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Edmonton Business Broker Presents – Why you shouldn’t hire a real estate agent to sell your business

Why you shouldn’t hire a real estate agent to sell your business

Chris Griffiths

Published Tuesday, Apr. 30, 2013 05:00AM EDT

While I have benefited greatly from the services of real estate agents for the sale of personal and commercial properties, I would never use one to broker the sale of my business. Here’s why and some ideas for alternative approaches.

If you are selling your business and your business includes a real estate asset or assets, by all means, use a real estate agent for those transactions. I have done several real estate transactions over the years and in 100 per cent of the cases, the real agents I dealt with added tremendous value and an obvious return on investment from their commissions and fees.

Most businesses who own real estate acquire those properties under separate holding companies, so it’s easy to treat the sale of the property (retail store, repair shop, manufacturing facility) differently than the sale of the operating company. Many buyers looking to purchase a business may prefer to rent, so even if your operating company owns a property, you may find yourself selling it separately or as an option.

A real estate agent is a valuable contributor, whether it be on a commission basis during a sale offering, or on a fee-for-service basis as a consultant on how to approach the sale or your business property. However, when it comes to preparing a operating business for sale, and managing the transaction process to closing, hiring a real estate agent is not your best approach.

You see, an operating business is far more complex than a structure and land. Your business has many dynamics that influence its performance and valuing your business fairly, for both you and your buyer, is extremely complex – at least when it’s done correctly.

I often look in the real estate sections of my local paper and see businesses listed and wonder how an owner and the real estate agent could attract me to buy. As a buyer, I want to see:

  • Detailed income statements, balance sheets and cash flows for the past three years as well as a prospectus on the business that covers the history and the future, including detailed financial projections;
  • Non-tangible assets; for example, customer lists and subscription retention rates, and I want to see industry information and a competitive analysis;
  • A list of owner benefits; costs that the business absorbs, but benefits the owner on a personal level as well, such as vehicles or other;
  • Employee performance histories and compensation levels.

I’d also want to discuss terms, an asset sale versus a share sale, and explore areas where there may be risks for future litigation. I’d want to discuss representations and warranties so I know there is some fall back if it turns out I was sold a lemon through misrepresentations of the facts.

But above all, I want to talk to someone who can answer all the questions above, and more, with confidence. As an owner, you may not be prepared to answer these if you haven’t been coached through the process in advance.

Besides running ads, most real estate agents don’t have the background to help a small business owner prepare all the aforementioned information. The bigger the business, the more important this information becomes. After all, you are not just selling a business, you are selling money – future money. An acquirer will value your business based on the profitability and free cash flow that your business is currently generating and will generate many years into the future. Sure, some small businesses are acquired as “lifestyle” businesses, where high growth and free cash flow are not prioritized as much as a steady income and the involvement in an industry that the buyer may be passionate about – looking for little more than a decent salary. Control over his or her own destiny and some fun may be what some buyers are after.

This is why you need to hire a business broker. He or she can help you position your business for all different types of buyers. Whether on commission or fee-for-service, business brokers can identify these and other ways that you need to prepare your business for sale.

While the broker may guide you, you should want to play a proactive role in the creation of your prospectus — a detailed document, like a business plan, that outlines all key aspects of the business. After all the years you’ve spent selling on behalf of your business, this may be the most important sale of your life and only you can portray all the value your business can bring to a new owner.

With the guidance of a business broker, you will be challenged to take nothing for granted and look at business value from many, many angles that may not be top of mind for you. A business broker will help position the business for sale and help negotiate the terms – which can get complicated with earn outs, escrows, hold backs and owner financing options.

So don’t let what may be the biggest transaction of your life turn into something you think will be “obvious” to a new owner based on an ad in the paper. Do your homework and ask for help from experts so you maximize your sale and have no regrets.

Special to The Globe and Mail

FOr all your Business Sale needs contact, Dwight Lester Performance Business Brokers

SOLD – Spruce Grove Wok Box Restaurant for sale

Performance Business Brokers Presents –

Established Spruce Grove Wok Box is being offered for sale. This location is operated with an absentee owner group

The tenant improvements at this Wok Box restaurant are state of the art and exclusively designed by Wok Box Canada. Located in strip mall next door to Star Bucks it has lots of parking and high visibility in the shopping power center. They have multiple signage including being on the power centers pylon sign for exposure. Equipment is in top condition.

Be your own boss as an owner-operator or add it to your growing empire with great employees already in place! The owner group have a Labour Market Opinion in place are employee 5 foreign workers, thus staffing is not an issue.

This Wok Box location is part of a well-known, strong franchise with stores across Canada. Avoid the tiring and time consuming process of searching for the right location, negotiating a lease, applying for permits, construction stress and license inspection. It’s all done for you.

This restaurant offers high-quality, healthy meals at a reasonable price. Once anyone has tried Wok Box, they’re addicted.

There are plenty of lunch and dinner choices to make when you’re looking for Chinese food, Japanese dishes and other Asian food specialties. Wok Box Fresh Asian Kitchen has put together a delicious variety of flavorful and healthy meal choices from popular Asian regions all in one menu. Expect favorites from Thailand, Malaysia, China, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan and many more. Their lunch and dinner selections are made to order with fresh ingredients and unique sauces made exclusively for the Wok Box in our test kitchen.

The Wok Box pioneered the concept of fresh made pan-Asian food in Canada and packaged it in a quick serve restaurant model that fits into 1,200 to 1,500 square feet. Our growth has attracted abundant interest from would-be franchisees across Canada resulting in more than 70 stores opening in three years.

No experience is required as the Franchisor will provide training which is included in the purchase price.

Asking price is $325,000.

For full information, email us today.

Edmonton Business Broker – Restaurant for Sale

This is a great opportunity to buy all the assets of a fully fixtured restaurant in the Edmonton area. Buyer must also assume a very good lease (6 years left + 2 – 5 yr options).

 This restaurant is a turnkey opportunity for any restaurant operator or anyone looking to get into the restaurant or pub business.  Bring your own restaurant name and menu and you can walk into a complete fully fixtured and staffed restaurant.

 The restaurant is 3000 sq ft on the main floor and also has an 800 sq ft mezzanine that is open to the main floor.  Seating can be configured for 170 per the fire capacity permit.  Current layout is set up for 40 seats on the mezzanine and 100 on the main floor.  The space also has the ability to have a 30 ft X 23 ft patio with an addition seating for 40.

 There is so much equipment included in the sale you will need nothing to start operating. Built new just 4 years ago some of major equipment is:

 36’ char broiler                      10 burner double oven range

6 burner range                      4 well steam table

5’ cold table                           6’ cold table  

4’ cold table                           2 – 2 basket deep fryer

Low temp dish washer with dirty and clean tabling

3 door cooler             8 X 8 walk-in cooler with raking

Prep tables                            upright freezer

2 chest freezers                    on demand hot water

16’ hood with full fire suppression system

Make up Air and Exhaust system

75 chairs                                20 tables

20 bar stools                          5 bar tables

2 tower keg cooler                stereo and installed speakers

3 flat panel TVs and satellite system

250 lb Scott ice machine      Bar top glass washer

8 sets of racking

 The list goes on and on and it does not even go into all the small wares and such.

 This won’t last long at the price it is being sold for!!! Assume the favorable lease and receive all the assets for $90K.

 For full information, please give us a call today at 780-756-2990 or email us at info@performancebb.ca

Performance Business Brokers Facilitates the Sale of Chenoa`s K9 Club

Edmonton Alberta (PRWEB) January 31, 2013

Performance Business Brokers of Edmonton, AB (www.performancebusinessbrokers.ca) has completed the business sale of Chenoa`s K9 Club, (www.chenoask9club.net) a business that provides a true open concept/pack environment dog daycare. Chenoa`s offers dog daycare, grooming services and overnight boarding along with a fully stocked retail food section.

The Company was purchased by Dean & Leah Walsh of Waggytails. The Buyer, Mr. Dean Walsh commented “Performance Business Brokers assisted us through all steps of the business acquisition. They made the transaction seamless from the start with the offer to purchase right through to closing”.

Mr. Walsh goes on to state “Waggytails’ goal is to focus on quality care for our daily dog daycare attendees. We pride our facility and staff on producing a mentally and physically healthy environment for your beloved pooch to spend the day. We adhere to a strict daily limit of dogs at the daycare. This ensures each dog receives the highest level of care and attention they deserve. The dog to staff ratio is lower so we can focus on truly getting to know each dog individually. To us, your pooch is not just another dog; we will take the time to familiarize ourselves with their special needs and personalities in order to care for them to the best of our abilities.”

About Performance Business Brokers, Edmonton

Performance Business Brokers is a full service Business Brokerage company that sells businesses across Alberta and is based in Edmonton Alberta, Canada. We specialize in business valuations, packaging, listing and the selling of existing businesses and new business opportunities.

Dwight Lester, President of Performance Business Brokers notes, “Selling your business is one of the most important financial decisions you will ever make and it can involve high levels of stress and anxiety. Working with a professional can reduce the stress by determining the optimal selling price and terms for the seller. The majority of a business owners’ wealth is often tied to the business so a properly executed exit from is paramount. It is important to ensure you have the right team to guide you when selling your business. Performance Business Brokers in Edmonton Alberta is your right team!”

Contact us today to sell your business at 780-756-2990, or by email at info@performancebb.ca Suite 220 – 11717 – 42 St. Edmonton AB. http://www.performancebusinessbrokers.ca/businesses-for-sale-edmonton.html

Edmonton Business Broker Presents

This is your opportunity to acquire a growing Purified Water store in Bonnyville Alberta.

Purified Water Store is a full service retail outlet that sell Purified Water by the gallon, purified ice and various other bottled water related products and services. The store is equipped with state of the art water purification system which dispenses Superior quality drinking water for approximately 30% – 70% less than retail supermarkets or private water delivery services. 

Customers bring in their own containers or purchase one of the many quality bottles and dispensers available from the Purified Water Store. The store also sells a tremendous amount of water related products such as lead free porcelain water crocks and stands, water coolers, water pump, filters, reverse osmoses systems and filters of all sorts.

 The Purified Water Store has been in business since 2000 and has shown growth every year. The store operates out of a 2500 sq. ft. store in the same building as Lakeland Arctic Spas.

 Bonnyville is the centre of oil field activity and is expanding rapidly. Due to the influx of people there are ample opportunities for growth in the above mentioned product lines.

The Town of Bonnyville is located in northeastern Alberta, approximately 240 kilometers (150 miles) from the provincial capital of Edmonton. The Town’s motto – “it’s Multi-Natural” – refers to the town’s celebration of its diverse cultural heritage and rich natural resources.

The economy is growing and expanding faster that the provincial average creating employment opportunities in construction, oil and gas, as well as retail sales. As a major service area, the Town serves more than 10,000 people. The Bonnyville market area is strong with a population of 27,000 within 30 minutes driving time, 49,500 within 60 minutes, and 56,500 within 90 minutes. Bonnyville is the HUB for the oil and gas industry with over 60 national and international companies setting up head offices within the Town.

Additional community information can be viewed at: www.town.bonnyville.ab.ca

This business can also be purchased with a complementing business that operates out of the same building. Please see our Lakeland Arctic Spas listing as well.

For full information, please give us a call today 780-756-2990, or email us at Dwight@performancebb.ca

Edmonton Business Broker – Make your Financial Statements Available

Many prospective business buyers express concern when a seller or business broker asks them to provide their personal financials. Personally, I’ve never understood this apprehension. There are a number of issues buyers note specifically as being worrisome, but the truth is their reasoning is based more on opinion than fact.

In my experience, those buyers that are unwilling to provide their financials are generally the ones who are either not serious about buying a business, they are often completely misinformed about the business-buying process, or they are simply not in any position to acquire the size businesses they are investigating.

There are two main buyer misconceptions that you need to understand so that you can gain comfort with this matter.

Myth # 1 – Disclosing the Buyer’s Financials Will Reduce Their Bargaining Power

I’ve heard buyers claim that once they divulge their financials they will be at a disadvantage in any negotiation. The fear often cited is that the broker/seller will now know exactly how much money they have, and will then push harder to get hold of all of their cash in a down payment or force them to secure a loan with all of their assets.

While I do understand this assumption, in fact, the opposite holds true. A financially strong buyer will actually improve their negotiating position.

  • The other side will recognize their ability to get the deal done.
  • The buyer will immediately establish credibility by having achieved a certain level of net worth.

On the other hand, if you do not have the financial strength to execute a certain deal size, it will force you to adjust your thinking and focus your time on businesses that make sense for you. Here again, you will be in a better position when you provide them to parties for the reasons noted above.

Myth # 2 – The Seller/Broker Has No Reason To See a Buyer’s Financials

To me, it simply shows good faith and honestly to be willing to provide your financial statement. After all, if you want to see the seller’s books and records, shouldn’t they be entitled to see yours? This is especially true if you want to negotiate any seller financing.

Further, throughout the transaction, the seller will provide you with infinitely more confidential information than your personal financial statement will disclose.

Now, I know all the skeptics are saying: “I signed a confidentiality agreement but they didn’t”. Good point, However, the seller/broker has absolutely no interest or reason to disclose your financials to any other parties. Additionally, even in a worse case scenario, let’s say they did tell someone, what possible negative impact could it have on you? If you want added assurance, have the seller/broker sign a non-disclosure attesting to the fact that they will hold the information in confidence (your attorney can draft a simple agreement).

The Biggest Reasons to Complete a Personal Financial Statement

It blows my mind every time I ask a buyer “How much are you willing to invest personally to buy a business” and they reply: “I haven’t really thought of it.” Well guess what, if you haven’t thought of it, you should put a complete halt on any additional looking, at start to think of it now.

First, it is critically important that you get a handle on your personal financial situation. Yes, it is true that there are some wonderfully creative ways to finance a business purchase regardless of your financial position, however, in smaller deals these generally play less of a role.

Second, if there is someone else who shares your financial picture (i.e. a spouse or partner), you need to have them completely on board so that when the time comes for you to write a check together, there won’t be any surprises.

Third, and most importantly, by completing this simple task, you will put yourself in a much better position against other interested buyers on those businesses that you can afford to acquire.

Presented By Dwight Lester, Performance Business Brokers, Edmonton Alberta

 

Edmonton Business Broker – Key employees, Who Must Stay On?

Buying An Edmonton Business With Key Employees Who Must Stay On….Author Richard Parker

In many small businesses, the owner is often the truly key employee responsible for driving the sales and profits. In fact, a quandary many buyers face is with situations where the owner is “the business” however, there are situations where retaining certain key employees is fundamental to the ongoing success of the business under new ownership.

The first thing a buyer must do is to properly gauge the importance of specific employees. If a business has low level, hourly employees who can easily be replaced, there is no need to get overly concerned about whether or not they will stay. To this point, it is not necessary for a buyer to meet with employees of a company pre-sale if in fact these are basic employees who of course are important, but their departure will not really impact the business.

However, wherever possible, prospective business buyers should endeavor to meet with truly key employees before a sale. This is also important from a standpoint of knowing that the business can never be held hostage by any non-owner. After all, if the business is totally reliant on one key employee, does it really make sense for you to buy it?

Keep in mind that the incidents of employees leaving after a sale are far less frequent than most buyers believe for a few reasons. First, it is change, and the uncertainty thereof that concerns employees. Once they realize that nothing drastic will happen, they will simply carry on with their work. Second, and quite obvious today, jobs are not plentiful. As such, it is simply not that easy for anyone to get another job.

However, what about situations where there are key employees or ones that hold certain licenses for example that a business may need to operate. In these cases, it is important for a buyer to meet these individuals as part of their due diligence review. Yet, they, the buyer, must understand that a seller will almost always buck at this provision and it is understandable. A seller is always going to be concerned about word getting out of a sale and especially if it does not materialize. As such, in these situations, meetings with key employees have to be arranged at the point where all other deal conditions have been satisfied.

Next, the question becomes how can a buyer guarantee that an employee will stay? The short answer is they cannot. Contractually, a seller cannot bind anyone else so forget the idea of including language in a contract whereby a seller agrees that specific employees will sign an employee agreement. While a buyer can certainly have a condition of the deal to provide for certain employee agreements to be executed, this can only be done between the buyer and employee.

What also needs to be considered is whether or not a buyer even wants to be bound by an agreement with any employee. On the one hand, a buyer may want the security of knowing an employee is contractually obligated to remain, but what if they soon discover they want to terminate them? Personally, unless there are highly unique circumstances, my recommendation is that a buyer should defer such agreements and obligations until such time as they (the buyer) has an opportunity to work in the business and effectively measure the so-called key employee’s contribution.

Presented By: Dwight Lester, Performance Business Brokers, Edmonton Alberta

 

Performance Business Brokers – Sign and Graphic Shop for sale

Landon Graphics is a well established sign and graphics company with a strong history in the. Edmonton sign and graphics industry. In business for more than 20 years, Landon graphics has expanded its portfolio to include not only signs but all types of offset and digital printing as well. Digital products range from vehicle wraps, displays, posters, sandwich boards and all types of decals. This company would be an ideal addition for any printing company whether it is offset or digital as they broker a large amount of printing and it would be easy to allocate that portion of business in house to the printing Company.

Their creative department is staffed by talented designers who are able to handle any size project. From the development of a company logo it is common for Landon Graphics to expand that logo development to produce everything from business cards, invoices, flyers, vehicle graphics and backlit storefront signage. Their customers appreciate that they are a true one stop shop that can take care of all advertizing needs.

Another service they offer is screen printing. A valuable and profitable part of the business, this service is also utilized by other sign shops that don’t have this capability.

Landon Graphics has never had to advertise or market the company as the majority of their growth resulted from referrals. There is room to grow the business through advertising or marketing that currently isn’t done. The facility is large enough to allow for all types of expansion. Another positive this business has going for it is the location. They are on one of the major thoroughfares through the city and receive a lot of exposure that way.

The bulk of their customer base is located in the Edmonton area and includes a wide variety of businesses. However their customers are not limited to the Edmonton area or even Alberta, with regular clients from Vancouver, Ontario and a number in the far north which is booming much like Alberta. Regardless of size they have built their business based on expertise and service.  A good portion of their clientele comes from the trucking industry with a number of the largest trucking companies in the area and in the north utilizing the services Landon Graphics has to offer.

Included in the purchase price is $ 68,000 worth of furniture, fixtures, computers and sign making equipment. Also included in the purchase price is $ 27,000 worth of inventory and sign making supplies.

 No specific sign industry experience is necessary to acquire this business. This business has a strong base of long term, experienced and reliable employees. The partners would be willing to stay on for a training period after the sale which would be open to negotiate. ln addition, if desired, one of the partners would be willing to continue as an employee on a part time basis.

You can view some of Landon Graphics work on their website at:

http://www.landongraphics.ca/index.html

 

For more information on this great business contact Dwight Lester at 780-756-2990 or info@performancebb.ca

Performance Business Brokers – Home Renovation Company For Sale

For 12 years this family-owned company has provided high-quality general contractor services that cover the full spectrum of home renovations from foundation work to roof installations as well as exterior landscaping.

Its employees have a complete set of skilled trades consisting of carpentry, masonry, tiling and painting, enabling it to provide a reputable, worry-free service to its many repeat client home and commercial projects. They specialize in interior renovations such as kitchens, bathrooms, basements and they also do additions. On the landscape side they do decks, fences, paving stone walkways, patios, driveway, retaining walls, water features and planting.. The operations are run out of a home office in west Edmonton, but can be easily relocated to somewhere else.

The renovation business is a booming industry with growth areas like condo, sustainable, and “Age in Place” senior customer markets. The owner is looking to move to Calgary for family reasons but is willing to stay on for a mutually agreeable transition period. This is an ideal opportunity for someone with previous experience in the general contracting trades, renovation or building industry, and who wants to become independent by taking over a well-established service-oriented business. It is also interesting for an established construction business to expand its capabilities in high-end residential renovation work and take over a loyal client base.

The company has over $600,000 of business already booked for Spring 2012.

Fixtures, Furniture & Equipment are a fair market value estimate as provided by the owner. A small amount of inventory is included. Cash Flow includes owner’s remuneration.

 This business has a strong base of long term, experienced and reliable employees

For more information on this great business contact Dwight Lester at 780-756-2990 or info@performancebb.ca