The bottom-line is that a Business Broker exists to help you sell or buy a business.
Use these questions to find a competent and successful business broker.
What is your background/experience? It takes time and experience to be able to
understand the nuances of businesses. A competent broker needs experience in valuation,
a fair amount of accounting experience, knowledge in the legal aspects of selling a
business, salesmanship, and patience. Look for a broker with business experience of their
own, as well as, advanced degrees like an MBA, a law degree, or CPA. In short, a good
broker has been around the business block before entering the profession.
Are you a member of a trade association? Do you hold any accreditation’s?
If a person in a profession is taking time to belong to an association and attend, it shows
you that the member is attempting to stay current within his or her profession. The IBBA
also accredits business brokers with the designation of certified business intermediary
(CBI), a recognized designation in the business.
What services do you provide?
The broker should offer to help you price the business, and should be able to show you
how to package and market your business. After you’ve heard two or three proposals,
you’ll get a good idea of the type of services available to you. Remember, however, that
you are hiring a sales professional with strong financial skills, so look for signs that your
broker is just that.
Can I talk to the owner?
If you’re not personally dealing with the owner of the firm, ask to speak to him or her.
Ask him or her questions you asked of the person whom you initially contacted. Do you
get the same answers? Also, ask what kind of recourse you have if you’re not getting any
activity on your business. And if you keep calling for the owner of the firm and you don’t
get a return call—cross the firm off the list.
What kinds of tools do you use to research buyers?
Today, the Internet has made the world smaller for sellers, and a good broker takes
advantage of that. It’s a proactive approach to finding buyers as opposed to strictly
posting that this business is for sale and letting people come to you. Additionally, the
broker should have at his or her disposal research tools, such as Dun & Bradstreet,
CapitalIQ and OneSource, and use them to find buyers and general information about the
profession or industry in which the seller is active.
How will you market the business?
Discovering what tools a firm has in its marketing arsenal will help you determine just
how committed they are to selling. Every business needs a little different approach to its
marketing campaign and every business brokerage firm is a little different, so there are
many combinations of campaign strategies that might be appropriate.
Look for a variety of ways to that the broker reaches sellers: ads in local papers and trade
publications, listings on such Web sites as www.bizbuysell.com, and
www.mergernetwork.com and www.BizQuest.com. It’s also a good idea to get on the
Internet yourself, act like a buyer, find out where listings for businesses similar to yours
show up, and then ask the broker if they list there.
Contact us today!