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What Should I Be Looking For When Choosing A Business Broker?



Putting together an all-star team is important whether you are buying or selling a business. One of, if not the most important member of your team is your broker. Before you can find a good broker you have to know what to look for. The business for sale market is littered with average brokers, but that could be said for most industries. Not everyone can be among the best regardless of the industry, but the best business brokers and agents share the following:

* Industry Experience: You should be looking for a broker who specializes in selling businesses that are similar to yours or in your industry. Even the best and most talented brokers might have trouble selling your business simply because they lack experience in your industry. They should also have experience in your geographical area and with businesses in your price range or at the value your business has been appraised at.

* A Track Record That Can Be Verified: Beware of a prospective broker if he's unable or unwilling to provide contact information of satisfied sellers of similar businesses. Once you have this information make sure you actually follow up.

* Local Connections: Any broker who says they can sell your business all by him or herself is a recipe for disaster. Good brokers have relationships with lawyers, accountants due diligence professionals, valuation experts and other local professionals.

* Truthfulness: Pricing is the most common reason business for sale transactions fall apart. But sometimes, some brokers tell their clients what they think their clients want to hear, which can result in the sale process dragging longer than it has to. The best brokers are upfront about values, pricing and other sensitive issues despite the fact that it might not be the news their clients want to hear.

To add to Peter's list --

* A Pleasing Personality: The broker needs to "resonate" with buyers, by being friendly, open, honest, and "nurturing", especially for the first-time business buyer who needs education and guidance.

* Business Ownership Experience: In my experience, it is very valuable for a broker to have a rapport with the business owner, based on personal experience with the financial, logistic, emotional, and psychological dimensions of an entrepreneur selling a business. No one who has not gone through that process can truly counsel a business owner in all the aspects of a sale.

* Availability: The seller should have the broker's personal cell phone number for voice and text, should have direct access to the broker's personal assistant, and should know that prospective buyers are going to have their phone calls answered by a live person, not an impersonal automated systems.

To add to Peter's list --

* A Pleasing Personality: The broker needs to "resonate" with buyers, by being friendly, open, honest, and "nurturing", especially for the first-time business buyer who needs education and guidance.

* Business Ownership Experience: In my experience, it is very valuable for a broker to have a rapport with the business owner, based on personal experience with the financial, logistic, emotional, and psychological dimensions of an entrepreneur selling a business. No one who has not gone through that process can truly counsel a business owner in all the aspects of a sale.

* Availability: The seller should have the broker's personal cell phone number for voice and text, should have direct access to the broker's personal assistant, and should know that prospective buyers are going to have their phone calls answered by a live person, not an impersonal automated systems.

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