Common Questions About Selling Your Business

What is my business worth?

While this is one of the most common questions we get it is important to get a fact-based business valuation when you decide to sell a business. At Sigma, we provide a no cost business valuation that is based on fact. Actual businesses similar to yours (using a number of factors) and what those businesses sold for and how that relates to your business.

Is my business sellable?

Most likely, yes. While the industry stats say that 92% of all businesses will never sell, business buyers want a business and if you are willing to sell based on a fact based valuation, then your business is sellable.

I don't show a profit? Can I still sell my business?

99.9% of business owners are working to minimize their taxes for the last 200 years. The area that is important here is to understand that business buyers are only going to pay the highest possible price if they understand the true profit. What we call true profit is Earning before interest, Depreciation, Federal taxes, Amortization, owners salary and benefits. (Benefits are any expenses on the Profit and Loss statement that will go away if the business owner exits the business).

Do you have buyers for my business?

YES! There is a business buyer for every business if the business is priced correctly. We have a database of over 9,000 business buyers looking for businesses like yours.

How much do you charge?

We charge based on the size and complexities of selling your business. We only charge at closing so Sigma only gets paid when you get paid. There is no money paid to Sigma prior closing of your business to a buyer. Our success fee based commission ranges from 4% to 10%

What size businesses do you sell?

Sigma has sold over 600 businesses and selling businesses for many many years and while we have sold businesses very small (under 100k and some over 80 million) our typical sale price is 500k to 50 million.

How long have you been selling businesses?

We started back over 40 years ago. That said, Scot Cockroft purchased the business back in 2003 and modernized the process which greatly increased the number of businesses that Sigma sells. We are full-time trusted partner to help you successfully sell your business.

What should I use a business broker rather than DIY?

It’s almost impossible to get the “reach” if selling it yourself as well as maintain confidentiality. Sigma’s value proposition candidly is not finding a buyer. It’s finding the right buyer that will close on the transaction and grow your business post closing. Industry stats show that DIY businesses sell for less and have a post closing failure rate 100x that of those sold by a professional.

How long does it take to sell a business?
Industry averages are 6.2 months from start to finish. Back in early 2000’s the time was shorter than 2023. The reason is due to business buyers and SBA Banks needing more data to buy and fund a business transaction. So with that said, we will typically find the right buyer within 90 days but between the bank and the buyer it will take 45 to 90 days to close the business transaction.
Is this the right time to sell?
Most often when someone ask this they are asking about the buyer pool. If you are asking do we have buyers that will buy a business during a Pandemic, recession, inflation or whatever the economic outlook is…. YES! No question and there are a 100 reasons why in each of the economic conditions that a buyer would want to leave their job and buy another business.
How long does a valuation take?
This process typically takes about 2 weeks. Once we have everything that we need for a business valuation we can complete the valuation in 1 to 2 weeks.
What do items is needed for business valuation?

Every business is different and we work hard to find the value and make sure we get every penny that you deserve. That said here is a basic list but your list may vary.

* Three years of business tax returns
* Three to four years of Profit and Loss statements.
* Asset list (assets worth over 5k)
* Inventory amount
* Customer sales report – Buyers are concerned about customer concentration issues… where a large portion of revenue comes from 1 or 2 customers.
* List of “go away” expenses – this is owner benefits that go away if the business owner goes away.

Have you ever sold a business like mine?
Yes and No. While we have sold over 600 businesses in 37 industries we have most likely sold a business similar to yours. However just because we have sold a business in the same industry doesn’t mean we have sold YOUR business. Just like we have different finger prints businesses all have different finger prints and a good part of the value is that finger print.
How do you protect my confidentialty
We work hard. From are online advertising that go thru a check to make sure google won’t match to your website…. To Caller id and NDA’s we work hard to sell your business confidential because if we don’t it affects your business value and our bottomline.

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