Matt Wochele CBI (Certified Business Intermediary) founded Preferred Business Brokers, Inc., in 1996 after a successful 17-year career in the investment banking industry. He is a life member of the Georgia Association of Business Brokers Million Dollar Club, membership chairman of the GABB board, a GABB Phoenix Award recipient and a member of the International Business Brokers Association. As president and managing broker of Preferred he has had the opportunity to be personally involved in hundreds of private business sales. The combined personal experience in the public sector with the private business sales has positioned the company to handle both the smaller main street business deals and the larger middle market business acquisitions. Matt and his wife Kathy, a professional artist, live in Sandy Springs.
What area do you specialize in as a business broker?
Our firm specializes in general business brokerage. What this means to the public is that we are intimately familiar, experienced and knowledgeable in selling private businesses. Our approach is to recognize that while the industry might vary, understanding the business model, financials and how to market the individual business or practice is not that different. We believe this gives us a large advantage in being able to put buyers and sellers together. It has been proven time and again that most buyers have certain ideas and parameters on what they are looking for in a purchase but have not necessarily narrowed it down to one industry. Also, most buyers come from outside the particular industry of the business.
What led you to business brokering?
After spending 17 years working with larger public companies as an investment banker I wanted to take that knowledge and be more involved in the main street business sales. The personal connections in helping smaller private business owners and buyers achieve their goals were important to me. It made me feel like I was making a difference with people who I got to know on an individual basis.
What have you accomplished this year as a GABB Board member?
This year has been a challenging year with COVID-19. As a board member I am fortunate to be part of a team made up of individuals who care about the GABB members and serving the public. Our goals were centered on education and giving value to our membership. It is important to us to keep the membership engaged with business brokering. The business owners who are ready to sell and the buyers who are looking to buy are still out there. We need to be on top of our game to help them navigate through this time to get them to the closing table.
How has the GABB helped you improve as a professional business broker?
There is no question that being a member of the GABB has greatly enhanced my professional career as a business broker. The endless opportunities to share the latest knowledge and networking so that I may better serve my clients is invaluable.
What advice would you give to people who are trying to build a business brokering practice?
Get a mentor. There is no room for error in representing someone’s sale of their business. Educate yourself in all aspects of our trade.
What habits do you have that you think make you successful?
I would say number one is listening to the wants and needs of our clients. Once you have a clear picture of your mission then it’s a matter of putting in the work. Being thorough and responsive when it comes to dealing with all the individuals involved in making a sale happen is key. We all need each other. I think we exhibit a strong ability to bring deals and people together.
What else would you like to tell us?
My personal philosophy is to never stop learning or growing as an individual and a professional. This covers a lot of ground, but that’s what makes most things exciting and worthwhile. This enables me to give back to those coming up behind me so that the standards of growth and success are constantly being raised for the benefit of all.