5 Questions To Ask Your Business Sale Adviser Before Appointing Them

Rob Goddard
Managing Director
Evolution Complete Business Sales Ltd 

1.     Will the person selling me their services, be the person responsible for the delivery?

It is commonplace with brokers that the salesman trying to secure your order is not the person who will be responsible for selling your valued asset.  This disconnect between sales and operations often leads to over-promising regarding the likelihood of you selling and the valuation of your business.

At Evolution, the person offering our services will automatically become the Account Director, should you engage us to work on your behalf.  This means that what is said in the sales meeting is given with honesty and integrity.  No inflated valuations, just straightforward discussions regarding the business value and probability of selling.

2.     How many projects are you working on at the moment? 

Most Advisers will be working on between 15-20 projects simultaneously.  This inevitably means that the sale of your business is just one of many.  You will not get the attention your deserve.

Evolution Account Directors do not have more than 4 projects to concentrate on at any one time.  This means that you receive individual attention and that you are treated as a valued client, not a “project” on a conveyor belt.

3.     Will your advisor be there from start to finish?

It’s critical that whoever you use to help sell your business is with you all the way, right down to receive the sale proceeds in your bank account.  Many do not.  Some simply advertise on the web and leave you to generate your own meetings, and others think their involvement is over once you have accepted an offer from a potential buyer.  Failure to complete, especially towards the end of the process is devastating for a seller and expensive in terms of lost money and time.

We recognise that the most critical phase is between accepting an offer and completing the transaction.  Buyers undertake “Due Diligence” in this period and try to use it as a way of reducing their initial offer.  Evolution works around the clock for clients to ensure this doesn’t happen.  This year, we have completed on 100% of deals that reached the accepted offer stage.

4.     Does your advisor offer a performance guarantee?

The vast majority of advisors charge a retainer fee.  What happens then if they are unable to attract interested from prospective buyers?  Well, in short you lose your money.  There are no guarantees.

Because we are very discerning about which companies we take on as clients, Evolution offers every client a performance guarantee in our contract.  This means that if we are unable to attract interest in your business for whatever reason, we will offer to remarket it within 18 months for free, or we will refund the retainer you have paid, 100% in full.  It’s your choice.  We take the commercial risk, not you.  

5.     How extensive is your advisor’s database of potential buyers?

Most advisors will have limited research capabilities and as a result will tend to focus on approaching direct competitors to your business.  Apart from this being potentially sensitive for you, it omits the myriad of complementary trade buyers, financial investors and Business Angels.

Evolution has access to over £55m company records globally, through its wide range of database sources.  We have a network of Associates across the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.  It also has developed over many years 2,000+ professional contacts from the Private Equity and Venture Capital community.  We leave no stone unturned to find the right buyer for your company, whether it be at home or abroad.

For more information please contact us on info@evolutioncbs.co.uk

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