Choosing a Business Broker or M&A firm to sell your company is an important decision. There are many good Business Brokers and M&A firms out there but just because they’re good doesn’t mean they are the right fit to sell your company. In the 11 tips below, we’ll discuss some of the criteria that are important to consider when selecting the right company to sell your business. We’ll start with tips for selecting a good business broker or M&A firm in general. Then we’ll give you some recommendations of things to consider for selecting the right advisory firm to sell your specific company.
1. How long has the Business Brokerage or M&A firm been in Business?
It’s important that the Business Brokerage firm that you select has been around for a long time. We recommend at least 10 years. Business Brokers & M&A firms come and go and the last thing you want is a firm representing you that goes out of business in the middle of your sales process. Also, the fact that a firm has been around for a while is an indication that they’ve been successful and are more likely to be successful in selling your company.
2. What are their Reviews like?
You want to check their reviews on Google and Linkedin to make sure they have happy customers. It’s become a common practice for hiring anyone important to check their reviews. In addition to written reviews are their video testimonials on their website?
What types of marketing do they do? We recommend selecting someone that does both inbound marketing with internet advertising to attract potential buyers as well as proactive marketing to contact potential buyers. Some firms will only do one or the other. Also, do they use social media for marketing such as Linkedin, YouTube, Facebook, etc? Make sure they advertise on all of the large sites such as BizBuysell, Businessesforsale.com, BizQuest, Dealstream, and BusinessBroker.net. In addition, do they advertise on Google, Bing, and Yahoo?
4. Buyer Database
In addition to advertising, you want a Firm that has established relationships with potential buyers that they can contact. You want them to have contacts in your industry as well as related industries, private equity groups, and wealthy entrepreneurs. Find out how large their database of potential buyers is. We recommend that they have at least 10,000 to 20,000 potential buyers or more. When selling a business you typically need to speak with a large number of potential buyers to narrow it down to the ones that are qualified and serious about your particular business. The more solid qualified potential buyers you have is the more leverage your M&A Firm or Broker will have in negotiating the best price and terms.
5. Fee Structure
We feel that it’s important to pick a Broker that doesn’t charge an upfront fee. They ought to be successful enough to make a good living based solely on closing businesses as opposed to relying on fees to pay for their marketing costs and other expenses. In addition, with no upfront fee, there is no incentive for them to take the assignment to sell your business unless they think they’ll be successful.
It’s important to make sure the Business Broker will be protecting the confidentiality of the sale of your business. Realtors will advertise the name of the business and location so you want to choose a Business Broker that has potential buyers sign confidentiality agreements and provide getting qualifications before the details are released on your business.
The International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) and M&A Source are the biggest associations that you can look to see if they are members of. In addition are they members of State or regional Business Broker Associations as well as Chamber of Commerce members.
If you are selling a company with well over $1Million in revenue you probably want a Business Brokerage firm that has Brokers in multiple states and has relationships with potential buyers throughout the United States as well as overseas.
9. Review their Website in detail
Is it well designed to encourage buyers to view their listings? Do they have ways in which buyers can search on different businesses for sale by different criteria? Read their blogs and articles to see whether the writing is well thought out and written professionally. Make sure you review the backgrounds of the Brokers. Does their website come up high in searches on google? If you can find them easily so can buyers. Are their videos of their team members so you can get a sense for them before you speak with them? Do they have stated Values and Principles and do you agree with them?
10. Sold Businesses and Businesses for sale?
You should look to see if they have sold companies that are similar to yours. And, do they currently have businesses for sale that are similar to yours in terms of size and industry? Do they seem to focus on companies similar to your companies size and industry? If so, they probably have potential buyers for your company and are more likely to sell your business quickly and at a better price.
11. Contact Business Brokers and M&A firms to form a relationship
Now that you’ve done your research and narrowed it down to Brokers that seem like the best candidates it’s important to have a detailed conversation with them. Do they seem to understand your business? Do you like them? This is important for a couple of reasons.
You’ll be working with them for anywhere from a few months to a year or more so you want someone that you will work well with. A collaborative effort is the best way to sell a business because no one knows more about your business than you and you’ll need to rely on your Business Broker for their expertise in the process of selling your business.
The other reason you want a Business Broker that you like working with is that if you like them chances are the potential buyers will also. Personal skills are important and many things come up that need to be negotiated. You want someone that can keep things moving forward. The best way to do that is to keep the conversation open and not let emotions get in the way of closing a deal.
Synergy Business Brokers M&A
We hope these tips have been helpful for you in choosing a Business Broker/M&A firm. To give you some background on us: We focus on selling companies with annual revenues of $600,000 to $40 Million in technology, distribution, construction, manufacturing, healthcare, services, engineering, education, and transportation. If you own a profitable company that fits these criteria we provide a confidential consultation with no fee until your business is sold.
We’ll get to know you and your company and you can see if we might a good fit to sell your company. Since we only charge a fee if we sell your company, we only take on assignments that we feel confident that we can be successful in meeting your goals in terms of pricing. After we review your financial information we’ll give you an idea of a potential selling price before we begin marketing your company to make sure we’re in the same ballpark.
Do your Research on us
We have been in business for over 16 years and have established relationships with potential buyers throughout the country and overseas. We have a potential buyer database of over 24,000 and are members of the IBBA, M&A Source, and many local and regional business broker associations and chambers of commerce. You can also read our article on combining the best practices of M&A Firms and Business Brokers. We sell businesses in the Northeast, the Mid-Atlantic, the South, the Midwest, and in locations throughout the US as well as selectively worldwide.
We look forward to hearing from you. If we are a good fit we’ll look to establish a great relationship with you to collaborate on selling your company. To get started please fill out our online form, email us at [email protected] or call (888) 750-5950. One of our M&A Business Brokers will follow up with you.