Benefits of using an intermediary when selling your business

If you’re like most business owners, you’ve probably never sold a company before. While deals certainly do get done without the use of an intermediary, these professionals bring tremendous value to the process of selling your business and maximizing the sale price.

Below are just some of the benefits of using an intermediary when considering the sale of your business:

Confidentiality – An intermediary will protect the identity of the seller and only disclose certain information to approved buyers. This ensures that your business is not impacted by having vendors, employees, customers and any others know that you are for sale.

Time commitment – Selling your business is a process. It can take a significant amount of time to prepare, market, screen, meet and negotiate with multiple buyers, and to ultimately close a transaction. Allow the intermediary to execute the process while you do what you do best — operate your business.

Transaction expertise – An experienced intermediary will bring creativity to a transaction. If you’re selling to experienced buyers, it’s best to level the playing field when you make perhaps your one and only business sale.

Marketing/positioning – Identifying the right types of buyers and presenting the right value drivers is best done by someone who understands what buyers are looking for.

Valuation – There are numerous factors that go into determining the value of your business. Experienced intermediaries have access to resources and tools designed to provide you with a selling price that can be substantiated. In the end, the best way to know you’ve gotten the best deal for your business is by entertaining multiple offers from different buyers. This is best accomplished by executing an intermediary-led sale process.

Driving the deal – The primary function of the intermediary is to get the deal closed. An experienced intermediary will earn the trust of and help manage the other professionals, make sure deadlines are met and tasks are completed, and maintain communication with all the principals in the transaction.

Frank Orlando leads the business sales and M&A practice at Brookfield-based Oak Hill Business Partners.

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