The Business Broking Trifecta: Performance, Passion and Profit

by Allan Johnson 25th of January, 2024
The Business Broking Trifecta: Performance, Passion and Profit
The Business Broking Trifecta: Performance, Passion and Profit

Education has been a key feature of life for Travis Latter, the newly appointed education chair at AIBB. His involvement encompasses almost 25 years of experience providing educational opportunities to Australians.

He started his own successful Registered Training Organisation (RTO) 23 years ago, which resulted in a long association with the RTO industry.

“I sold that RTO before becoming the CEO of another RTO. I also consulted to RTOs leading to their purchase by a public company.”

So, how did you transition to business broking?


“About seven years ago, my mate said, ‘Hey Travis, I’m struggling to find somebody who knows anything about selling RTOs. Do you reckon you could help me sell mine?’ I dived into that project and absolutely fell in love with the opportunity.”

“Business broking combines three of my loves - numbers, training and sales. I’ve always thought that being good at something, enjoying it and being able to turn it into money is the trifecta.”

It’s no surprise that Infinity Business Brokers (the business Travis established in 2017) was named the 2022 AIBB Specialist Business Broker of the Year (QLD).

With an impressive record of RTO sales, Infinity Business Brokers has earned the tagline as Australia’s leading RTO sales authority and demonstrates the power of dominating a specific niche within the market. 

What do you regard as keys to a successful brokerage?


Travis attributes much of his success to four elements.

First is strong, clearly defined sales processes designed for his business. Each process encompasses clear objectives and provides a logical “next step” so he and his client understand the current actions required.

Whether a client wants to take a “big picture” approach to the transaction or prefers to focus only on the next step, they have the information to guide them.

“Our processes make me accountable to our client and the other parts of the system,” explained Travis. “Without strong processes that are rigidly followed, things can go pear-shaped very quickly.”

The second element is to always act with the right intent. Travis focuses on acting with honesty, transparency and fairness in all his dealings.

He elaborated on this by saying, “It used to be that people did business with people they liked. Then it became doing business with people you trust. I personally believe that we’ve moved on from that. Now people do business with people they have confidence in.”

Being a reliable provider of the information needed to facilitate a sale will demonstrate all parties can confidently make decisions based on their dealings with Infinity.

Next is a focus on continual servitude. As Travis explained, “My job is to make your job as easy as possible.”

Travis believes cultivating this attitude is vital to maintaining the right intent. “If you adopt an attitude of service to others, you will act honestly, transparently and fairly.”

Continuous improvement is also part of Travis’ philosophy. 

He freely admits he is not perfect, but by striving to learn from any mistakes and seeking opportunities to make small improvements, Travis knows he is better equipped to assist his clients.

The final element is a detachment from the result. 

Travis is quick to clarify, “I don’t mean I don’t care about the result, but by focusing on continuous improvement, serving clients, acting with the right intent and adhering to processes, I achieve more (and happier) results.” 

“By detaching from the result, I can focus on what is really important for a successful outcome.”


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How do you plan to develop education in AIBB?


Travis emphasised the contribution of previous Chairs of the Education Committee, who have worked to establish a strong base for broker education. “I’ve also got a committee around Australia committed to growing education and making members accountable for their own education.”

“I’m trying to take education to the next level because if members are not pushing themselves to develop, other people will leapfrog them. That’s the reality these days. You can’t rely on what you did ten years ago to be better tomorrow.”

Travis agrees that experience is a valuable educator, but many mistakes made while gaining that education can be avoided with targeted professional development.

The Committee has developed a calendar of online and in-person events so brokers can plan their professional development well in advance. In addition to the specialist courses, there will be opportunities for those new to the profession and very experienced brokers.

There will also be opportunities for non-members to participate in two Online Forums during the year.

Travis sees education as an opportunity to enhance further the professional standing of business broking in general and AIBB in particular.

What impact has technology had on business broking?


Travis highlighted online content as a significant change.

“We’ve all got websites listing businesses for sale, so buyers can do more research before talking to us. The typical buyer is more informed about a particular business and other comparable businesses.”

Travis confirmed it is currently a buyers' market, with buyer inquiries down by 22% as a result of the economic and geopolitical conditions. “For business owners, there’s still a hangover from the COVID period, so many are tired and ready to move on.”

With that as a background, Travis emphasised meeting potential buyers wherever they are in the process is critical. 

“Buyers can come into your world at any stage of the process so the broker must have internal processes to maintain the buyer’s interest at any stage. Otherwise, they’ll move on.”

“And AI is going to have an impact,” added Travis. “I’m not just talking about ChatGPT. Broader AI will improve many applications in most businesses. In fact, the March Online Forum will specifically address this for our AIBB members.”

In a buyers’ market, what should sellers be doing?


“It’s always the same in any market,” explained Travis. “Think like a buyer and be prepared to sell well before listing your business. A buyer will have more confidence buying a sale-ready business.”

“This means ensuring the financial statements are up-to-date, where compliance is an issue (like RTOs), ensuring that’s complete, ensuring your systems are operational and be talking to your business broker.”

“Unfortunately, less than 10% of businesses are 100% ready to sell, so consulting with a broker to work on what needs to be done is critical.”

It can take years to identify opportunities to improve the value of the business, implement them and wait for the results to be reflected in the financial statements. Business owners planning to sell the business eventually (and isn’t that most) and wanting to maximise the sale price are advised to speak to a business broker now.

With the broker’s guidance, the groundwork for an orderly and profitable sale will be laid and, quite often, the burden of operating a business can be reduced. Any business operator would welcome the opportunity to experience less stress in their business.    

And, in summary


As with all professions, education to maintain and improve the members' knowledge base is critical to retaining confidence in that profession. While AIBB can provide educational pathways through the Education Committee's efforts, it is up to each member to actively participate and improve their knowledge and skills.

The knowledge gained must then be applied to provide the best outcome for clients and further enhance the profession's standing in the business community.

Tags: business broker tips feature article

About the author

Allan Johnson

As a former accountant and financial planner with almost 50 years in the industry, Allan has a wealth of experience to share. Offering his unique pers ...

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