Sell Your Business

While Trailhead represents sellers, we work hand in hand with sellers, buyers, legal, and due diligence professionals - every member of the deal team.

Is now the time to sell your business?

It begins with a relationship. Even if you aren't ready to sell, we work alongside owners who want to position their business to capture the most value when it's time to exit.

If it's time for you to sell, it's time to talk with Trailhead. We understand that trust, honesty, and service are at the core of every successful business.

What does it take to sell?

Step 1. Preparation

Business brokers often report that 90% of business owners seeking an exit never find a buyer. Even worse, a number of these failed transactions occur only after the seller has accepted an offer, but the buyer backs out in the final hours. We think this is crazy.

A smooth transaction takes places only after great preparation. We learned this by studying how middle market investment banks, selling businesses over $50 million in value, operate. These banks have close rates significantly higher than business brokers, and we've brought these same processes to transactions on main street.

Every transaction begins with a conversation to determine and clearly define the business owner's goals. Once we're on the same page, we'll address any confidentiality concerns and proceed with reviewing financial records, customer and vendor data, key employee considerations, market dynamics, and comparable closed transactions in your industry. We're prepared to present our opinion of market value range only after we've fully reviewed a business. When you know what the market may bear for your business and you're happy with the transaction terms, we proceed to marketing.

Step 2. Marketing

Clear, comprehensive marketing is key to building competition among buyers and receiving the highest-possible purchase price for a business. While we collect many of the financial and operating records needed for the transaction during the preparation stage, we gather more and perform our own due diligence during the writing of the marketing materials. Other brokers collect only minimal records upfront and the rest later, leading to slow sales and buyer confusion.

After collecting information and reviewing with you at every step, we'll draft a 30-50 page Confidential Information Memorandum ("CIM") profiling the business, the opportunity, and the financials a buyer needs to understand to finalize their offer. Once you approve the CIM, we condense this information into a one page teaser that can be sent out confidentially to prospective buyers.

Using our proprietary database, buyer lists, and marketplaces, we'll send the teaser and begin fielding initial inquiries. Many buyers will show interest and ask to sign a confidentiality agreement to read the CIM. We screen out the tire kickers and provide data to fill in any gaps buyers might identify.

Considering another business broker? Ask for an example of their marketing materials. Is it 5-15 pages of generic writing and hastily thrown together Q&As? That won't cut it. You're entrusting an intermediary to lead an import process. Choose one who puts in the work to ensure it's a success.

Step 3. Offers and Negotiation

Maintaining momentum during marketing and offer signing leads to higher prices and more committed buyers. Once buyers have reviewed the CIM and any ancillary documents in the secure deal room, we lead meetings between potential buyers and seller so each partner has a chance to get know the personalities, goals, and intentions of the other.

Every offer will be received in the form of a Letter of Intent (LOI). Overlooked by others as non-binding, we take this seriously and provide detailed instructions for what each offer needs to include to be considered. The LOI isn't a sales price on a sheet of paper; it forms the basis for the eventual purchase agreement. We build competition among buyers and aggressively negotiate the LOI on your behalf.

Perhaps as important as the LOI itself is what happens prior to signing. We refuse to accept any offers to purchase when we believe the buyer has not done their diligence before signing. When a buyer signs an offer, we expect them to proceed to closing.

Step 4. Closing

With an offer in hand and a list of secondary buyers who didn't make the cut, we're getting close to the finish line. At this point more than ever, it's apparent why proper preparation, marketing, and letter of intent guidelines matter. It's during this phase when transactions often fail, and this is almost always due to a lack of information made available to buyers before the closing stage. By walking buyers through diligence, we ensure they don't have the opportunity to re-trade, or reduce the purchase price, of the transaction.

You continue to run your business while we handle communication with the buyer's lender and equity partners. While the buyer's lender is approving the transaction, we coordinate and help direct your attorney to finalize the final purchase agreement.

What a typical Trailhead client looks like

While not requirements, our most successful transactions share the following characteristics

Transaction Objectives

Personal Finances

Maximize valuation and proceeds to ownership and ensure the transaction closes.

Preserve Legacy

Legacy matters, and finding the right buyer ensures you and your family's legacy is preserved even after the company sale.

Management Continuity

Family and key employees often play an integral role in the business, and sellers can negotiate the best way to keep them involved after the sale.

Pursue Growth

Owners might not want to exit entirely, but instead wish to sell a portion of their business to a partner to help them take it to the next level.

We believe that profitable, privately-owned businesses are the lifeblood of thriving communities in the United States.