What is a blind profile? You may have heard of the term but aren’t sure of the exact definition.
To confuse matters even more, there are many names for a blind profile, such as a teaser, business listing, web write-up, etc.
The blind profile is the first piece of information buyers will see when learning about the sale of a business. It needs to be appealing without giving away the identity of your company.
We have created blind profiles for over 400 clients in our 20+ years of business. Each business receives a unique blind profile that fits the exact needs of our clients to protect their confidentiality.
To reduce your confusion, we will explain what a blind profile is and how brokers use it to share information about the sale of your company without revealing identifying information that could jeopardize your sale.
What is a Blind Profile in the Sale of a Business?
A blind profile offers information about your business to draw a buyer in without giving away the identity of your company.
A Blind Profile should:
- Get the buyer excited about the opportunity
- Not reveal confidential information
- Weed out disqualified candidates
Blind profiles provide top-level key metrics like revenue, cash flow, and inventory. This information, along with the company’s description, helps to filter for compatible buyers.
Although the blind profile maintains your confidentiality with most buyers, a good broker will still be cautious about who they send it to. If one of your competitors sees the teaser, they may be able to tell based on the description alone that it's your company.
A good brokerage will not share your blind profile with one of your competitors without your permission.
MIDSTREET TIPIf you are not receiving enough inquiries and some time has passed since you went live with the blind profile, you may choose to go through riskier channels, like sending the teaser to competitors. This strategy is often used if you have exhausted all options and are open to selling to a competitor who could be interested in your business.
Most owners don’t want to share confidential information with their competitors and for good reason. But, if you're open to selling to a competitor, you could receive a significant premium for the business.
Always remember that your competitors might just be looking for information they can use to improve their business.
What Information Should NOT be in a Blind Profile to Advertise the Sale of my Company?
As a general rule, don’t include heavily identifying information about your company such as your company’s name, specific city, or pictures of the facility.
MIDSTREET TIPSome companies are comfortable with including their name in their blind profile and revealing identifying information. If you're considering this path, assume that everyone will learn about the sale. Work with an experienced broker to help mitigate any potential risks.
Some examples of identifying information you may want to be cautious about including are:
- The square footage of your building
- The number of employees
- When the business started
If your company has a niche, but you are one of the few businesses that specialize in it, you should be careful how you describe it AND what location you choose to share.
As you get further into the selling process, you may update the profile to edit the information it contains.
When Does the Teaser Come Up and Where is it Advertised in the Sale?
It will typically be created directly after a confidential information memorandum (CIM). This will allow the broker who creates your 30-60 page CIM to boil down information about your company to display the highlights in the blind profile.
Once the blind profile is created along with the other marketing materials, it will be posted on online business listing sites as well as the merger and acquisition firm’s site.
Why Should the Blind Profile be Non-Identifying For the Sale of My Business?
Since it is one of the first things each prospective buyer sees, you will not want the blind profile to give away identifying information.
In the beginning, a large number of buyers may hear about your business listing and see the blind profile.
However, only a select few should be given access to your more identifying marketing materials after they have been thoroughly vetted. This prevents your confidentiality from being breached.
MIDSTREET TIPWe've heard of instances in which brokers automatically send confidential information once an NDA is filled out on their website. Our process is always to interview buyer candidates and require copies of driver's licenses, to avoid sensitive information getting into the wrong hands.
Who Creates the Blind Profile to Market the Sale of My Company?
If you are selling independently, you should be cautious when drafting your profile and get a second look at it before posting it online.
The benefit of having a quality broker create your teaser is that they should have experience in making many of them and know how to write them in a way that gets more buyers while protecting your confidentiality.
Depending on the size of your company and what type of buyer you want to market to, your broker will write the blind profile differently. For example, the blind profile for a larger company in an industry with a lot of strategic buyers in “acquisition mode” might not include a purchase price.
MIDSTREET TIPYou are always at risk for breach of confidentiality during the sale of your business, so you need to be mindful and hire advisors you trust to handle the sale. If you're selling the business yourself, breaching confidentiality is likely to happen.
Do I Get to Approve the Blind Profile That Will be Used to Market the Sale of my Business?
Just like your other marketing documents, your merger and acquisition (M&A) advisor should give you the chance to review and approve the blind profile before they post it online.
Brokers should work with business owners to make sure they are comfortable with the level of confidentiality before the teaser profile is sent out.
Sell Your Business Confidentially and Successfully
Now that you know everything about a blind profile and understand that brokers are not simply posting your information on the internet, let’s get to your next step.
After the blind profile is created and posted, it will attract buyers that need to be vetted.
Quality brokers will maintain confidentiality while assessing buyers’ financial and personal compatibility for the sale.
To learn more about the process of vetting buyers while keeping your sale confidential, give us a call today.