Finding sellers and buyers

After they have made preparations to sell the company a seller must then find a buyer. Similarly, after having considered the criteria a potential company must cover, a buyer must find a seller.

The best source of information for both the buyer and the seller on how to do this is a business opportunity intermediary.

Intermediaries include;

  • Business brokers (who mainly handle small businesses)
  • Investment bankers (who handle larger corporations)
  • Merger/ acquisition specialists (who help obtain outside financing for ‘in-between’ companies).

The work of the intermediary can include things like preparing a presentation package or a valuation report for prospective buyers. This can involve pricing the company, setting the financial terms and other conditions, professionally marketing the company, screening potential buyers and helping to evaluate or negotiate offers. Networking with solicitors and accountants can be a good way for a buyer to be the first to approach the seller when a business goes on the market.

There are also other forms marketing sellers might consider on their own. For example, print advertising is a great way of a putting your business out there. The Sunday edition of a larger local paper is usually the best option. Larger companies are often not advertised at all but are marketed by intermediaries. Trade sources can also be a viable source of information on companies for sale. Almost every industry has a trade association or one or more publications.