How to Choose the Right Business Broker for Selling Your Business

by Shweta Sharma 18th of October, 2023
How to Choose the Right Business Broker for Selling Your Business
How to Choose the Right Business Broker for Selling Your Business

Selling a business can be, to say the least, a roller-coaster of emotions, fluctuating between being daunting, exciting, disappointing, and exhilarating, quite akin to Melbourne’s ever-changing weather. For many business owners, venturing into the sale of their own business can be like steering a second business altogether. It demands acute attention to detail and a deep understanding of the market, which is where a skilled business broker steps in to ease the process. These brokers ensure that the business is primed, well-presented, and rightly marketed to the apt audience, securing an efficient and desired result. The lingering question though remains, how to choose a broker who is just right? Here, we delve into some critical facets to ponder over while making this choice:

Licensing, Education, and Authenticity

Verifying the credentials of a business broker is non-negotiable. It is imperative to ensure that they are members of a reputed industry body such as the Australian Institute of Business Brokers (AIBB). In addition, ascertain if they maintain their qualifications through continuous professional development (CPD) conducted by credible institutions, further testimony to their commitment to adhering to industry standards and best practices.

Market Appraisals - Accuracy 

Knowing how a broker conducts market appraisals can be a deal-breaker. Reliable brokers lean on substantial market comparable data and apply appropriate multiples to EBITDA/PEBITDA based on solid evidence. They should offer a reasonable and grounded valuation, steering clear of inflating numbers just to win your business.

Marketing Strategy

The cornerstone of a successful sale is a broker's marketing strategy. Are they preparing a meticulous information memorandum that paints your business in the best light? Their approach should cover a comprehensive plan delineating where and how they intend to advertise your business, be it on their website or via subscriptions to third-party platforms. It is prudent to inquire about the number of platforms they utilise and if they offer premium advertisement exposure for your business, to reach a broader and more targeted audience.

Selling Brokers vs Listing Brokers

Differentiating between a selling broker and a listing broker is vital. You would want to collaborate with a broker who is passionately immersed in the selling process, not just listing your business indiscriminately. A telling indicator here is their list-to-sell ratio; a commendable ratio signifies a broker’s active engagement in aiding clients to seal successful deals.

Fee Structure

Understanding the broker's fee structure can save you from unexpected shocks later. Generally, brokers charge a listing fee coupled with a commission upon successful completion of the sale. Delve into the specifics of how they allocate these fees in promoting your business and ensure transparency in the dealings.

Balancing Exposure and Confidentiality

Striking the right chord between adequate exposure and maintaining confidentiality is indeed a delicate act. The broker should assure that the business details reach potential buyers while retaining sensitive information, a strategy that safeguards the existing business ecosystem while reaching out to prospective buyers.

Embarking on this journey of selling your business is a monumental step. Taking the time to select a broker who is not only seasoned but also has a well-rounded strategy can make all the difference. The ideal broker would have a proven track record, a robust marketing plan, and a deep network of potential buyers, laying down a pathway for a smooth, efficient, and successful sale. Remember, it’s not just about selling your business; it’s about finding the right steward for its next chapter.

Tags: business broker career selling success

About the author

Shweta Sharma

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