Selling Your Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin or other Texas business?
Dallas Business Broker, Bill Whitehurst, helps you understand your options.
As a business owner, a significant amount of your total wealth is invested in your business. As such, when you decide to sell, it will be one of the most important decisions in your business career.
Bill will take through all of the steps in detail from start to finish in selling your company. Knowing what to expect and when will enable you to be an effective partner in the sale and get the highest justifiable sale price.
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Video Transcript for “Hiring the Right Business Broker”
My name is Bill Whitehurst. The name of my firm, Whitehurst Mergers & Acquisitions. We’re a business broker headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The core activity of my firm ‑‑ that is, the only activity of my firm ‑‑ is in representing business owners and selling their companies.
Over the last 15 years that I’ve been a business broker, many times a prospective client ‑‑ that is, the business owner ‑‑ will ask me, “Why should I hire a business broker in the first place to sell my company?” More specifically, “Why should I hire Bill Whitehurst in selling my company?”
Perhaps one of the best ways I could illustrate or answer that particular question is, before I became a business broker for 20 years, I was a business owner myself. I bought and sold several of my own companies over those years.
Unfortunately, in several situations I left a lot of money on the table and sold my business for quite a bit less than what I should have simply because I didn’t know how to evaluate a business. If I knew how to value a business, I didn’t know how to support that value. Even then, if I could get that in order, how would I find the buyer? If I started shopping and looking around for buyers, how was I going to preserve confidentiality on the sale?
Since I’ve become a business broker, I’ve learned the techniques and studied the techniques of business valuation. One of the first things that I do ‑‑ this also would be one of the reasons to hire me as a business broker ‑‑ is, I do up‑front, first, a no‑cost business valuation for the business owner.
I’m going to give an opinion of value as to the highest justifiable price, after I’ve met with the business owner and gone over the their financials for a week, 10 days. I’ll give an opinion of value that not only gives the highest justifiable price that I can support as a business broker, but also I’m going to go into an analysis of deal structure.
That is, at that particular price level, how is the business going to be paid out? Is it going to be an all‑cash transaction? Most of the time it’s not. There’s a lot of deal structure notes and other things that are involved, bank financing, etc. That’s going to be in that structure.
One of the first things I do is what I think is a very accurate, meticulous opinion of value to that business owner. That also goes onto the structure of the deal, that I do at no charge. There are no strings attached from the business owner. That way, the business owner is able to determine, “Is this the best time for me to go ahead and sell my firm, or should I wait to get the numbers up for later and get more money?”
That’s one of the first things I do ‑‑ my opinion of value and the price analysis. The other thing that I do is, I’ve had the experience over 115, now, closed transactions that I’ve handled successfully as the only broker. I’ve learned how to go out and comb the landscape for the different types of buyers that are available for any one business offering that I’m handling.
Private equity groups that are looking to acquire a business as a portfolio company for their investors, for the profits distribution. I’ve worked with private equity groups now for over 10 years. I know several of them fairly personally, and what they’re always looking for. Those folks, private equity groups, are always out there looking.
But the business owner has to know how to value a business successfully and have that business structured so that the private equity group would be interested in that. That’s one of the things that I do.
Other buyer pulls that might be available for any one business offering could be the corporate executive coming out of corporate America. One guy or two or three guys coming together as a partnership want to acquire a company. How do you find those people? I have the devices to be able to find them, and I have the devices to be able to find them and preserve confidentiality when I’m talking with them about a business offering.
There’s always the buyer that’s a larger company that’s looking to purchase a firm in the industry or in a paralleling industry for synergistic purposes. How would you find those particular buyers? I have the techniques now that I understand, and I can go out and find those groups of buyers for my business owner.
I can value the business, as a business broker, I can find the buyer. Half of what I do is after that buyer, the buyer is found and is looking at the business, half of what I get paid for from the seller is to get that buyer and get the deal all the way through to a successful closing.
You name it and I’ve seen it. All kinds of issues come up that have to do with a deal that’s a moving, living thing that takes several months to bring to a successful closing. That’s half of what I get paid for.
When I’m summing it up, business owners want to be able to justify the highest justifiable price, get that price where they’re not leaving any money on the table. They want a broker that can substantiate that price and be able to offer the business in a very complete formal as professional manner. Find the buyer, handle the deal confidentially, and then handle the deal all the way to the successful closing.
These are the things that I do for the business owner. I’ve been doing it for a long time. I think that I’m pretty good and on top of my game of what I do. My name is Bill Whitehurst, and my firm, Whitehurst Mergers & Acquisitions I’m headquartered in Dallas, Texas.