Ending - It takes 60 days from a signed offer to a closing in most cases.  This is the time necessary for due diligence, legal documents and to put financing in place.

Our advice to buyers is to begin the marketing 18 months before the date you want to exit the business.  This timeframe accounts for slow activity periods like the year end holidays and summer/vacation season.

 How much time does Beacon spend on each step in the process? 

Create Marketing Profile – interview owner about business, staff, customers, growth, financials and industry. Conduct industry research, perform database search of sold businesses, and other opportunities in the market. Draft a profile (sample link) to tell the story of the company, compile financial records and create charts and graphs as necessary to tell the story. Meet with CPA and other advisors as necessary.

50 hours

Update Profile for new data, financial information, changes in personnel and customers and to enhance the story as time progresses. 5 hours per month.

45 hours

Marketing – Conduct initial direct mail campaign, phone campaign, email campaign & web campaign.

50 hours

Meet with Owners – Regularly update them on the status of buyers, progress on marketing and strategies to present the business to other buyers.

25 hours

Field initial inquiries from approximately 1000 prospects, send Non-Disclosure Agreement have seller approve potential buyer, send profile and answer initial questions. 5 -10 minutes average initial interaction with each.

80 – 160 hours

Level One Conversation – Approximately 100 prospects, 30 – 45 minute average interaction to determine interest level and further qualify initial fit for business.

50 - 75 hours

Initial meetings with buyers who we meet with “looking for a business” where we introduce the business. Approximately 2 per week for 9 months. 1 - 2 hours per meeting.

78 – 156 hours

Level Two Conversations – Approximately 20 buyers (from the 100 Level One), answer more in-depth questions from buyers about the business. Many questions require research, new spreadsheets or charts, and gathering additional data from the business owner.

40 - 80 hours

Letters of Interest – Work with approximately 10 buyers on submitting an interest letter, review letters and discuss with owner.

20 hours

Buyer Meetings with Owners - Five prospects whose interest in the company, financial capability and estimated value warrant a meeting with the owner. Averaging 2 – 4 hours per meeting.

10 – 30 hours

Post Meeting Follow Up – Produce new documents requested by buyers. Work towards moving the buyer to make an offer.

10 hours

Present Offer(s) to Owners – Meet with owner to review offer, discuss counter offer, draft counter offers, present counter to buyers, present options to move parties closer together, attempt to help reach a deal.

25 hours

Due Diligence – Coordinate buyer due diligence request, assist with ironing out Asset Purchase Agreement disagreements between buyer/sell and or the attorneys.

50 – 100 hours
Total time 533 – 826 hours