Why You Should Hire a Business Broker to Sell your Business

By Peter Siegel

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.

Peter Siegel, MBAAbout 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.