When it comes to finding a good business broker, sometimes it can be hard to know who to trust. Just like any industry, business brokerage has its share of bad actors who give the profession a negative image. Thats why it is extremely important that you know what qualities to look for in a good business broker.
I have taken the liberty to put together a list of things you should be able to expect from a business broker who is “woth his salt”. If you dont see any of these in the broker that you are meeting with you should politely part ways with them and go on about your business. This list is not exhaustive by any means but it should serve you well as a great place to start.
1. A good business broker has the heart of a teacher – If a business broker is serious about earning your business then they must be patient enough to explain themselves well and answer your questions in clear, and easy to understand language. If they are impatient, or refuse to be transparent with you about how they plan to market and sell your business then let that serve as a red flag.
2. A good business broker doesn’t charge upfront fees – I know I may get some pushback from my fellow brokers on this point but I stand by my statement. If a broker is good then they should be confident in their ability to earn their money. Their success should be tied to yours. If you don’t get paid, then they shouldn’t either. Unfortunately, most brokers initiative to sell your business goes out the door with them once they collect an upfront payment from you.
3. A good business broker tells you what you need to hear not what you want to hear – All of us like to have our ego stroked. It’s a part of being human. When it comes to finding a good business broker, however, beware of the “silver tounges” that will tell you whatever you want to hear. It’s very easy to inflate the value of a business to induce an owner to want to sell their business. A good broker, however, is not in the business to list businesses, he’s in it to sell businesses. There is a huge difference. If a broker does a valuation that you think is too low its okay to say so but in the end trust that they are trying to tell you what the market is saying not what you want to hear.
4. A good business broker is a good communicator – Nothing is more unnerving than to have a high level fiduciary relationship with someone that you never hear from or who never returns your phone calls. Everyone gets busy but if a broker cant return a phone call or an email within 24 to 48 hours, then you may have the wrong person representing you.
5. Finally, a good business broker is in it for the long run – When you forge a relationship with a good business broker, his goal should be to earn your business and your friendship. He should strive to earn your good opinion and keep it not just through the day of closing but long after the transaction is done. He knows that his integrity and hardwork makes it very likely that you will tell your friends and family about him and the job he did for you.
I like to think that I embody the traits that I have listed above. If you or someone you know is looking for help in either selling or buying a business, don’t hesitate to give me a call at 919-424-1927. I’d be honored to put my skills and experience to work for you.