Working with a Business Broker: What Should You Expect?

The Bigger Picture In Selling Your Business

Your business may well present the largest single sale you will ever make. But it is a highly complex entity and you’ll be selling it into a totally unknown marketplace. Getting it wrong is simply not an option.

Make no mistake; the sale of your business can be a huge risk. Look at almost every business sale and you’ll find that there is a long story of negotiations, hitches in the sale process and unforeseen challenges. Rarely does a sale run smoothly.

For many business owners, this risk is too great to take on themselves and they choose to enlist help from a business sale specialist. These specialists are experienced in selling businesses, avoiding the pitfalls and obtaining the best possible sale price.

If you choose to do the same, what should you expect from your business sale specialist?

business broker checklist

1. Experience and success

Experience taking businesses to market and successfully selling them is absolutely vital. Your business sale specialist should be able to demonstrate multiple examples of doing so.

2. The business sale marketplace

The business sale marketplace, like any other marketplace, changes regularly and your specialist should know which types of companies are in demand and what level of sale values are being achieved for companies like yours. This will help give you a realistic understanding of the likely prices and terms of offers.

3. Professionalism

Your specialist will be managing the business sale for you and representing your business. They should be professional at all times, providing clear direction, advice and management of the sale process.

4. Marketing tools for your business

Selling your business involves the same marketing processes as you use for your own products and services. All the positive aspects and elements of your business will need to be communicated to potential buyers. Your business will require some or all of the following: an emailer, a letter, a telephone call script, an advertisement and a Non-Disclosure Agreement. With your input, your specialist should be able to create all these for your sale.

5. Generating interest in your business

This is one of the most important aspects of your sale and getting this right will pay dividends at the end of the process. Specialists achieve this in a number of ways including:

  •  Buyer lists – many specialists, over time, build up a list of companies which have expressed an interest in buying another business. In addition to these, there may be other types of the buyer including Private Equity companies, Private Investors, etc. who have done the same. Your specialist will contact these buyers and present your business to them.
  •  Advertisements – many specialists use their websites not just to attract new sellers but also to list companies that they sell. Listing your company on their sites can attract hundreds or thousands of potential buyers.
  •  Additionally, it is common for specialists to list businesses on independent business sale websites which also attract significant numbers of potential buyers.
  •  Telemarketing – this highly proactive approach can be very effective and many companies employ this method of presenting business sale opportunities.
  •  Contacts – specialists with many years experience in the business sale marketplace can amass a considerable number of personal contacts from previous work which can be called upon.

6. Negotiation advice

Negotiating a business sale successfully requires great skill. Your specialist should manage this for you, advising not only on how and when to impart important information but also advising on receiving and improving offers.

7. The final stages

Once the terms and sale price have been agreed, due diligence and legal procedures are undertaken. This can be a lengthy process and minor issues can often slow things further. Your specialist should manage this carefully with you to ensure that this final stage progresses smoothly.

8. Completing the sale

Although the final completion of the sale is often undertaken by both parties’ legal teams your specialist should be on hand to ensure this final step is also not held up by any minor issues.

Firm Gains view

“Selling a business can be difficult and fraught with challenges. Without specialist help, there is a high risk that your business will be unsold and you will not receive the true value for many years of hard work and dedication.

“Think carefully before undertaking it yourself as the potential perceived ‘savings’ may be offset by the time you invest in the process as well as a lower sale price.”

Contact the Firmgains Team

Explore the options available to you, improve your chances of successful sale.

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