Business Selling Steps

There are varying steps you can take to get your business prep and placed on the market. Find below the summarization of the steps you should take as developed from our experience over the years.

You can always reach out if you have any questions.

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selling step #1

Selling Step #1

Preparing Your Business for the Sale

Questions You May Have

Eventually, there comes the time when you want to sell your business. Questions you need to ask yourself?

  • what price do I list?
  • how do I determine the exact value of my business considering my assets, market and goodwill?
  • what information do I need to provide and how is it presented?
  • what steps do I take to properly present the business for sale?


  • where do I list the business for sale without publicly announcing it to my employees and competition?
  • how do I keep sensitive information confidential?
  • how do I find and qualify buyers?
  • do I need a lawyer, accountant, or other outside professional advisor?

Let's Us Guide You

Failing to properly manage the sale of your business can cost you. That is why you need a business advisor who can valuate your business, package your company for sale, screen potential buyers, and negotiate the price that works for you.

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selling step #2

Selling Step #2

Meeting With a Professional Advisor

Getting It Done Right!

With the CFOne as your professional business advisor, we follow a tested, market-proven methodology used nationwide to properly prepare and present your business for sale.

This includes:

  • meeting for the first time to discuss your objectives and review our methodology and credentials
  • inviting you to complete an owner's profile with our assistance, which includes the company history, financial and market position
  • recasting the business owner's financial statements to account for discretionary income and depreciated assets
  • preparing a confidential business profile that presents in a summarized, professional format all of the information the buyer needs to make an informed decision
  • posting a generic profile of the business on national business broker networks — information that can be accessed by our collective network of 1500+ members and thousands of buyers from coast-to-coast
  • designing the overall marketing and sales strategy for targeting and finding qualified buyers

Initial Meeting

Our initial first meeting can be in-person or by phone. The owner is under no obligation. You may continue on with the process or wait a season. It's up to you. But let's get started with a preliminary review!

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selling step #3

Selling Step #3

Determine Your Market Value (price)

What's It Worth?

Do you know the true market value of your business? What would be your asking price if a buyer knocked on your door today?

Too often businesses use financial statements prepared for tax purposes as a starting point for determining value. Assets are written off rather than capitalized. Profits are minimized to reduce taxes. And tax allowances are taken to reduce asset or market value.

A professional valuation reflects the "Fair Market Value" of a business by recasting depreciated assets and cash flow in today's market. Placing the right value on your business is essential if you need to:

  • sell your business at its fair market value
  • provide a lender with Fair Market Value information to "pre-qualify" the buyer
  • plan for a merger, acquisition or stock offering
  • develop an estate or tax plan
  • other: see valuation services

Our Recommendation

The CFOne Business Advisory recommends that all sellers, prospective or active, complete a preliminary business valuation prior to listing their business for sale. The firm's methodology has been developed over the years by analyzing valuations from similar like-businesses.

And if you require a licensed valuation (for estate and other purposes), we have partnered with an independent, third party Valuation Team who has assisted business owners nationwide.

A professional valuation can play a key role in helping you maximize the value of your business.

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selling step #4

Selling Step #4

Packaging the Company for the Sale

List What Will Be For Sell

The first task is to prepare a Confidential Memorandum to enhance the presentation of vital business information when making presentation to prospective buyer(s). The memo will also highlight the following information:

  • Executive Summary:
    summarizes the qualitative information of the company - the history - the market - and other pertinent information.
  • Company Details:
    company name - address - web site URL - legal status - operation history - owner information and percentage of ownership. List the number of employees (both full and part-time) and the key positions each employee plays, ease of replacement, and the role the owner in the operation.
  • Marketing and Channels:
    address the primary and secondary target markets and the financial breakdown of each target segment. Identify the marketing trends and expansion capabilities. And what type of marketing and advertising used to drive in revenues.
  • Products and Services:
    summary description of the company's products and/or services. This includes if any any patents, copyrights, trademarks, certifications, or any other trade information that gives you an advantage.
  • Customer Information:
    the general information of your customers - not the name or address - but simply generic information of customer base and the percentage of the base.

The Confidential Memorandum will go through several interactions before sign-off. Once you agree to the final version, you are ready to go to market.

Steps 1-4 are complimentary services to the seller at no cost or obligation.  It is at this point where an agreement is negotiated to pursue the next steps.

To The Market

We develop a marketing plan for the following regions:

  • DC – northern Virginia
  • central Virginia
  • mid-Atlantic
  • national

The marketing plan to include:

  • local and national listing through the Business Broker Network
  • web site listings:  regional and national
  • targeted Direct Marketing campaigns
  • advertising
  • other

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selling step #5

Selling Step #5

Finding and Qualifying Buyers

They Are Out There

The economy has seen an increased number of business executives who are leaving the corporate ranks due to corporate down-sizing or restructuring. Many of these professionals are looking to buy viable, established businesses.

The economy is also seeing the consolidation of many services. Competitive firms are moving into new markets by merging their operations with established businesses.

We search the national market for buyers who have the capital, commitment and business knowledge to take your business to the next level.

How Do We Find Them?

  1. Through our growing network of local buyers who have been screened and pre-qualified.
  2. Through the national database of the Business Broker Network that maintains a listing of buyers nationwide.
  3. Through our internal network of broker affiliates from coast-to-coast who maintain their own buyer's network.
  4. Through our internal buy/sell network of web sites.
  5. By targeting specific companies or competitors who have an interest in your business.
  6. By contacting equity companies that invest in business ownership with respective management teams.
  7. By running ads when needed, in certain media
  8. By other: as directed by you

Once We Find a Prospective Buyer

Once we find and qualify a prospective buyer(s), we will present them the Confidential Business Profile (which includes your company information and valuation report).

We screen each buyer to ensure their objectives meet your objectives. Our commitment is to present pre-qualified buyers who have the interest, commitment and the finances to close the deal.

The buyer will perform a due diligence on the business prior to closing. He or she will examine the books, check out the facilities and inventory, and review the records to confirm the representations made by the seller.

Two highly important objectives must be met during this due diligence:

  • Keep the process moving
    you don't want delays. We keep prospecting for buyers to ensure that the deal goes through.
  • Becoming the point person
    to address issues the buyer and seller may have during the review. We work with both parties to ensure the deal goes through.

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selling step #6

Selling Step #6

Negotiating and Closing the Sell

You Have a Buyer

Closing and transferring any business can be complex considering tax and liability issues. CFOne Business Advisory will manage the process to ensure the smooth transfer for both parties under each issue:

  • tax situation
  • financing arrangements
  • training and transition considerations
  • non-compete provisions
  • lease and real estate transfers
  • release of personal guarantees
  • other

Can You Manage This On Your Own

Now let's back up to your original intent to sell your business. Do you need a professional advisor to facilitate the process and maximize your return?

Give us a call! - or shoot us all an email with any questions you would like to ask.

Krayton M Davis
Executive Director, CFOne Business Advisory Services
Serving Richmond and Northern VA

or e-mail your inquiry to:

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Krayton M Davis
Executive Director, CFOne Business Advisory Services
Serving Richmond and Northern VA

or e-mail your inquiry to:


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