Selling your small business for the highest possible price is likely the result of many years of persistence and dedication. In fact, this might have been the dream when you launched your company.
But it can be very hard to find buyers for your business if you are not in a position to collect solicited offers or in a hot and popular niche.
The best way to gain access to a larger pool of qualified buyers and a more structured and efficient selling process is by working directly with an experienced business broker.
Much like a real estate agent, a business broker serves as a sort of matchmaking service to bring together sellers and buyers. The expertise of the right business broker can help you to get the highest possible sales price and make the process easier for you. There are several different ways that you can find a business broker.
Practice Your Own Due Diligence
Just as any prospective buyer of your company will do their own due diligence to complete research, you should too. Look at the broker’s experience, background and credentials. Have any complaints been launched against the broker, review the business bureau website and investigate the references provided by the business broker company. Make sure that you ask direct questions about whether or not they have handled this kind of business before.
Keep the Sale A Secret
If you are the chief person in charge of the company, avoid losing key suppliers and staff. Do not tell them that your business is for sale until you and the business broker are ready to move forward. The sale of your company is a very confidential matter and your business broker should have the same approach by ensuring all necessary safeguards are in place to protect the value of your company. One slipped word to your employees, supplier or customers that you’re selling could have negative repercussions for your business operations.
Be Aware of Upfront Fees
Business brokers charge fees ranging from 10% to 15% commission, based on the sale price of your company. But be aware of any broker that is asking you for a significant fee upfront just to complete a business valuation or start any application process. Your business broker should be able to explain their individual process to you before you get started.
Consider the Marketing Plan and How This Will Influence Your Business Sale
Appropriately positioning the sale of your company to motivate and attract the buyers should be your top goal. Make sure that your business broker has a thorough marketing plan, including explanations about marketing strategies that could bring in a number of different types of valuable leads. Your broker should be able to walk you through how they’ve been in situations like this before and have helped people to prepare as effectively as possible. You should have a high level of confidence in your business broker’s ability to sell your company.
Since it’s such a personal issue, but also one that touches on your professional boundaries, you need to retain the services of someone you can trust and someone who has extensive experience in this field. Don’t hesitate to ask questions of the business broker during your initial conversation. You should feel confident and excited about the opportunity to work directly with a broker who knows exactly what they’re doing.