How Do I Sell My Engineering Business?
You’ve worked hard on your engineering business over the years, and at some point, you will be ready to retire. But you’ve got a lot of questions such as: “How do I know how to price my engineering business?” and “How do I know the right steps to take to sell my engineering business?” While the idea of selling your engineering firm may seem intimidating, all it takes is engaging with someone with experience and the right approach.
Steps to Take for Selling Your Engineering Business
The first step to take when you are considering selling your engineering company is to speak with a Business Broker or M&A firm that has experience selling engineering firms. After gathering some information, they can give you a potential selling price. You’re an engineer, not a financial service professional, and there’s too much of a chance you will miss something that could allow you to put a higher valuation on your business than you realize. Factors like assets and liabilities and cash flow are only part of the equation, and a good advisor will recognize that and give you a reliable estimate you can use in negotiating the best sale price.
Another critical step is finding the right buyers. Engineering is a rather broad category, and what one investor means when they say they are looking to invest in an engineering company may be vastly different from what the next one means. It’s a good idea to research potential buyers and make sure you are marketing to the right people.
One more critical consideration you may want to take into account is how much of the business is actually your personal "brand." As an engineer and a business owner, it is also possible that you built the company around yourself and your skills. Assuming you are leaving the business when you exit, will you be taking everything that makes the business what it is with you? If this is the case, potential buyers will see that and will require a long transition period and the company may not be worth as much as if you had a management structure in place.
For this reason, it’s essential to be sure that you have a clear organizational plan in place and skilled managers who can keep the business running the same way you do before you consider leaving.
Selling an Engineering Firm Confidentially with an Engineering Business Broker
Finding an engineering business broker online to help you sell your business is a great idea. Synergy Business Brokers is a brokerage company with over fifteen years' experience finding motivated buyers for engineering businesses. We have built up relationships with business owners buying and selling engineering businesses. We maintain your confidentiality and have specific knowledge of the engineering field and know how to find the right buyers for your engineering business. We have potential buyers for Civil Engineering firms, Mechanical Engineering companies, Environmental Engineering businesses, Electrical Engineers, Chemical Engineering, and more.
Below are some Engineering & Surveying businesses that we have sold:
Engineering Business in Bergen County, NJ (AAES Engineering, Inc.)
The majority owner of this business was in his 60's and ready to transition into retirement, and the minority partner was 50. They agreed that the best way to move forward entailed identifying a buyer who would retain the services of the minority partner. We were able to introduce several potential buyers who could agree to this stipulation and, as a result, received multiple offers on the business. The best offer came from a large construction company with numerous offices that wanted to expand their capacity by providing engineering services. The buyers provided an employment agreement for the minority partner with terms that satisfied all parties.
Civil Engineering Business in Suffolk County (Savik & Murray LLP)
The Owner was in his 60's and ready to transition into retirement. We were able to identify and introduce several potential buyers and received multiple offers on the business. Chief among the proposals was an Architectural firm seeking to expand their bandwidth by providing engineering services. Another benefit to the architectural firm was that by purchasing this business, they would increase their footprint with the addition of an office in Suffolk County where they had an existing client base. We were able to negotiate a satisfactory deal for both parties wherein the seller remained on board to help with the transition.
Civil Engineering & Surveyor Company in Ocean County, NJ (O'Donnell Stanton)
Both partners in the firm were ready to retire. There were family members who were employees, and it was vital to our strategy that any potential buyer is sensitive to take care of the employees and the customers. We decided that another larger engineering firm in the NY/NJ area would be the best fit to take over their business. The owners are staying on after the sale to ensure a smooth transition.
Engineering Company on Long Island (James LaSalla Associates)
This company specializes in providing engineering services to large telecom companies. 60% of the company's revenue was from AT & T. We contacted several hundred engineering firms who could comfortably consider submitting an acceptable offer for a company that relied so heavily on one customer. We were able to identify twenty potential buyers who signed Non-Disclosure Agreements, and of the twenty, three submitted offers. We closed on a deal for 90% of the sellers asking price. The buyer was a larger diversified engineering firm that wanted to provide additional services for new and emerging clients.
Engineering Company in the Hudson Valley, NY (Eustance & Horowitz)
We had multiple offers on this business opportunity. One proposal under consideration was from an Architectural firm wanting to expand into the engineering field to provide a broader range of services for its clients. A second offer came in from an Engineering company looking to expand their range of engineering expertise as well as increase the potential for long term clients from any acquisition. We negotiated the two offers with a variety of terms from both parties. Ultimately the other Engineering firm came up with the most favorable conditions by agreeing to assume the seller's debt in addition to a purchase price.
Engineering & Water Treatment Services Company in Boston, MA Area (Gurney Engineering & Water Treatment)
This was a family-owned business for over 50 years that was being sold by the 2nd generation owner and had all the hallmarks of a legacy organization. The business designs, develops, installs and services water treatment systems to a wide range of organizations in Massachusetts. We qualified several potential buyers who made offers on the business opportunity. This allowed our client the opportunity to determine which buyer was the right one to carry the business legacy forward. After some due diligence by both buyer and seller, both sides were confident that they had the right fit. The seller has a one-year employment agreement to ensure a smooth transition period.
Engineering & Survey Business in Orange County, NY (Zimmerman Engineering)
The owner was in his 60's and ready to transition into retirement. We introduced several potential buyers, and the business was ultimately sold to another larger Engineering firm in the New York City area interested in developing their Surveying business and diversifying their Engineering offerings. The seller agreed to sign a 4-year employment agreement which allowed him the option of retiring earlier than the 4 years if he so desired.
Land Surveyor Business in New York City (Lovell Belcher)
These co-owners were ready to retire after working together for many decades. We were able to introduce two Surveyor companies that were very interested in the business. After negotiations, we were able to secure the full asking price. The sellers will stay on after the sale to help with training during the transition process.
We only get paid if we sell your engineering business, so you have absolutely nothing to lose — and our service will more than pay for itself with the extra money we may be able to earn you for your sale. If you are ready to discuss a possible sale: fill out our seller registration. To find out more, email us at [email protected], call us at 888-750-5950 or fill out our contact form online today to set up a personalized and confidential consultation on selling your engineering business. If you are interested in buying an engineering business, you can view our current Engineering Companies for Sale.