Consultation & Valuation
During a no-cost, no-obligation, introductory consultation, we talk with you to learn more about your business and its unique attributes. We tell you about what we do, how we do it, what it costs, and what you can expect during the process of selling a business—and of course, everything we discuss is completely confidential. Afterward, we perform a complimentary valuation, showing your business’s range of value, and we pre-screen with a lender to ensure the business valuation meets current lending guidelines.
Packaging & Marketing the Business
Once you engage with Viking, we get to work on preparing the business for sale. We gather all necessary information into various marketing profiles that provide pertinent details on the business’s greatest differentiators and assets – without disclosing any sensitive details or names. We use that summary profile and other materials to market your business to our network of thousands of prospective buyers, as well as via internet resources, strategic direct mail pieces, newsletters and more. When we do this, we go to great lengths to keep the identity of your business confidential and use generic phrases to describe your business rather than its actual name.
Once inquiries arrive in response to our marketing efforts, we begin the process of pre-screening buyers. Pre-screening ensures that inquiring buyers are serious and financially capable of purchasing your business. We protect your confidentiality by ensuring prospective buyers sign confidentiality or Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDA), provide proof of financial capability, bio/resume, and then meet with them face-to-face (if local) to educate them on the buying process. We also present them to you for approval before we release any sensitive information to them, including your business’s name.
The next step is a meeting with the prospective buyer, you (the seller), and your Viking advisor. This meeting is a great chance for you to get to know the prospective buyer, to explain your business, and for the buyer to ask any questions they may have. The meeting’s discussions typically remain “high level” and related to strategy, company history, nature of the business, etc. Smaller details and fact-checking are typically handled post-offer during the due diligence phase. After the meeting, many buyers also wish to perform a more detailed pre-offer review of the business’s financials to allow them to perform a pre-offer review to arrive at a valuation to make an offer.
“Offer For Purchase” Review & Negotiation
When a prospective buyer decides they want to buy your business, the formalization of that is typically with an “Offer for Purchase” or “Letter of Intent” (LOI). This document outlines the details of the offer including the offered purchase price, the payment terms, the training and transition period, any required employment agreement or non-compete agreements, and any other conditions related to their offer. We meet with you to explain the offer and discuss its various components. You can then decide to accept the offer, reject it, or negotiate on certain aspects of it. We offer our expert opinion and guidance to help you make the right decision for you.
The “due diligence” period occurs after accepting the buyer’s offer. Typically, they use the time prior to closing to request detailed financial statements, bank records, copies of contracts with suppliers/customers, leases, etc. The length and intensity of this period vary, usually lasting between two to six weeks. Its purpose is to verify that the business was accurately presented to the buyer, ensuring revenue and profit match expectations — buyers often overlook minor discrepancies and focus more on significant differences or unexpected surprises. Our team supports you throughout this process, securely providing information and offering assistance.
Once due diligence and buyer financing are complete, we proceed to draft the closing documents and finalize the sale. At Viking, we remain by your side throughout this process, addressing any last-minute inquiries or concerns. We recommend legal and financial experts, including attorneys and accountants, to assist with contracts, legal documents, and minimizing tax implications. Our priority is to ensure you receive your funds and possess all necessary documentation before leaving the closing table. Typically, the entire process, from offer acceptance to closing and fund receipt, spans approximately 60-75 days. However, timelines may vary. With over 800 successful business sales since 1996, our closing rate exceeds the industry average by threefold.
Get In Touch
Send us an email or give us a call to start the conversation. If you’re local, we’ll invite you in for an interview; otherwise, we’ll schedule a call.
Get To Know You
During the interview, we find out more about your likes and dislikes, your strengths and weaknesses, and the types of businesses in which you have interest.
After working with you to secure the proper nondisclosure or confidentiality agreements to protect our sellers, we present you with business opportunities that match your needs and preferences.
Inform Your Decision
When you find a business that’s a good fit, we’ll ensure you have the information you need to make an informed decision. We’ll introduce you to the business, let you review the financials, give you the time to perform your own due diligence prior to making a contingent offer, and obtain financing.
Get You The Business You Want
Once the seller has agreed to the contingencies and conditions in your offer and you’ve obtained financing, it’s time to close the deal. We stay involved through every step of the process—all the way through closing—to help streamline the transaction and address any issues or concerns that arise.
First, consider what kind of business you’d like to acquire. It is usually the best idea to buy a business that specializes in your areas of interest and expertise. The more you know about an industry, the easier it will be to run the business itself. Look to acquire businesses in which you have past field experience. This will make it easier for you to transition into the business and relate to your future employees and clients.
Determining the size of the business you’d like to acquire is essential. Do you want to own a smaller family-owned business, or are you interested in taking on a larger company? There are many crucial differences between small, middle-market, and large companies, so it is important to weigh out the options. Acquiring a larger business can mean higher profits, but it also means a higher purchase price, increased upfront costs in acquiring, as well as a likely more complex deal. Acquiring a large business also means overseeing more employees and catering to a variety of clientele.
Are you willing to move your home and family for the business? Where is the ideal location for you and your family? The location of your future business can also determine many factors including taxes, labor costs, and other financials that could affect the closing of the deal. If you do decide to acquire a business in a distant location, be sure to become familiar with the area and the logistics associated with the business.
Acquiring a business can entail major lifestyle changes. If this is your first time acquiring or owning a business, it is necessary to prepare yourself for a hands-on experience. Are you ready to spend ample time getting to know the business and your new associates? Do you want to own a business that requires traveling frequently, or do you want to stay in one place? Think about how involved you want to be with your future company, and decide what kind of business you want to buy based on these factors.
Once you have chosen an industry, size, and location, it’s time for a few other important considerations. Here are a few questions to ask yourself early in the buying process:
- Can you see yourself going to work there? Whether that is in-person, virtually, oversight, etc.
- Can you improve the business? What are you bringing to the table? Are you improving sales, margins, culture, efficiency, technology, etc.?
- Does it make financial sense? Does it provide a living wage, service the debt and a return on your equity?
The above considerations are really just a handful of many you will face in the business buying process. Buying a business is a serious decision that deserves plenty of research and planning before moving forward. At Viking Mergers & Acquisitions, our professional business brokers / advisors help you through the entire process and can help you acquire your ideal business.