When the owner of a convenience store, bakery, restaurant, janitorial service company or other small Georgia business is ready to retire, it usually is a good idea to hire a business broker to sell business assets. Thats because the sale will be part of a package that includes goodwill also called going business value, according to Peter Siegel, MBA, the Founder & Senior Advisor at BizBen.com, a major website for the sale of California businesses.
Sure, the seller MAY be able to find a buyer and sell without professional help, but because there are so many challenging problems associated with business transfers, it usually is smart to engage a business sales intermediary to launch the campaign and then manage a transaction, Siegel advises.
Even though a hefty fee has to be paid for that service, it’s almost always better to have the intermediary do the work.
The fee can total more than ten percent of the selling price. That seems very costly for many sellers. And they often fear they’ll lose control of a deal if a third party is involved. But for at least seven reasons, most sellers should not trust themselves to handle the sale. Instead, they’re smart to sign a listing with a competent business sales expert. Those seven benefits are:
1. Larger Market of Potential Buyers: Because professional business brokers are in touch with many motivated buyers who are financially qualified, brokers will have a bigger market of potential purchasers to draw from than will most business owners.
2. Handling Unqualified Buyers: Not having to deal with people who are curious about the business, but may not be financially able to buy it, or qualified to run it. Business brokers specialize in making sure the people introduced to your company have some interest and the financial ability to follow up with that interest.
3. Confidentiality. When a seller hires a broker to sell business assets, the professional will know how to keep the intended sale a secret. It usually is important that employees and customers of a business don’t know that it is for sale. The DIY (do it yourself) seller may struggle to maintain confidentiality when responding to buyer inquiries and scheduling showings.
4. Emotional Detachment. The business sales intermediary, as a third party, is usually in a better position to negotiate a deal between a seller and the buyer, than is one of the principals in the deal. Most business owners have an emotional attachment to their business and selling the business can often be a traumatic experience. The business broker can bring an objective perspective to the process and help the seller see the business from the viewpoint of a buyer, resulting in a more realistic understanding of the financial and economic factors being considered by the buyer. Furthermore, it is critical that the business owner not “slack off;” the business must continue to thrive until the sale transaction is complete – because nothing is final until the final closing of escrow. Therefore, the seller should spend as little time as possible on selling the business and as much as possible on running the business to maximize the selling price.
5. Problem-Solving Experience. Professional business brokers know how to overcome problems in selling a Georgia business. The seller, having little experience in deal making, will be less prepared and equipped to recognize and solve deal-killing problems than someone who has been doing this for a while, and earning a living at it.
6. Access to Financing. Finding small business purchase financing has become more difficult in the past few years following the mortgage meltdown and the banking crisis. Unless a business owner knows lenders who cater to that market, such as financial institutions offering SBA loan programs, it’s likely to be very difficult to know how to help a buyer who wants to borrow some of the cash for a down payment and/or working capital. GABB includes lenders who specialize in business acquisition loans and are often able to save a transactions that won’t work unless the buyer can arrange for funding assistance.
7. Higher Selling Price. A good business broker can present the business in an appealing way in order to get a buyer to pay the price desired by the seller. Or at least, close to that price. Not knowing how to manage competitive bidding to increase offering prices, the seller won’t be able to accomplish that objective. Owners who’ve hired agents to sell business offerings often get a higher price than if they’d negotiated for themselves. The difference often is enough to cover the sales commission.
Business owners sometimes think they should take on the campaign of selling their businesses as a do-it-yourself project. But because they usually don’t have the skill, objectivity or experience of a capable business sales intermediary, they usually improve the chances of successfully closing a deal at a desirable price when they hire a professional to manage the process.
About This Contributor: Peter Siegel, MBA is the Founder & Senior Advisor (ProBuy & ProSell Programs) at BizBen.com (established 1994, 8000+ CA businesses for sale, 500 new & refreshed postings/posts daily) works with business buyers, owners/sellers, brokers, agents, investors, & advisors). Reach him direct at 866-270-6278 or 888-212-4747 to discuss strategies regarding buying, selling, (or financing a puchase of) California businesses.Read More
If you ask a business owner what their most previous resource is, they’ll usually give one of a few answers. Money is the most common, while others say their employees, community, or family. What is less stated is the one resource that can never be replenished or gained back – time. Once you waste your time with something, you can never get it back again. Some busier business owners understand this, but newer ones haven’t yet learned how to utilize their time effectively.
Business Coach Jeff Lovejoy of Atlanta spoke about effective Time Management techniques at the Nov. 28 meeting of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers. GABB meetings start at 10:30 a.m. at the Atlanta Realtors Center at 5784 Lake Forrest Dr. NW, Atlanta, GA 30328. The meeting was preceded at 9:45 a.m. with a free networking session with coffee and pastries sponsored by GABB Affiliate Leigh Milton, Senior Vice President, Small Business Administration Lending, of CharterBank.
Business owners that don’t have enough time to do things usually have the same problems: they don’t delegate tasks well, they don’t prioritize tasks, and/or they aren’t well-organized in their day-to-day life. These issues are as simple to fix as they are common; most of the time, you only need to make a slight change in how you accomplish or go about completing certain tasks in order to squeeze more productivity in the time that you use.
Every person responds differently to the many time-management solutions that exist. If you aren’t sure how to go about using your time more effectively, consider applying some of the following tips. That will help you gain a greater understanding of what does and doesn’t work for you.
1. Plan out your day
If you find that your day tends to be rather chaotic, consider investing in a planner and writing out how your day will progress. Don’t try to rigidly adhere to it (since unexpected events can cause your plans to change), but make an effort to stick to it as best as you can. For added effect, sort out your tasks by priority and urgency. This will help you directly visualize the relative importance and impact of each task.
2. Break down large tasks into smaller ones
Having a colossal task in front of you can be very overwhelming. If you have to clean your entire house within a day, you might not even know where to get started. Instead of looking at it as cleaning the house, instead break it down by room. This way, you still get the work done while making it seem much more reasonable.
3. Organize your life
This goes somewhat in hand with item #1, but this tip speaks in a more general sense. If you aren’t using a filing cabinet, get one. If your inventory is a mess, start tracking it. Make use of technology – computers can be your best friend! Organizing your home and business life won’t just make things run more smoothly – it’ll positively affect your psyche. there is a big difference when you come home to a very dirty desk versus a clean one.
Yep, we’re going to say it again. If you don’t know how to tell somebody to do something, learn. You cannot be in four places at once, so find three other employees and tell them to do three of those tasks. Micro-managing is both a morale and a productivity killer, and many bosses fall afoul of this in some way. If your employees can’t be trusted to perform a certain task, that is YOUR fault. Train them well so that they can, and your life will be made so much easier.
5. Don’t strive for perfectionism
Instead, strive for excellence. Pushing your team to do better is a fantastic goal, and one that will enable your business to reach new heights. But straight perfectionism is impossible – we’re only human, after all. Demanding perfection from your team will only contribute to stress and a lack of trust in faith in you as a leader. Business owners who demand perfectionism are also frequently micromanagers; that is a toxic combination that will do a lot of damage to your team’s psyche over the long term.
6. Just say no.
That’s it. The two most powerful words ever spoken, and you can say them at any time. You don’t necessarily need to give a reason for it, either – if you don’t want to do something or don’t want something done, just say no. You are never obligated to say yes to somebody or something.
About Jeff Lovejoy: With more than 25 years of experience building and leading corporate teams in the financial industry under his belt, Jeff brings a passion like no other to the practice he formed in 2008 as a Public Speaker and Business Coach with ActionCOACH.
Jeff has found that a great many smart people are unable to find their way to true success. While their innate or developed skills and talents have carried them to a point of significant achievement, they still can’t quite reach that golden ring.
By helping them define and develop processes and systems and an infrastructure to support their goals, Jeff helps clients in closing that final gap, often reaching culmination in both their professional and personal life.