The Confidential Business Sale Briefing Document (often referred to as the Information Memorandum) is an absolute critical part of marketing your business. Its key role in the sales process is to draw in and then persuade potential Buyers of the benefits of acquiring your business and to encourage them to take the next step. If the Briefing Document does not include the information buyers expect to see and/or is not appropriate in tone, interested parties can quickly become uninterested parties!
Here are some tips as to what this should look like:
- The Briefing Document must be balanced but it should also be appealing; you don’t want prospective buyers being put off by concentrating on how complicated or difficult the business is to run rather than on all of the positives
- Remember the good things that have happened in your business over its history and try to reflect them; bringing your business to life and showing the ‘human side’ will draw in the reader
- Include plenty of images of your product / the services you deliver / your office (factory or warehouse) / jobs you’ve completed (with the relevant permission) will help lighten the document. Make sure, however, that the images are good quality photos, home snaps won’t do!
- The document should contain an explanation of how your business process works but it needs to be kept as simple as possible. Diagrams can sometimes help here.
- If the business has something out of the ordinary, a specialist piece of equipment for example, ensure that this is highlighted and an explanation of what is so good about it included
- Without disclosing their identity, provide information about your business’s key Customers or Clients, their longevity and their commitment to using the business into the future
- Show Customer / Client feedback and testimonials (on an anonymous basis and/or with relevant permission, if needed)
- Don’t forget to ensure that the strengths of your business (and/or market) are highlighted in the document
- Most business sales won’t work without a smooth handover – be positive and flexible about what you can do to help - buyers often overestimate the handover process but it is a good idea to show willing
- Show buyers the opportunities they will have to grow the business; access to new markets, incremental product / service extension; new sales channels; cross-selling to your (or their) customers; show them what the enlarged business would look like – ideally start actioning growth plans (if you can) so that you can show interested parties the benefits of what you’ve started already
- Make your financial summaries as easy to read as possible and show realistic and credible forecasts for the future
We will provide more details about some of the specific items mentioned above in future articles, but this is designed to highlight the fact that the Briefing Document is a key part of selling a business and needs to be thoroughly thought through to ensure you get the best outcomes.
Creating the document is a job best left to the professionals. At Anderson Shaw we take a pride in the quality of Briefing Documents we produce and we are frequently complimented on our documents by the people who matter – the buyers!
At Anderson Shaw Corporate Finance Ltd, we are always happy to both provide a free preliminary valuation and also work with the business owner throughout the period of exit planning and then ultimately a sale.