News and Insights

Navigation System for Due Diligence

“Traffic delay ahead causing a 41-minute delay to your arrival,” said the monotone Google Maps voice over the car speakers. My family, like many families, was on Spring Break. Unlike most travelers who headed south to a beach, we were heading to St. Louis, MO to visit family (not a Top 10 Spring Break 2021 destination).
Traffic delay notifications are never fun. They are also purposeless, unless you have had the navigation on the entire time.  If you do, often Google Maps will provide an alternative way around the traffic (back roads, other highways, etc.). If you do not use the navigation OR just turned it on, it is too late. Unless you have intimate knowledge of Terre Haute, IN back-country roads and can navigate on your own…there is not much you can do beyond shouting at your screen and crawling along at 20 mph.
While this sounds like a bit of a nightmare…and it was…we EVENTUALLY made it to our destination. We were a little more tired than we wanted and a little less happy with each other in the car, but we made it. I am glad we had Google Maps on and kept it on.
The point of this story is draw parallels between a long-distance road trip and the pre-process due diligence  that most business sellers go through. And remember, this pre-process due diligence is just a piece of the overall sale process.  Next month’s article will include commentary on additional pieces of the overall process.  Our goal in writing these each month is to share best practices and examples from the various stages of selling a business. Whether you engage RKCA or not, there are many pieces to the transaction.
For those unfamiliar, pre-process due diligence during a deal begins after you have decided to sell your business, when your investment banker starts to poke around and ask a lot of questions. While it is a critical piece of realizing your life’s work through a sale, it is not designed for fun. It is full of tough conversations, thorough reviews of legal, financial, historical documents that you may have long since forgotten (“what was the one-time 2017 bonus amount of $27,453 for?”), EVENTUALLY, with the right navigator, you can make it through it.
Much like a long road trip, here are some things you can plan for during pre-process due diligence when you sell with an investment banker navigator.   This early part of a sell-side process occurs before your banker has engaged the market. Your banker is collecting a lot of information to help inform the Teaser, and the Confidential Investment Memorandum (CIM).

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 If you, or someone in your network is looking to embark on a road trip to sell their business and needs a navigator, send me an email at


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