Choosing to sell your business is already a big decision. Picking which business broker is going to help you sell your company is just as critical, and can drastically affect the outcome. Even if you have a great business that should attract a lot of suitors, if the right broker isn’t involved then the proper potential buyers may not be sought out.
There are certain qualities to look for in a business broker to ensure that the sale of your small business goes smoothly.
#1 - Experience matters
Having a business broker with a proven track record is vital. You want the sale of your company to be in the hands of someone who is proven and knows the lay of the land. One way to ensure that a broker has adequate experience is to go through the International Business Brokers Association, which has a number of requirements for admission. Most importantly, in order to be considered brokers have to have been working for several years as well as have the necessary classroom training.
#2 – Find a good fit financially
In theory it makes sense to get a high-powered broker who is used to handling large accounts, but you want to find someone to work with that is more in your wheelhouse. If you’re looking to sell for around $5 million then don’t go after brokers who handle companies that are more in the $20 million range. Most likely your account will get pushed to the bottom of their pile and will not receive the right amount of attention that your business needs. One way to ensure that your company’s sale is a priority is to choose a broker who deals with accounts similar to yours.
#3 – Stay involved throughout the process
A broker could have the best reviews in the world and brokered a number of great deals, but if you don’t trust him then it’s going to be very hard to work with him. Much of business is good chemistry, and when you decide to sell your company you want to put it in the hands of someone you can trust. After each meeting do a gut check and ask yourself if you could see yourself working closely with this person. If you have any hesitation then chances are you should just move on to the next one.