Selling your business can be a complex process. It’s not just a question of putting an ad in the paper and finding a buyer. To sell a business for its true value, it needs to be a successful going concern. If clients and employees know that you are planning to sell, they may lose confidence and your business could start to decrease in value before you have achieved a sale. So confidentiality is essential when selling your business.
But if you don’t advertise, how can you find interested buyers? This is where good business brokers are key players.
A good business broker will already have a confidential list of potential buyers at their disposal. They will put together a marketing plan with you and pitch it directly to those contacts that they think are best matched to your business. The advertising that they advise on is likely to be national and will not reveal the identity of the seller. Confidentiality is a given.
When you are looking for a good business broker who can offer a discreet and effective service it makes sense to choose one with a national profile. Even if your business is a local one, this still applies, as the more established national brokers will have access to a wider range of potential buyers. A local, part-time brokerage is likely to have fewer potential buyers or contacts, and is also less likely to be able to maintain confidentiality in a small local community, where word spreads quickly.
Other things to consider when choosing a business broker:
Get referrals – ask professionals that you trust for the name of business brokers with an established track record. Your accountants or lawyer or an industry association should be able to provide you with some names and will also be bound by confidentiality, not to spread the word.
Check out prospective brokers – Ask for references from previous clients, check out their experience and credentials, and find out if they have dealt with your type of business before.
Find a specialist – If your business is a niche or specialist business then find a broker who specializes in the sale of niche businesses. The best way to find a buyer for your business is to select a broker who is a good match – then they will be in a better position to match you to your ideal buyer.
Once you have decided on your business brokers, they will be able to advise you on the best marketing strategy to achieve a sale at a realistic price, while keeping it confidential until the sale is finalized.