• Fred Silberstein

From Contact to Contract: Our 4-Step Business Acquisition Process

4-steps to a better, easier business acquisition: Consultation, marketing, offering, and negotiation & closing

Key Takeaways:

  1. Our 4-step method is designed to make the business acquisition process as seamless and lucrative as possible:

  2. Consultation: An in-depth study of your business that guides the rest of the acquisition process

  3. Offering: We showcase your company and strategically position it for the right buyer

  4. Marketing: We look at all possibilities to find qualified purchasers and maximize the opportunities for a completed transaction

  5. Negotiation & Closing: We solicit and negotiate multiple letters of intent to obtain the best offer possible for our clients



The SF&P Advisors four-step acquisition process takes our clients from contact to contract. We have extensive experience facilitating the mergers and acquisitions of HVAC and plumbing businesses, and our knowledge of this niche marketplace allows us to guide our clients to the best deal possible for their acquisition.

We understand what buyers are looking for, and we highlight those qualities when positioning our clients to be acquired. We look at multiple aspects of their business and their prospective buyers' needs, including revenue goals, growth expectations, and the possibility of expansion — whether that’s into new markets, territories, or service offerings. We leverage all of our clients' attributes to find them the best price and the best terms.

We understand that you have spent your whole life building up your business. We know you don't want to sell to just anyone, and our method is designed to make the acquisition process as seamless and lucrative as possible. The SF&P four-step acquisition process starts with a consultation. Then, we put together the offering and market your business to buyers, and finally, we negotiate terms and close the deal. Here’s what we do during each of those steps, so you know what to expect when you work with SF&P Advisors to sell your HVAC or plumbing business.

1. Consultation The consultation stage involves an in-depth study of your business that we use to guide the rest of the acquisition process. We do a close review of your financials and sit down with you to discuss your personal goals, your expectations when selling, and what you want for the future of your business.

We review historical and present business and financial results to get to know your company and develop an in-depth understanding of its value. We also review financial forecasts, earnings, and cash flows, and we take a close look at your assets, current and long-term liabilities, and business prospects. This information helps us build a current snapshot of your HVAC or plumbing business's strengths and shortcomings.

A strong acquisition strategy also requires us to paint a picture of the future value of your business. To do that, we talk with senior management about their perceptions of the company's prospects. We also review your internal revenue projections for the next two to five years, and in the absence of internal projections, we craft projections based on past trends and market indicators.

We look at the potential of new service offerings, the market and replacement value of assets, the depth of your management team, and your succession strategy. We also consider the impact of an acquisition on your managers, employees, customers, suppliers, and anyone else who has a relationship with the company.

These projections and analyses help us assess your ability to cover core business expenses and fund capital expenditures. The due diligence we perform during the consultation phase helps inform our offering, shape our marketing strategy, and guide the negotiation process.

2. Offering The offering materials we create are the heart of the transaction. We craft an offering that showcases your company and strategically positions it for the right buyer, but we don't create a one-size-fits-all offering — we create a unique offering for every prospective buyer.

The acquisition process doesn't just involve assigning a price to your HVAC or plumbing business and waiting for a seller. We customize offers that appeal to specific buyers. Our offering materials emphasize the elements that will help prospective buyers understand how your company meets their business goals and complements their existing strategies.

We accelerate the sales cycle by preemptively addressing buyers’ questions, alleviating their concerns, and showing them how your business will drive their success. External factors also influence an acquisition, and to that end, we take into account market trends, similar sales, and the legal and regulatory environment. We use all of these elements to create the strongest offering possible.

3. Marketing There is a dynamic relationship between business buyers and sellers, and this is particularly pronounced in the niche HVAC and plumbing acquisition marketplace. We balance your needs and wants with the needs and wants of prospective buyers when marketing the offering.

Marketing an HVAC or plumbing business for acquisition doesn't involve posting an ad or hiring a real estate agent. Business acquisition is not remotely like selling real property, and this is why it's critical to have a trusted, experienced advisor by your side. We look at your current strategic and ecosystem partners and competitors to identify potential buyers, but we also have well-established relationships with leading consolidators, business networks, venture capital groups, and private equity firms. We look at all possibilities so we can find the best qualified purchases and maximize the opportunities for a completed transaction.

4. Negotiation & closing The fourth and final step of our acquisition process is negotiation and closing. We solicit and negotiate multiple letters of intent to obtain the best offer possible for our clients, and our team works diligently to develop the most beneficial definitive agreements. Our advisors support the negotiation process with documentation and purchase price adjustments, accountants look at the financial and tax implications of every acquisition, and lawyers draw up the sales agreements.

We never take a posture of desperation, and we don't hesitate to reject offers if the price is too low, the timing isn't right, or the deal is going to have an adverse effect on our clients. Extensive negotiation experience means that we know when to stretch and when to stop on price, integration, future investments, governance, and other details of the sale.

We transform data into intelligence, we never leave economic value on the table, and we strive to find win-win options for everyone at the negotiation table.

Trust SF&P Advisors to guide you through your business acquisition Our four-step acquisition process is designed to guide you through selling your company as artfully and lucratively as possible. We have brokered countless successful deals for our clients, and regardless of the value of your HVAC or plumbing business, we assign a senior team member to work with you. We never delegate our clients to inexperienced junior advisors.

SF&P Advisors is ready to help you with the sale of your business — contact us today to learn how our expertise can help you make the best deal possible with the ideal acquisition partner.