Our Proprietary Process

The ‘Column B’ Process of Selling Your Business

Successfully selling your business means selling it for the highest possible value within a reasonable time period.

To guide us through a successful sale, Column B walks with you through 3 PHASES that will allow us to get to know each other, optimize your value, set our objectives, and then effectively market your business for sale.

Once we have a qualified and capable buyer - we work with you to keep the process moving while protecting your wishes as the seller.   Due diligence is next after we get a qualifying offer - and from there we continue to work with you to see the transaction through to the end.     Our last step is when we get to celebrate along with you - we're done, let's celebrate!

Phase 1

Consisting of four steps, phase one focuses on getting to know YOU and YOUR BUSINESS, and giving you a solid understanding of the VALUE of your business, without any commitment or cost to you!

Step 1 - Coffee

This is just a simple, no obligation meeting that allows you to get to know us, and us you!  And yes, it’s usually done over a coffee or two.

We will come with big ears and a handful of questions to best understand your business, your life and how we can potentially best serve you.  (And of course, we cover the coffee!)

Coffee / Intro Meeting

Step 2 - Discovery Meeting

Once you have the chance to ask us everything you want about our Column B Process to sell your business (and anything else you wish to ask us) and you feel there is potential for us to successfully add value in the sale of your company, let us know.

From there, we plan a meeting to do a deep dive into the particulars about your business, including what your goal in the sale is.

Discovery Meeting

Step 3 - Valuation & Strategy

The valuation of your business is early in the process, but one of the most critical steps along the way as this is where your business dollar value is assessed currently and where it can grow to.

Valuing your business too high can price you out of the market and can delay or even eliminate a potential purchase, and pricing your business too low will cost you some of the return you have been counting on over the years.

As the business owner, you need to be 100% satisfied that we have done this right before we go any further! To ensure that we value your business in line with the current market, our Column B best practice is to do a three-part process:

  • First we conduct an internal valuation
  • Second, we complete a value builder valuation assessment to see if there is potential to add more value to your business model and to get a “2nd opinion” on our own valuation
  • Thirdly, we have an arms-length third party independent valuation. Note that this is optional, and there can be an extra cost depending on the complexity. It also may not be necessary and is entirely up to you.

Valuation & Strategy

Step 4 - Marketing Engagement

Once we know the value of your business, we’ll share some preliminary thoughts with you as to how we are going to market your business to attract the right buyers. We’ll share this with you along with our Marketing Engagement.

This engagement and process will be customized to your needs and your business and will outline the details, price and terms of how Column B will work with you to find a buyer.

Note that in this process, we take significant steps to protect the confidentiality of your business during the entire process.

Marketing Engagement

Phase 2

In phase two, Column B launches the marketing process of your business for sale.

Step 5 - Confidential Business Profile & 3rd-party Valuation

In Step 5, we develop your Confidential Business Profile (CBP) which (a) protects the confidentiality of the business, and (b) has most of the relevant information that a buyer will need in order to complete most of their due diligence, along with allowing us to qualify them further.

There is a lot of time and energy that goes into these profiles, as we need to make sure your business looks as great as it can! Buyers can be fussy, so the better we “profile” you, the better your chances of finding the right buyer!

CBP & 3rd Party Valuation

Step 6 - Business Marketing Launch

Once your CBP is complete and your confidentiality protected, we begin marketing your business both locally and globally.

More importantly, we access our own internal network of Clients and Brokers – reaching thousands of prospective and some pre-qualified buyers who, in many cases, are waiting for the right opportunity, while remaining in close contact with us to make sure they are made aware of certain types of opportunities. We don’t contact everyone, but will contact all of the potential “fits” for your business.

Business Marketing

Step 7 - Buyers Screening and Vetting

For those buyers who are not pre-qualified, or who are unknown to us initially, we will require an NDA (Non-Disclosure / Confidentiality Agreement) as well as registering within our proprietary system for a Unique ID Process.

This allows us to properly screen these individuals, so you know who’s asking about your business and we know with whom we’re dealing. We won’t waste your time or efforts dealing with a buyer who isn’t genuine or lacks the financial means with which to move forward.

Buyer Management

Step 8 - Buyer Intros and Meetings

Buyers often want to meet the owner(s) from whom they are buying, to establish a level of comfort and further evaluate the investment they are about to make.

Buyers will also want to directly ask questions about the market, the financials, future growth opportunities, etc., from the person who knows the company best – you!

They may also want to directly discuss your willingness to stay on and assist the new business for some time, or your willingness to assist in financing the sale over a reasonable period of time. We will work with you to make sure these meetings go smoothly and comfortably.

Buyer Intros & Meetings

Step 9 - Offers and Auctions

The final stage is arguably the most fun for you as this is where we deal with the potential buyers and, most importantly, the closing of the sale!

Step 9 - Offers and Auctions

Through effectively marketing your business, we will begin to field offers from potential buyers.

Here, we encourage the buyer to make an offer, subject to conditions (and due diligence) so that all parties know where they stand in the process.

Should there be more than one offer, Column B will set up an auction system. This will help to drive up price, along with ensuring that your business receives the most committed buyer.

Offers & Auctions

Step 10 - Due Diligence

Once there is a final buyer, they are required to do their due diligence. The timeline on this step will vary depending on the industry and may take a few months.

Completed by the buyer’s team of lawyers and / or accountants, they will go through all the numbers and information presented for final verification of your business’ value.

Due Diligence

Step 11 - Closing Process

These are the fun days for us, and more importantly, for you! They can be a little stressful, and sometimes long, and always exciting, but this is what we’ve worked hard, and worked together, for.

This is where your signature comes in handy, so be sure you’re ready to dot your “I’s” and cross your “T’s”!  Once all is signed, we’ll make sure to have the bubbly close by for the last remaining step!!

Closing Process

Step 12 - Celebrate!

Time to celebrate the sale of your business! In most cases, we will want to plan a celebration WITH you.

This should be one of your greatest celebrations as you transition to your next chapter and we’d like the opportunity to share in this with you as it recognizes our mutual accomplishment as one chapter closes and another one begins!


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