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Attention:   IT consulting firm founders  

Do you know where to find a 10x exit? 

If you want to sell your firm, it’s hard to know where to start.  We have a no risk engagement that gets you ready for your best possible exit.

Passively Test the Market

Entertain Lucrative Offers 

Focus on Your Business 

OUR 10x ACQUISITION FINDER PROCESS

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OUR PROCESS

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EXIT STRATEGY

In order to search for acquirers on your behalf, we need to understand your firm’s unique attributes and how your firm would fit with your future acquirer’s organization. 

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TEASER

Our teaser contains enough information to pique the interest of an acquirer and get an NDA signed without revealing any confidential information about your firm. 

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NDA

Before we release your CIM to a potential acquirer we get an NDA signed. After the NDA is signed we inform you of the inquiring party and get your approval before we send the CIM.  

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CIM

The confidential information memo (CIM) is your chance to sell, this document explains the details that are required for an acquirer to make an offer via an LOI. 

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LETTER OF INTENT

If an LOI (letter of intent) is presented, you’ll negotiate the price and terms of the deal. If you sign the LOI and accept their offer, you will then enter due diligence.

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DUE DILIGENCE

In due diligence your acquirer will do a deep investigation over all the information that you supplied in the CIM. It’s best practice to have all your documentation ready to make this arduous process faster.

Most M&A conversations are a waste of your time

Ask us how we fix that. 

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OUR MISSION

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Step 1: Exit Canvas 


Our process starts with our proprietary Exit Canvas, a facilitation and documentation tool that summarizes your business for the purpose of creating an acquisition strategy. Throughout our engagement  we will revisit this document to adjust our assumptions.

The Exit Canvas initiates a shift in the perspective you hold of your firm, you’ll begin to look at your firm through the eyes of an acquirer and not through the role of founder focused on operational issues.

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Step 2: Create prospect pool


Next we'll undertake the task of compiling a roster of potential acquirers based on their acquisition strategies. Beginning with our comprehensive list of acquisition strategies, we'll arrange the strategies in descending order of likelihood.

Each acquisition strategy will then be populated with potential acquirers. Some lists will be easy to generate while others will be more challenging. With this approach, we aim to construct an exhaustive list that aligns the acquisition worthy elements of your firm with the strategic objectives of potential acquirers.

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Step 3: Market the deal


We'll leverage our marketing channels to showcase your firm to the ideal audience. Our strategy involves precisely targeting firms identified from the prospect pool. But we'll also promote the opportunity to acquire your firm to a broad list of potential buyers.

Our goal is to extend beyond the initial list of names we created, ensuring comprehensive exposure for your firm. Ideally we’ll have 12-15 (or more!) potential acquirers show interest and request the teaser document.

 

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Step 4: Send the teaser


The teaser is the first information that is shared with a potential acquirer about your firm. Its goal is to pique the interest of buyers in order to get an NDA signed and continue the process.

At the time the teaser is sent we will not be under an NDA so we’ll only share information that won’t help your competition if our teaser document finds its way to them. We share basics about your business like service lines, revenue, profitability, headcount, locations, etc. 

 

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Step 5: Prepare the confidential information memorandum


The confidential information memorandum, or CIM for short, is a ~20 page document that contains comprehensive information about your firm.  When this document is sent, we’ll be under an NDA. So we’ll share with potential acquirers all the information they need to put together an offer for your firm.

We won’t share any trade secrets in this document (like customer names) but we will do our best to share as much as possible. Our goal is to paint an accurate picture of the company, not an overly optimistic fairy tale. From our experience, selling too much at this stage leads to offers that will fall apart at later stages.

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Step 6: Receive the letter of intent


The letter of intent (LOI) is a non-binding letter that an acquirer uses to make you an offer.  The acquirer will use the information you’ve previously supplied to prepare their offer. 

The LOI will outline the total value of the company, what percentage of the company they seek to buy, the employment agreements they expect to offer, the earnout timeframes and amounts, and any relevant terms to the deal, etc.  The letter of intent is the written document that you will use to initiate negotiations.  

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Step 7: Prepare the data room


The data room is where you store all the information that will be needed during due diligence.  This includes financial statements, tax returns, customer contracts, employment agreements, leases, etc.    

From the seller’s perspective, this is a heavy lift and should be started as soon as possible. The buyer is going to ask for documentation for every minute detail about your firm, some of which you haven’t thought about in years. The better the due diligence is prepared for and executed the higher your chances of selling. 

 

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Step 8: Due Diligence


Due diligence is probably the most important part of the process when selling your firm.  Due diligence from the buyer’s perspective is about learning as much as possible about the firm in order to convince themselves to close the deal, or to not do the transaction. 

Due diligence should take between 30-90 days. As the seller it’s to your advantage to make this go as quickly and efficiently as possible. The longer the due diligence process continues on the more likely the deal is to be renegotiated. Another very common outcome from due diligence is that it lasts so long that the business results suffer and the acquirer has another reason to renegotiate.

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Step 9: Close


If everything is looking good coming out of due diligence, we're going to engage an M&A attorney 4-6 weeks before the closing date.  While you might already have a contract attorney for your normal business matters, it’s advisable to invest in a good M&A attorney.  The M&A legal team is going to help with legal and tax related matters for the transaction and it’s worth hiring a legal team that has industry relevant experience.

STEP 1
EXIT CANVAS

We'll kick things off with our Exit Canvas.

This is a summary of your business that helps us create a strategy to sell it.

We’ll dive into your offer, your target customers, your marketing and sales strategies, growth plans, reasons for selling, consultant structure, revenue structure, intellectual properties and any other important details.

Based on what we find out, we'll come up with a custom selling strategy just for you.

STEP 2
CREATE PROSPECT POOL

Next, we'll put together a list of potential buyers and match their likely strategies with ours.

We'll kick things off with a super-targeted list of about 100.

We'll also use some software with a look-alike tool to create a bigger list. This way, we get the best of both worlds: a focused approach and a wider reach. For this one, we'll aim for around 1,000.

STEP 3
MARKET THE DEAL

Next we start reaching out to our list.  We do this on your behalf. But we’ll keep you updated on our progress every step of the way.

We send a ~5-page teaser to anyone that replies to our initial reach out efforts. This document gives a summary of your business but withholds any confidential information like customer names. 

In order for an acquirer to learn more specifics about your firm we ask them to identify themselves and sign an NDA.

STEP 4
SEND THE CIM

After the NDA is signed, we’ll either send a confidential information memorandum and/or a financial package summarizing your company. (We’ll make this decision together based on your specific situation.) 

We want to overshare at this point. We don’t want to hide anything that will come out later and cost valuable time. We also want to address your firm's weaknesses head on and proactively  turn them into opportunities for improvement.

STEP 5
MANAGEMENT MEETINGS

Next, we’ll schedule a meeting between you, the acquirer and your management team if they are involved at this point. This will give you a chance to pitch your firm and give a potential acquirer a chance to ask questions.

STEP 6
NEGOTIATIONS

Next we’ll do our best to start a bidding war for your firm. We do this on your behalf. We provide a letter of intent template so that when we get offers we’ll be able to compare them apples-to-apples. 

Until we sign the letter of intent and accept an offer the negotiating power is on our side, so we want to be very strategic at this point of the process.

STEP 7
DUE DILEGENCE

At this point, we’ll enter due diligence. This is a 30-60 day period where the acquirer will want to review every detail about your firm. We’ll proactively prepare for this to make the process less painful when it arrives. 

STEP 8
CLOSE

About half way through due diligence we’ll engage an M&A attorney to prepare  purchase agreements and other related contracts to ensure all terms are legally sound. A good M&A attorney ensures that the transaction complies with all relevant laws and regulations, will advise us on tax implications and potential liabilities and will coordinate the closing process, ensuring that all legal documents are properly executed and that the transaction is completed smoothly.

 

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