Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I saw a business on your site and want more information, what’s next?

A. It’s simple. Complete and email a confidentiality agreement with your signature and email address to us at info@colpratners.net or if you still use fax, our fax number is 866-627-0407 and we will send more information.

Q. Why are they selling?

A. Business owners sell for a variety of reasons. It’s important that you (the buyer) know why a particular business is for sale and be comfortable with the answer. Retirement is one of the most common reasons. Others include health, burnout, death in the family, divorce, disability, and other business interest.

Q. What are businesses worth?

A. There are many factors that determine the value of a business. Seller financing, terms, assets and deal structure are a few of the most important. The true value of a business is determined in the marketplace between a willing buyer and a willing seller. Simply put; the value of a business is the equilibrium of Price, Terms and Structure.

Q. What is Discretionary Cash Flow?

A. It’s very important that buyers and sellers understand exactly what discretionary cash flow is. It’s what buyers want to buy and sellers should have to sell. The short answer is; “the true benefit ($) to the owner” or more properly stated: Discretionary Cash Flow is the sum of earnings before compensation available to a working owner/manager, depreciation and amortization, interest expense, owners benefits and expenses that are “one time” or extraordinary which are not representative of the continuing operation of the business or are discretionary to the owner and/or primarily for the owners benefit. All entries into a discretionary cash flow ledger must be documented.

Q. I don’t see a business that interests me on your site, do you have others?

A. Yes. Simply complete a buyer profile and we will contact you you regarding businesses that may fit your profile. Please include your email address.

Q. Can I talk to the Owner?

A. Of course, simply call or email and ask for Charlie Cole. He will be glad to speak with you.

Q. What is a Business Valuation?

A. The object of a Business Valuation Engagement is to express an opinion as to the fair market value of the operating assets of the subject company as of a certain date. Business Valuations are often used by professional business brokers, lending institutions and professionals providing advice in law, accounting, insurance, financial planning, stocks and bonds, gift and estate tax planning and most commonly, contemplation of sale of a business. We believe this process to be extremely important requiring a certain expertise thus it should be completed by someone who is not only certified to do business valuations, but also has experience in mergers and acquisitions. This is not a place to cut corners in the sale or purchase of a business. Ask the person or firm you’re considering how many valuations they have done as well as their experience in mergers and acquisitions.

Q. What is the difference between a Business Intermediary and a Real Estate Broker?

A. Theres a huge difference! The most obvious being the training and experienced required to represent a buyer or seller in a business acquisition. Real estate agents simply do not have this expertise. Why would they? Its a completely different occupation. When buying or selling a business, real estate is only one of many business assets being transferred. Here, a Certified Business Intermediary is not only licensed as a Real Estate Broker but also has achieved and maintains certifications directly related the purchase and sale of privately held businesses. This includes methods of valuation, financial statement analysis, debt structuring, accounting versus economic marketing, deal structuring, buyer and seller pre-qualifications, non-compete agreements, consulting agreements, confidential marketing programs, allocation concerns and much more. Many real estate firms use a graduating pay scale to compensate their agents. In other words, agents receive a higher commission share when they have more listings which is why they will take a listing at any price. Always ask what certifications and experience the broker has and check their website to determine what they specialize in?

Q. Why should I use a Business Intermediary/Broker?

A. We believe there are many reasons. Here are just a few considerations.
We work with buyers and sellers in establishing a price for the business. We are skilled at marketing businesses confidentially to protect from harming the relationship with employees, suppliers, competitors and customers. We prepare a marketing strategy to maximize the price. We are skilled at negotiating all aspects of the sale including deal structuring, non-compete agreements, consulting agreements, seller finance notes and allocation of purchase price to name a few. We interview, screen and qualify prospective buyers and sellers. We market the business through many different methods (not just the local MLS) including our own database of buyers, the Internet, our network of other intermediarys and industry experts, trade publications and other sources. We market businesses on a national and international basis. We work with outside advisors to help make sure the transactions progresses smoothly. We have access to lenders who can pre-qualify buyers and sellers. We have a database of experts relating to the sale of businesses. We are not a real estate firm that dabbles in biz ops; we specialize in the transfer of businesses.