We see many different ways in which people sell their companies. We also get a lot of requests from business owners approaching us to help in a business sale. Each situation is unique, and many different ways exist to sell your company. A thing that always surprises us, is how business owners make a decision on how to sell after they have worked so many years to build a good company. In our view, the focus is very much on the costs of M&A advice. Hence, there are many business owners of SME (small to medium-sized enterprises) who have decided to sell their company themselves.
Many people come to us at a moment when the business situation is not good anymore. The company has lost a leading position, is heavily indebted, has gone through mismanagement or other causes exist why it is not flourishing anymore. At such a moment, it is very difficult to help in the sale of a company. Especially in cross-border sales (where a higher level of trust needs to be built), it is always difficult to do a last-minute business sale.
On this page, we describe the possible individuals that might help sell your company. We decide where to find a suitable M&A advisor and what the requirements are of a good M&A advisor. And finally, we give some further information on the CFIE network and how we differ from other advisors in the M&A market.
To get insights on our M&A network for selling a company
It might be possible that you have already decided to hire an M&A advisor. Visit M&A advisors to see if there is a suitable consultant in our network.
As mentioned before, there are many ways to sell your company. There are also many individuals to choose from at the moment when you want to sell your company. Obviously, we think the best way is to use an experienced M&A advisor. However, we also think it depends on the type of industry you are in and the number of suitable buyers that exist both domestically as well as abroad.
Who is going to sell your company?
We will not discuss until the last detail the pros and cons of each solution. We are happy to do this in a personal meeting or a phone call as there is very much to it. A business sale process takes up a lot of time. Interested buyers will ask many questions and will want to see a lot of documentation. This can cause a lot of stress for the business owner if the process needs to be managed by him or herself alone. Further, the time of a business owner is mostly not taken into consideration as a cost when deciding to hire an M&A advisor in the process or do it yourself. However, in the end, the owner could have done other things like building the profitability of the business.
Your lawyer might come in handy if you have found the best buyer and negotiated the best conditions. In that case, your lawyer could build the legal agreements around it (in case your lawyer has experience with contracts related to M&A). However, how sure are you that you have found the best buyer and how certain are you that the conditions you agreed to are the most suitable?
A bookkeeper normally prepares audited annual accounts and all tasks around it. He or she is not a professional in business sales. Your accountant is well suited to prepare any requested documentation by buyers, but in actively managing an M&A process it is not the best solution. In the end, it will be cheaper than a professional M&A advisor, but this person will not work for free either. The question is if the lower costs outweigh the added value of an M&A advisor. At the moment when you sell, the most important asset you own, it is best to go for quality. Your company for which you have worked often over several decades deserves to go to a suitable new owner.
At the moment when you have decided to use an M&A advisor several choices remain. Below, we give some examples of possible alternatives when choosing an M&A advisor. Instead of telling you which option is most suitable, read through the remainder of this page before coming to any conclusions.
Some of the options open to you for finding an M&A advisor are the following:
Download our presentation to learn more about our M&A network.
When you decide to seek the help of an M&A advisor, it is important to check whether you have found the right advisor. You have to look closely at what an M&A advisor brings to the table.
The best M&A advisor has:
The CFIE network consists of independent M&A advisors that work together as a team. The difference between CFIE and other M&A networks is that CFIE is an open network where none of the advisors has exclusive rights. This gives the client the freedom to work with the advisors of their choosing that he or she thinks are the most suitable. The benefits for the client are the following:
The differences between CFIE and other M&A offices are many; CFIE is a flexible network with competent M&A advisors without a 9 to 5 mentality. To conclude the business sale and earn the success fee is the main goal. The benefits for the client are:
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions concerning the preparation of a sale of a company. We have advisors that speak your native language and have experience with many business owners that have sold their company before you. We are happy to share this knowledge and give you some free advice on what to consider when selling your company.