Ask the Expert: How Do I Get the Amount I Want from My Sale?
Jeff Boutwell, President of NewBridge Group
This is an ongoing series provided by NewBridge Group Mergers & Acquisition Consultants. Have a question about business and finance? Email it to us at Carolyn (at) NewBridgeGroup (dot) com.
I’m not quite ready to sell my business yet, but I’m concerned about not having enough for retirement. I want to receive a specific amount for my sale to support myself afterward. I don’t want to sell now if I can’t get that amount, and I don’t want to wait too long until my take-home is a lot less. What tips do you have?
The best time to sell a business is when you can get the highest price. Right now, because of low interest rates, we are able to show buyers that funeral home values are significantly higher than a few years ago when rates were much higher. Banks are projecting interest rates to rise in the next few years. When this happens, business values will decline. Having said this, we understand that timing is very important, so if you’re on the fence about whether or not you want to sell, consider valuations being at a peak right now as one of your deciding factors.
Our valuation process shows our clients exactly what a sale would mean to them financially. We calculate the debt and taxes due at the point of the sale, and show the amount you’ll be left with after the sale. Then we show projections for how much income you can expect each year using the proceeds from the sale. We view this step as an educational process and one that we feel is very important before talking to potential buyers about the sale of your business. You never know until you start looking into it. Depending on the result, we have told certain people, now’s not your best time to sell. And we can help put plan in place to start paying down debt and spruce things up to sell your business in the future. We do give people that kind of advice, as well. It’s part of the buying and selling educational process.
The first step in our process is to give you a valuation based on what we have seen other funeral homes of comparable size sell for. This will give you a range for the expected sale price. Typically we are able to get a higher value than if they had tried to do it on your own. We recently helped a seller get a sale price that was 75% higher than offers they had received before we got involved. If the valuation is lower than what you think they need, we will advise you to hold off on selling. We can help you coordinate with the buyers who may have vendor relationships that can get prices lower.
For more information on buying or selling a funeral home, visit NewBridgeGroup.com or call Jeff at 404-249-9582. If you have a question you’d like answered here, email it to Carolyn (at) NewBridgeGroup (dot) com.