Great Broker/Bad Broker: How Asking Questions Ensures The Best Help

Like any industry, there are great business brokers and there are those who shouldn’t even call themselves business brokers.


How do you ensure that the broker you choose to list or buy with is one of the great ones?



Ask questions.


What kinds of partnerships do they have with other brokers and with broker’s associations?


If a broker is a lone-wolf of sorts with no industry connections, they might have a tough time properly marketing your business or getting access to the listings you are interested in.


How many transactions have they closed in the last year?


If a broker has only closed one business transaction in the last year (or none at all), they are likely not the broker for you. Results will speak volumes about work ethic and knowledge of the industry.


Do they work in a very large office with many brokers, or do they work in a much smaller brokerage?


The benefits of choosing a broker that is part of a much larger firm may be the associations with other brokers that they have in-house. This might give you access to more listings and more potential buyers. Just remember to ask about a broker’s individual results. The firm they work for may have sold 50 businesses last year, but they may have only been responsible for one. On the other hand, there are some in the industry (usually those who are part of a very large office) who will tell you that using a one man shop or a small brokerage is a mistake. This is not necessarily the case. Look at results and inquire about the industry associations they have. A one man shop or a small brokerage might be your best bet because they are able to achieve success without the backing of a larger firm – a surefire testimony to how they work.


Are they really a business broker?


This might sound like a ridiculous question to ask, but it is an important one. Some involved in the real estate industry will try to help clients with buying and selling businesses while they are working on home and property listings. Selling a house and selling a business are two completely different animals. You might have a great realtor, but that doesn’t mean that they will know the first thing about a business transaction. Other types of professionals may try to broker business transactions as a side business. Business brokers are specialists and their field, so use an actual business broker for any business transaction if you want to ensure success.


Are past clients happy?


Look for a business broker with positive reviews and testimonials from former clients. Ask about whether they have repeat clients, and if they have any references. Also inquire about how they get the majority of their new business. If it comes from referrals, then you know they are good at what they do.


As with any major business decision, do your homework. The right choice of business broker can make your buying or selling experience a very positive one.


Are you a buyer or seller and want to know more about how to choose a business broker? Would you like to know more about how we help our clients through a business transaction? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.




Michael Monnot



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Don’t Tell ANYONE: Why Business Sellers Need To Keep Confidentiality In Place

If you’ve ever bought or sold a home, you know that the key to getting a property to the closing table is getting the word out that the property is for sale. As the seller of a home, you want people looking at your listing, perusing the pictures of the home inside and out, finding the home on a map and taking a drive by to check it out.


Isn’t the same true when you want to sell your business?





Business sales and real estate sales are two completely different animals. If you tell just a few people that your business is for sale the consequences can be devastating. People love a rumor and a bit of gossip, so if a few people know about your for-sale status it won’t take long for everyone to know your business is on the market.


Why is it a bad thing?


It will hurt your bottom line.


The time period from when you list your business to the day you reach the closing table should be a time period when you really push your numbers in a positive direction. Businesses with healthy numbers, with a good and stable list of clients and businesses with projected numbers on the rise are typically going to sell faster and for more money than those on a down-slide. It is imperative that you protect your business from anything that could cause problems with your bottom line – the major culprit in this sensitive time being a breach in confidentiality.


What could happen if confidentiality is breached?


Employees, nervous about the future under new ownership can leave and take their regular clientele with them. Vendors can decide to revoke perks you’ve had or cancel contracts. Customers may look elsewhere for their services because they worry about whether the quality they have come to expect from you will be the same under new management.


How can I keep my business sale under wraps?


Don’t tell anyone the business is for sale. Period. The only way that someone should be able to find out your business is on the market is if they get in touch with your business broker and sign the appropriate non-disclosure agreements. You shouldn’t talk about your business sale with your child’s elementary school teacher, the mailman or anyone else who is not your broker, transaction accountant, or transaction attorney.


Keep your business sale out of the rumor-mill by using the services of an experienced and qualified business broker – and don’t tell ANYONE. 


Are you thinking about selling and are concerned about confidentiality? Do you have questions about how your business broker can both market your business to potential buyers and also maintain confidentiality? Ask us! Please leave us a comment or question here and we can address any concerns you might have.




Michael Monnot


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You Don’t Want Us To Tell You What You Want To Hear: Choosing A Business Broker

When it comes to selling your business one of the most critical decisions you’ll make is selecting the right business broker. A trustworthy and experienced broker can be your guiding light through the complex process of selling your business.


One of the first things you’ll discuss with potential brokers is a listing price for your business. A caveat here: not all brokers are created equal – and it’s imperative to choose one who tells you the unvarnished truth about what your business is worth.


It does you no good to go with a broker who only tells you what you want to hear. 


Why would a broker tell you what you want to hear instead of listing your business for a realistic price? Your listing benefits them whether your business sells or not. 



A business broker who lets you list your business for whatever you want only wants your listing because the listing generates calls from potential buyers. Those potential buyers aren’t going to go for your absurdly priced business, but the broker doesn’t care because they can just offer those buyers a different listing that’s more reasonably priced. This is an important (but ugly) part of the business-for-sale market that’s important for you to understand when you’re deciding on a broker. The broker who pushes back, who is brutally honest and has the rationale to backup their thoughts is far, far better for your success than the guy who tells you yes to anything. 


Here’s why:


Many business owners understandably have a strong emotional attachment to their business. You’ve likely put in countless hours and your blood, sweat and tears. Consequently, you may overestimate the value of your business based on sentiment rather than a realistic assessment of market conditions, financials and other objective factors. This is where a blunt business broker becomes invaluable.


A broker who actually has your success as the primary goal will conduct a thorough and objective business valuation based on market trends, financial data and industry benchmarks. They won’t inflate the value to appease your expectations, but rather provide an accurate assessment, even if it’s less than what you had hoped for.


While it’s natural to want a ton of money for your business, a good broker will help you set realistic expectations. Look for someone who backs up their thoughts with real metrics and has your best interest at heart, whether you like what you hear or not.


Would you like to know what businesses like yours are currently selling for? Do you have questions about how we help you put together a realistic listing price for your business? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.




Michael Monnot


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Buyer + Seller Beware: Make Sure Your Business Broker Is Really A Broker

Selling or buying a business is a significant decision. It requires careful consideration and expertise. Many entrepreneurs and business owners turn to business brokers to navigate this complex process. However, not all business brokers are created equal, and one critical factor to consider is whether the broker is really a broker.



What do we mean by that?


Many, many “brokers” aren’t business brokers at all. They’re real estate agents, attorneys – even dentists who “help” people buy and sell businesses on the side. You do not want a fly-by-night, part-time broker. You want an experienced and qualified full-time professional. Using someone who isn’t actually a business broker to help you buy or sell a business would be like going to your CPA to fix a toothache.




Part-time business brokers, as the name suggests, have other commitments outside of brokering deals. This limited availability can lead to slow response times and delayed communication. When you’re in the midst of a business transaction, time is of the essence and delays can be costly. A full-time broker is more likely to prioritize your deal and provide the attention it deserves.


Business transactions involve a multitude of legal, financial and operational complexities. A part-time business broker may not have the same depth of knowledge, experience or industry connections as their full-time counterparts. Selling or buying a business often requires specialized expertise, which a part-time broker may not be able to provide.


The business landscape is constantly evolving, and staying updated with industry trends, regulations and market conditions is crucial. Part-time brokers may struggle to keep pace with these changes due to their limited exposure to the market. A full-time broker is more likely to have their finger on the pulse of the industry, giving you a better understanding of current market dynamics.


One of the key benefits of working with a business broker is their network of potential buyers or sellers. A full-time broker has more time and resources to build and maintain a broad and diverse network. This extensive network can lead to more opportunities and a higher likelihood of finding the right buyer or seller for your business.


Successful business transactions often require substantial resources, including marketing, legal support and financial analysis. Part-time brokers may not have the resources or connections needed to provide these services adequately. In contrast, full-time brokers are more likely to have established relationships with professionals who can support the transaction process.


While part-time business brokers may be well-intentioned – their limitations in terms of availability, expertise and resources can pose significant risks when it comes to selling or buying a business. Work with a full-time, experienced and qualified business broker who can provide the dedication and expertise needed to achieve a successful outcome. 


Are you looking at buying or selling a business and didn’t know that some “business brokers” aren’t business brokers at all? Would you like to know more about how we (as full time, experienced and qualified brokers) can better assist you through the transaction process? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.




Michael Monnot


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Unlocking New Opportunities: How Business Sellers Can Benefit From Immigrant Entrepreneurs

As the global marketplace continues to expand, business sellers have a unique opportunity to tap into a large pool of motivated and ambitious buyers – immigrant entrepreneurs. 



The E2 Visa and EB-5 Visa programs offer a pathway for foreign investors to obtain residency in the United States through entrepreneurship and business ownership. While not all small businesses will meet the qualifications for these visa programs, many do. Talk to your business broker about your business to see if it would work for someone looking to fulfill the requirements for an entrepreneur visa. 


Utilizing the E2 and EB-5 Visa programs allows business sellers to widen their potential buyer pool significantly. Immigrant entrepreneurs seeking to relocate to the United States often prefer to invest in established businesses rather than starting from scratch. By considering visa applicants as potential buyers, sellers increase their chances of finding motivated individuals willing to invest in an existing business with a proven track record.


Another benefit to business sellers? Immigrant entrepreneurs participating in the E2 or EB-5 Visa programs are often more decisive when it comes to making a business purchase. As these individuals have specific visa requirements to fulfill, they are more likely to expedite the buying process to meet the necessary deadlines. This increased sense of urgency can speed up the sale and ensure a smoother transition for the seller and the business – even when taking into account delays that can happen because of the necessary bureaucracy when dealing with consulates and immigration officials. 


Business sellers may find that immigrant entrepreneurs are also willing to offer more favorable terms during negotiations. For these individuals, securing a successful business is often tied to their immigration status, making them more willing to meet the seller’s asking price or agree to specific terms. This mutually beneficial arrangement can lead to a win-win situation for both parties involved.


For small business owners looking to retire or move on to other ventures, the E2 and EB-5 Visa programs offer an ideal solution to ensure the continuity of their business. By selling to an immigrant entrepreneur, sellers can preserve their business’s legacy and ensure that their hard work and dedication continue to flourish under new ownership.


How? Immigrant entrepreneurs bring with them a wealth of diverse perspectives, experiences, and skills. By selling their business to someone from a different cultural background, sellers open the door to fresh ideas, innovative strategies, and potentially new international markets. Embracing diversity can lead to growth opportunities and increased competitiveness for the business in the long run.


Business sellers stand to gain significant benefits by considering immigrant entrepreneurs as potential buyers for their small businesses. Beyond just a financial transaction, this presents an opportunity for sellers to leave a lasting impact on their business and contribute positively to the American entrepreneurial landscape. Ask your business broker if your business would qualify a visa for the global community of business buyers.  


Are you thinking about selling your business and haven’t thought about the immigrant entrepreneur buyer pool? Would you like to know if your business would qualify for the E2 or EB-5 Visa programs? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.




Michael Monnot


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The First Impression – Preparing The Physical Location Of Your Business For Sale

First impressions matter. When it comes to selling your business, the optics and condition of your physical location will play a pivotal role in making a lasting impression on potential buyers. If you are serious about selling your business you need to ensure that your physical location looks its best.


Here are some thoughts on how to get it ready:



The first step in preparing your physical location is to ensure it is clean, well-maintained and aesthetically pleasing. Consider investing in a thorough deep cleaning of the premises – including floors, walls, windows and all equipment. Address any necessary repairs such as leaky faucets, broken lights or chipped paint. A well-kept location reflects positively on the overall state of your business. Why?  If you’ve let aesthetic issues slide it can make buyers wonder what else you’ve ignored.


You might be a horizontal filer and know where everything is in the piles of junk littering the corners of your business – but when the time comes to sell you have to understand that a cluttered and disorganized space can be a major turn-off for potential buyers. Streamline your physical location by decluttering areas, removing unnecessary items and organizing storage spaces. 


Take some time before your business is listed to create a comprehensive inventory of all assets and equipment included in the sale. Provide detailed information about their condition, age and any warranties or service agreements. This documentation gives buyers a clear understanding of the tangible assets they will acquire, and this mental inventory of what you’re selling can help you see what needs cleaning and/or maintenance before buyers come through. 


Don’t forget that it’s not just the inside of the business that matters. Curb appeal can significantly impact a potential buyer’s perception of your business. Invest in exterior improvements like landscaping, fresh paint and well-maintained signage. A visually appealing exterior has the same effect that a well-maintained interior does – it tells buyers that you take good care of all aspects of your business. 


Getting your business’s physical location ready for sale requires careful attention to detail and a focus on presenting the space in its best light. A clean, organized and visually appealing space enhances the overall perception of your business and its potential. 


Have you considered selling your business and want advice on what you need to fix or replace before you list your business for sale? Do you have questions about what types of feedback buyers give after seeing physical locations for the first time? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.




Michael Monnot



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Selling Your Business? The Benefits Of Offering Seller Financing

As a small business seller you might find that attracting potential buyers can be a challenging task, especially in a competitive market. Offering seller financing can be a strategic move that sets your business apart from the rest. 



Why should I offer seller financing?


Seller financing opens the door to a larger pool of prospective buyers. Many aspiring entrepreneurs, especially those with limited access to traditional bank loans or significant upfront capital, often seek businesses that offer financing. By providing this option, you can attract buyers who may otherwise be unable to make an all-cash purchase.


Offering seller financing also signals your confidence in the long-term viability and potential of your business. This vote of confidence can instill trust in buyers, making them more comfortable with their investment decision. Your willingness to finance a portion of the purchase price speaks volumes about the business’s stability and growth prospects.


Additionally, seller financing provides sellers with an advantage during negotiations. You can potentially command a higher selling price or better terms by offering financing. Buyers may be willing to pay a premium for the convenience of structured payments over time, which can work in your favor when closing the deal. Another bonus? As the buyer makes regular payments you receive consistent cash flow, which can be particularly beneficial if you plan to retire or invest in other ventures. This passive income can provide a safety net and financial stability after the business transfer.


Offering seller financing can be a savvy move for small business sellers seeking to attract buyers and secure a favorable deal. This arrangement not only expands the pool of potential buyers but also demonstrates your belief in the business’s potential and provides you with a steady income stream. Ultimately, embracing this flexible approach can empower the success of your business sale while fostering a positive and productive relationship with the new owner.


Are you thinking about selling your business and hadn’t considered offering seller financing? Would you like to know more about what a typical seller financed deal looks like? Ask us! Feel free to leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.




Michael Monnot


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Navigating the Storm: How Small Business Sellers Can Handle Difficult Buyer Questions

Selling your business might seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. With a bit of preparation you can face anything – even challenging questions from potential buyers.


Handling difficult questions with confidence and transparency is essential to build trust and ensure a successful sale.


Here are some valuable tips on how small business sellers can adeptly handle tough buyer questions:



Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Anticipate potential difficult questions from buyers and prepare thorough answers in advance. Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your business and be ready to address any concerns. A well-prepared response demonstrates your knowledge and commitment to the business, instilling confidence in the buyer.


Honesty & Transparency

Honesty is the best policy. If a buyer asks about any shortcomings or challenges your business faces, don’t shy away from discussing them openly. Presenting an accurate and transparent picture shows that you have nothing to hide and can help build credibility with the buyer. There is no such thing as a perfect business, so issues are always part of the deal.


Focus On Positives

While addressing difficult questions, don’t forget to highlight the positives of your business. Emphasize its strengths, achievements and unique selling points. Providing a balanced view that showcases the business’s potential can help offset concerns and showcase its true value.


Listen, Listen, Listen

Listen carefully to the buyer’s questions and concerns. Avoid interrupting or becoming defensive. Active listening allows you to understand the buyer’s perspective better, and it shows that you respect their opinions and considerations.


Ask Your Broker For Help

In complex situations the advice from your business broker can be immensely valuable. They can help you navigate and prepare for challenging questions, provide expert insights and ensure that your responses align with ethical standards.


Keep Your Composure

Dealing with difficult questions can be stressful, but it’s crucial to remain calm and composed throughout the process. Avoid getting emotional or defensive, as it can create an unfavorable impression. Remember that challenging questions are a natural part of any business transaction and handling them with professionalism is key.


Give Facts

Back up your answers with concrete data, such as financial records, sales figures and market research. Providing verifiable information adds credibility to your responses and reinforces the business’s performance and potential.


Talk About Growth

Incorporate a clear vision of future growth and expansion opportunities for the business. Buyers are often interested in a company’s potential for long-term success, so demonstrating a well-thought-out growth strategy can be a major selling point.


The point here is sellers should view difficult buyer questions as opportunities to showcase their business’s strengths. By preparing thoroughly, being transparent and handling inquiries with composure sellers can build trust, encourage interest and ultimately pave the way for a successful business sale. Remember, a positive and confident approach can go a long way in securing the right buyer for your small business.


Are you getting ready to sell your business and want to know what kinds of difficult questions a buyer might ask? Would you like to know more about navigating buyer questions during negotiations? Ask us! Please feel free to leave any questions or comments – we would be happy to help.




Michael Monnot



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Want To Sell Your Business? Why You Can’t Mentally Check Out Just Yet

You are ready for a new chapter in life, so you’ve listed your business for sale. Your thoughts are on a much needed vacation, sipping drinks in a beach chair – but there are good reasons to focus on your business now more than ever.



The biggest reasons?


It can take a long time to sell your business.

It typically takes 9 to 12 months to sell. How much damage can you do by mentally checking out for that long? Probably a lot. Sellers who mentally check out months before they’ve even found a buyer can do real damage to the bottom line. A sudden downturn in sales, losing a major account or falling profits can cause buyers to decrease their valuation of the business when the time comes to negotiate a price. A business with a disconnected seller tells a buyer that no one cares about the stability or future of the business – so why should they?


It might not sell.

It is an unfortunate truth of the business market that some businesses just never sell. It might be because of a lofty listing price that scares buyers off, it might be because the business is too niche, it could be because a seller has a change of heart or a change of circumstance that causes them to pull the business off the market – or it might even be because a seller has let the business slide to train-wreck levels. Whatever the reason for languishing on the market, once you’ve decided not to sell and return to ownership for the foreseeable future, you don’t want to leave yourself with a mess. You should always assume, whether you’re selling or not, that you will always be the owner of the business and maintain full responsibility until the day you hand over the keys.


The moral of the story? Even if you are completely burned out – you need to see your business through to the closing table. If you can push through the sale process while keeping your business in good shape, you will get a far better return on your investment than if you didn’t.

Are you a seller who feels like you need to sell now? Do you want to know how long it would take to get from listing to closing? Ask us! Leave us a comment or question here and we would be happy to help.




Michael Monnot


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Business Sellers – Is Your Broker Protecting Your Business? They Should


If you are considering selling your business you don’t just need help, you need the right help.


You risk way more than you should by sticking a for-sale sign in the window. The powerful misconception that any business for sale is a business on the brink of failure can mean devastating consequences if your for-sale status is revealed. You entire staff can panic and quit. Clients can cancel contracts. Your competition can see a potential sale as a weakness to be exploited. It’s all bad.


How do you get the word out about selling your business without exposing yourself to the downfalls of everyone knowing it’s for sale? An experienced and qualified business broker.


A good broker acts as a shield and a buffer. They keep the for-sale status of your business a closely guarded secret while also marketing your business to potential buyers. They verify every person is who they say they are before they are allowed any access.


How? They actually talk to every potential buyer.


They get real legal names and true physical addresses – then they look people up. They ensure the proper nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) are signed and that everyone understand the rules. They make sure the people who are looking at your business can actually afford it so no one’s time is wasted. They act as a communication buffer between you and a buyer so the deal can stay on track. 


It should go without saying that keeping potentially damaging information out of the wrong hands is extremely important.


Guess what? Not all business brokers do the job the way they should.


There are brokers who essentially robo-send NDAs to anyone who shoots them an email, no questions asked. They never actually speak with buyers, never verify identities or ask about available funds to by a business. These brokers don’t care about your business. They are just using your business to generate calls and emails from any and all buyers – without caring if those buyers are someone who should know about your for-sale status or listing details. 


Avoid these brokers by asking questions – lots of questions – before you list your business. How will this broker ensure confidentiality? Do they require buyers to identify who they are before information is disclosed? Do they actually talk to every buyer before sending them the details of your business? They should. 


Are you considering selling your business and want to know what measures we use to protect the confidentiality of your business and transaction? Would you like to know more about the questions we ask potential buyers? Ask us! Please leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.




Michael Monnot



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Michael Monnot


9040 Town Center Parkway
Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202


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