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The sales process – how many steps does it take?

There’s no standard answer to that question – it all depends on who you’re talking to.

Some people think it takes only three steps.  Others maintain it can take as many as twenty … or even more.

Over the years, WhiteEdge has divided the sales process into certain well-defined stages.  And depending on circumstances some stages will be applicable to the sale, while others won’t.

The sales process – initial stages

Obviously you have to be happy with our credentials before taking us on, but as soon as you do we discuss the most important factor in the sale:  the price.

We start by giving you a starting price, but that’s before we look into your business much deeper and uncover opportunities which add value to it.  So that starting price can be very conservative – to say the least.

The first of our stages in the sales process involves research into:

  • The market sector
  • The main companies in that sector
  • Your local competitors

Armed with that information, we next identify the opportunities your business would present in the marketplace, and then seek out the companies which would be interested in those opportunities.

We collate all that information in order to present your business effectively, and then the sales process begins in earnest.

We start the search for qualified buyers, and because confidentiality is key, we ask those showing interest to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

We then look at those qualified buyers in terms of suitability for taking on your business.

Next, we provide the information we’ve collated and begin qualification and negotiation.  We use pre-determined guidelines to extract the best offer possible from the most suitable buyer.

On acceptance of that offer, we then produce a Heads of Agreement for both parties.

Before then, though, there could be some extra stages in the sales process.

For example, it’s common practice in the USA to pay money into an escrow account to demonstrate financial capability.

We’d include that stage in the sales process to suit an American buyer, but since it’s not common practice elsewhere we’d otherwise omit it.

Another variable would be whether or not the buyer requires an independently-produced due diligence report.  If so, we’d include that stage, and if not, we wouldn’t.

No matter what those variables, we’re all working towards a single objective:  to sell your business, and sell it at the best possible price.

The First Steps of selling a business

10 Steps in the Selling a Business

Selling Business in UK
PA to the Partners

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