Role of Business Brokers in Selling Your Business

There is a role for a business broker in selling your business. Basically they will make it happen quicker and often at a better price than you could have received on your own.

There are many reasons to use a business broker when selling your business. The most basic reason is they are in the business of selling businesses. They will market your business and help to get prospective buyers to look at your deal. They will help in setting an asking price based on their knowledge and experience. If they have gone through the certification program their price would be considered expert testimony and therefore is given a great deal of creditability. Keeping the owner from underselling their business or over pricing their company is part of their legitimate function to their client. Since they know how to find buyers who are qualified and ready to deal on a business of their liking, they can help to cut down the time a business has to be on the market. Consistently a business broker will move a business quicker and usually at a very fair price.

What does a business broker do

They can help the seller get the information needed by the buyer to make a decision on buying the business. This role is critical as nothing happens until a price is established and the business facts are known. Presenting the facts in a professional form is another common service that a business broker will give a client. This service can be the difference between a seller making a deal and the deal going south. Professional presentation of pertinent facts about a business is necessary in order to attract potential buyers. It is this factual information that helps buyers make intelligent decisions about such a purchase. Since the business broker does this type of work year round, the information is shown in its most positive form. Practice does make perfect in this case.

The business broker is also the go-between for passage of information between the buyer and the seller. This enables better communication and cooperation between the buyer and the seller. The role of a disinterested third party is effective in letting the business broker move the dealing along on the sale of the business. The business broker must treat both sides fairly as his next clients are given existing clients as references for his work. It is imperative that the fairness issue is communicated to the next client. Since all aspects of the sale pass through the broker, this neutrality is important and also the advice given to both sides of the deal.

Marketing the business

Without a broker, the seller would have to market the property and would not have access to a pool of potential buyers. The buyer would not have access to the pool of sellers the broker has available. This need by both parties is the reason that most businesses are sold with the help of a business broker. Their expertise in helping to set the selling price cannot be overstated. A busy broker over time helps to sell many types of businesses and this real time experience is invaluable to the process coming to completion. A competent broker will also know the legal requirements for many types of businesses that the brokers in a geographical area. This prevents problems that can be prevented from taking place and decisions being made without all of the facts.

If he is not a certified broker as to setting a selling price, he will have referrals to brokers or CPAs that do have this credential. The advantage to the seller is the business will be set at a selling price that can be logically defended when questioned about how the price was set. It is not just a price that the seller picked from thin air of a wish list price.

Broker assisted negotiation

Since the broker will usually know what the buyer is willing to pay and what the seller is willing to accept, the broker can lead both sides to a price that is somewhere in the area that both are willing to live with. Without this outside force, either party may never approach this price.

A broker has another ability to deliver that makes their service worth the cost. Maybe the business is a one of a kind business and not one that comes to market every day. Businesses like this are hard to evaluate as to their market value and even more importantly there may be a need to come up with a unique marketing plan to sell the business. A good brokerage firm can do both and solve the problem with a greater chance of success than the owners of the business could do by themselves. They have access to a network of brokers who handle all types of businesses that are for sale.

The business may be unique in the geographic area it is located in, but there could well be one in another part of the country that was successfully marketed by a broker in that area. Use of the network is exclusive to the broker community and private individuals will not have access to the information that can be obtained from the network. Information is power, and this kind of help may be the only way the business could be successfully marketed. How other brokers sold a similar business can lead the broker in question to come up with a plan that has a good chance to work. This service to the seller is priceless and could make the difference between no-sale and sold. The seller could have wasted a great deal of time and money on an approach that would not work. Ferreting out potential buyers is the name of the game. The wrong approach could easily come up empty. All of this is sufficient reason to employ and expert when selling a business.

Conclusions

The fact that they will actively market your business is plus. The current owner does not have the time or knowledge to find buyers and set a fair price. They will usually set their price too high or too low. If they have a hard time coming up with any buyers, this can bring on frustration and an unneeded reduction of the selling price. It the wrong buyers are seeing the ad for your business, then only a bargain will attract their attention. A buyer who understood your business would readily see the value in a fairly priced offer. This is tricky and the result can be dramatically influenced by hiring a pro to help with the sale.

Another reason for the use of a pro is they can talk the language of professional people the buyers bring into the sale negotiation. If the terms that they communicate in are not understood, the buyer’s advisors will not be impressed and may kill the sale. Hiring the professional business broker can prevent lack of intelligent conversation. He will know the terms and their meanings and be able to give the needed answers to move the sale along. This knowledge and expertise is the reason that such a person should be hired to help you make the sale of your business. Their ability to use previous sales and how they were completed is a facet of their knowledge base. There is no way the current owner could bring that to the negotiating table.

7 Benefits of American Business Brokers

Nobody has to tell you that these are pretty volatile economic times and if you’re contemplating buying or selling a business you are going to be facing some serious challenges. American business brokers have been doing a brisk business over the past two years thanks to a banking collapse and a stock market that no longer appears to be a prudent place to invest. Some businesses have to sell and others have cash that they can’t profitably invest elsewhere so they invest in growth. Business brokers are the professionals in the middle that make it happen for both the buyer and the seller. Here’s a short list of their services.

1. Preparing a business to sell

If you feel it’s time to sell your business a broker can help you put together the best look and then market your business professionally. When you’re selling you should be focusing on what you do best, running the business and making it as attractive as possible, and not be distracted with all the minutiae involved in selling a business. Leave that to the broker.

2. Valuation service

Arriving at a real market value for a business is obviously important to both a buyer and a seller and a professional broker can provide that service. In a sales transaction, the ultimate value of a business is what a buyer is willing to pay. However there are other times when an owner may want a certified value to satisfy estate planning, marital or partnership issues or when facing litigation. Once again the business broker is the pro you can turn to.

3. Closing

As hard and as complicated as it is to market and then negotiate a price, closing can be even more difficult because more people and organizations are involved. A business broker can handle much of the coordination that is required. He or she will have to deal with two sets of attorneys, accountants, possibly two or more banks, government agencies and vendors. This is a critical step and not the time to start learning by on the job training. Let a broker do it.

4. Exit strategy

The time to think about an exit strategy is before you put your business on the market. Discuss with your broker just what you want to do, retire or move on to another opportunity. This will actually have an impact on the method of payout. Many times you can get a more profitable deal if you agree to manage the business for a short time after the sale. There’s also the question of relationships with clients, vendors and employees. A broker can assist you in a strategy that leaves everybody feeling good.

5. Support services

Many brokers will work in partnership with support services such as legal and accounting. Some even work in conjunction with lending or funding sources as well. As a general rule, it is probably less expensive to contract directly with the services but if you don’t have a relationship with one or more already, then the broker is a good bet.

6. Up to date market intelligence

In a sense, business brokers work much like realtors, listing businesses and presenting the relevant facts. Brokers have the latest intelligence on a given industry in a given geographical area which can prove to be invaluable for either a buyer or a seller. And there are other market concerns that they stay current with as well. Perhaps one of the biggest changes for small businesses is in the area of financing a buy. With the banks as tight as they are, it is not uncommon for the seller to provide some or all of the financing.

7. Peace of mind

Buying or selling a business is a complex task and having a broker can assure the buyer or the seller that the transaction was fair, completed legally and save a considerable amount of time. Full time brokers make their living doing this, are professionals and render both the buyer and seller a real service of value.

The first step that a wise buyer or seller makes is to contact a professional business broker.

How Important Is a Business Broker to Buyers and Sellers?

Establishments and companies change ownership at some point. As such, the services of business brokers prove to be highly valuable for both the seller and the buyer. An aspiring entrepreneur needs to evaluate a target business establishment, and this is where a professional business broker can offer valuable assistance. The seller also will find it rewarding to seek the assistance of a business for sale broker for the advertising and the negotiation facilitation with prospect buyers.

Benefits of Hiring Business Brokers

Selling a business can be a demanding and tiresome process. This can take up a lot of time and can even affect the value of the business, as you spend more time on its sale process rather than on the daily operations of the business. This is where the services of business brokers come in handy.

First off, a professional broker can give you confidentiality, and can assure you that only the prospective buyers you approve will be contacted. A trustworthy and experienced broker can save you time in screening prospective buyers in advance. Brokers can already check if a prospect buyer has good financial resources to buy your business. They will also ask buyers to sign a confidentiality and non-disclosure contracts. If you attempt to sell your business openly or independently, you would most likely damage your staff’s morale. You would also give your competitors the opportunity to spread damaging rumors about you and steal your valued customers. When you hire a business for sale broker, he can work anonymously, ensuring the protection of your business.

Moreover, selling your business all by yourself can be inefficient, especially if you lack the experience. A business broker generally has more experience, resources, and tools to effectively reach potential buyers faster and easier. However, reaching target buyers is just one part of a broker’s job; getting the best price for your business is his other important job. A professional broker should have the capacity to advertise your company in such a way that it can attract serious and financially stable buyers. This would definitely increase your benefits and advantages in selling your business.

Finally, business brokers can name the value of your business. This process involves more than just revenue or profit, thus, you may undervalue or overvalue your company, and these mistakes bear indicative consequences. For an experienced business broker, there is a rare chance to commit such mistakes.

From a business buyer’s perspective, a business for sale broker brings a lot of advantages as well. If you are a buyer and asked the assistance of a broker, you will be able to have access to opportunities that you won’t likely find on your own. If you do not have enough knowledge regarding the industry you chose, you can get helpful advice and useful insights from a good business broker. Your broker can also facilitate other essential tasks such as researching recent market conditions, current prices, and reasonable financing.

Trusting only Certified Business Brokers

With the increasing number of sale brokers out there, you may face challenges identifying which ones are trustworthy and which ones are bogus. To resolve this dilemma, all you need to do is check their certifications and experiences. The main organization that provides business broker certification opportunities is the International Association of Business Brokers (IBBA). A certified business broker should have at least one of these designations:

– Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV)

– Certified Business Appraiser (CBA)

– Accredited Senior Appraiser in Business Valuation (ASA-BV)

– Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA)

Although a certification may be a good sign that a business broker is legitimate and trustworthy, it does not fully guarantee his competence in the field. The broker’s practical experience is also an important aspect to consider in choosing which one to trust. Do some research or ask around for the number of transactions that your prospect broker has successfully closed, as well as some positive feedback regarding his experience in the industry. An insightful business broker can benefit a lot from his or her experiences, such as building significant relationships within the industry and learning from past mistakes. Certification cannot match such benefits and advantages.

While certification is a vital requirement in establishing a broker’s credibility, you should always take into account the experience of a business for sale broker before making a decision. Choose one who has the knowledge and experience that you will not get anywhere else. Don’t you agree that the role and importance of business brokers is essential to both business sellers and buyers?

Using Business Broker In the Franchising Industry for Franchise Sales

Franchising companies often use Business Broker to help attain sales goals. Here is an interesting fact. Most large Business Broker Chains promote franchises and charge franchises money to join their network and programs. Not chump change either. Then the Broker Network takes all the logos and prominently displays them in ads and websites, and titles, meta tags and key words those pages. So as to attract customers, franchise buyers. But when a franchise buyer calls up, they are sent to the local business broker who secretly hates franchises?

Why? Low success rate? No, high success rates, the broker cannot resell it in the future when it goes South, because it never does. Then he cannot get money to appraise it and put it back on the market and sell it again. In many places the same broker sells the same small business or company over and over again. Yep. That’s right, who wins? The business broker’s buddies in the Community Service Club, the attorney helping the deal along, the accountants doing the books and of course the broker who has an appraisal certificate and of course the appraisals happen to come out where? At the exact price for a quick sale and fat commission.

How fat? Fat enough for the FTC to regulate the pills and ads of such that the broker takes. $20,000 plus. But the broker will say it is hard work? Really? Selling the same company twice, three even sometimes four times is hard work? BS. But of course with franchises, the franchise fee is used to help offset costs from the franchisor’s administration costs so normally the broker can only get $10,000 to 15,000 commission. Gee Whiz whose business is he going to push first? The one with the highest commission, just like a stock broker or financial planner tries to sell insurance annuities first, the commissions are much higher, why, because they are not as good and are harder to sell?

The Business Brokers, they are on their own team, not the buyer who they swear to help or the business seller who they listed the business. Nope, and then there is the franchisor. He/She has given them use of their brand name to use on a website and they take that and use that Federal trademark to attract buyers and then switch the buyer to a higher commission. And what about the franchisors who are only willing to pay a reasonable sum such as $4,000-$6,000 commission (actually finders fee) on a $20,000 franchise fee? Well those good franchisors businesses never get promoted and never get sold, yet they are being the most true to their team and systems by keeping commissions low and saving money to in turn better their franchise system. So the business brokers charge the franchisors lots of money, bait and switch call ins for a particular franchise for a dry cleaners or a car wash or something they can turn a huge commission and quick buck on.

And they can give earnings claims since they are simply a finders fee player, if you do not believe this happens check out a recent FTC opinion on business brokers. Then the business brokers knowing the tough nature of the franchising industry tell buyers that the franchises are no good and to ask how much income the buyer will make and if the franchisor cannot answer don’t buy it. But in franchising we have laws about earnings claims where as business brokers do not. They have accounting and books to show the buyers of businesses who come into the business brokers offices.

But alas, everyone knows when the original owners of a business leave the volume drops a minimum of 20% because the new owner is not a familiar face, thus the old customers start shopping around and the excuse is they have no loyalty to the new buyer, since they always did business with Bob or Sam or the Smith family, you see? It gets worse the business brokers have a disclaimer that says when you buy a business that you realize they are not liable for any information given to you during the sale? Interesting since they are the appraisers, know the history, tell you that the franchisors are not to be trusted since they do not for the most part give comprehensive sets of earnings claims. Why? Due to lawyers and lawsuits and in adequate and unverifiable data and loss of proprietary information in disclosures.

So the business brokers use this fact to entice franchisors to list with them take their money knowing franchisors have to sell with their hands tied behind their backs then use their band name to attract buyers, then bait and switch the customers and have them sign a form stating the information might be here say (standard in the industry) check it out, and then to top it all off sell someone something that will not work and then in a year or two it is back on the market with guess who? The same broker.

I once had a discussion with some lawyers on the ABA Forum for Franchising discussing brokers and even they were unaware of this problem. You know more franchisors should be smarter and look into this. The FTC should not allow business brokers to do things that franchisors cannot. Actually they should let both do what the brokers do, but all should be truthful when doing so. Too many laws, too many loop holes, not enough jobs, not enough sales to build systems fast enough to build the economies of scale to compete with the Wal-Marts of the world. Franchising could deliver that level of fierce market competition regionally with economies of scale buying power and team work while giving back to the communities they serve and keeping the money local, but not with over regulation state by state and the inconsistencies in Canada, and with the FTC. We are allowing bad policies to dictate loopholes and never leveling the playing field, which shouldn’t have been titled in the first place. How can every one not see what is so obvious. The business brokers are using extortion to get franchisors to sign up, because they can play by different rules. It would be like playing a chess match when the opponent has two queens, Yes if you are smart you can beat them, but not often. No one knows how to deal with this problem I have stated. But I do.

Dust the over burdensome regulation and you will not find everyone trying to go around them. We are not helping consumers we are killing franchise systems and killing the franchisees (also consumer) and franchisors already out there trying to build back the job base, which is just over 2/3 of all people employed are employed by small businesses. You know the franchising model is a perfect way to build efficiency into the small businesses of the future so that they can compete with global products produced for less money and with big box stores supplying consumers with everything but giving little back to help the communities (in most cases). I hope this commentary was thought provoking, if you have any questions about it, go find out for yourself. I have had much experience with this and I know what is going on.

Surely, someone in the government regulatory area has a clue? Well, maybe not so surely, but maybe one? I bet nothing ever happens over this issue. So you consumers should stay heads up and if you call a business broker because they say they represent a franchise system, you may want to call that franchise system directly if the broker starts trying to coax you into a non-franchise business, especially one which has had more than one owner over the years. Franchising works and there is a reason, it will continue to work as long as it is not killed like so many other industries in America. Look at the devastation out there being caused by horrible policy by the frivolous lawsuits by government regulatory bodies.

To find out which business brokers are the most ethical and which business brokers the top franchises use go to; [http://www.Franchising.org].