Is Your Business Broker Working for You or Themselves?
I think this is a fair question every business buyer and seller must ask their business broker prior to working with them to buy or sell a business. I raise this question because I see so many individuals become business brokers because they think business transactions is a viable sideline. It is not. The best in this game are 100% dedicated to their craft.
Here are some brokers, names excluded to protect the guilty, who I continually receive complaints about:
Broker #1: Owns a portrait studio as his main business. Contact with clients is almost always through their admin. Seldom answers or returns calls because they are busy taking photographs of his real clients.
Broker #2: Spends time as an expert witness and providing litigation support. Difficult to schedule meetings with because they are often traveling out of town.
Broker #3: Owns an equipment valuation franchise. Difficult to schedule meetings with because they are often traveling out of town and has no supporting staff for backup.
Broker #4: Sells predominately commercial real estate. Lists many businesses and sells very few. Very weak on packaging and marketing businesses because their marketing efforts are passive such as those typically used by commercial realtors.
Broker #5: Came from corporate America and bought a franchise. They never owned their own business let alone bought or sold a business for themselves.
Broker #6: Young and poorly trained. Breaches confidentiality by handing out names of businesses for sale to buyers without the proper paperwork, i.e., non-disclosure agreements and financial verification.
What do each of these brokers have in common? Either by time commitment or educational commitment, they only have one foot in the business brokerage industry.
Me: I work exclusively with buyers and sellers to transact businesses. I return calls personally. My assistance is back office support only. When I am out of town, it is for education/training on business sales or an out of town buyer or seller looking to transact a business. I actively market businesses to a wide number of prospective business buyers through email marketing, social media and affiliations with other brokers. I have owned, bought and sold businesses for myself. And, finally, I stick to the process. Protecting confidentiality and exuding professionalism are keys to success in this business and I am committed to both.
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