For many business owners, selling their business for a high price is a dream that often results from many years of hard work. But navigating the sales process and finding a buyer can be a challenge. A popular option in Australia is to use a business broker who can help you connect with the right buyers and orchestrate a smooth sales process.
Finding a broker may not be difficult but choosing the best one for your needs requires due diligence. No two brokers are the same. The final price you get for your business, along with how long it takes to sell, will be heavily influenced by which broker you choose. To assist you in making the right choice, follow our advice on selecting a broker who’ll get the job done.
Like in real estate, an experienced business broker should be able to showcase previously sold businesses. It's important to assess their previous performance and sales records. Unlike real estate, the details of the sale of a business are not easily available. A lot of business owners like to keep the information confidential to ensure the continued success of the business. So, the best way to obtain sales history is to talk directly to the broker and request references from previous sellers. You can also review their online testimonials and website.
Viewing a business brokers current listings will also help you gauge the type and size of businesses they are currently selling. You can view a brokers currently listings via Find a Business Broker or view the Business Broker Directory.
It's a good idea to review the business brokers credentials and ensure their licensing is current with the relevant state organisation.
There are a number of reputable institutions that business brokers can be part of such as the Australian Insitute of Business Brokers (AIBB) or the Real Estate Institute for your state such as REINSW, REIV, REIQ, REIWA etc. Check if your potential broker is part of any of these groups.
Experience is all well and good, but the broker must have worked in your market. Having an in-depth understanding of your business, the pain points for potential buyers and an understanding of the technical aspects like business equipment is valuable knowledge. It will make for better communication and will help ensure a smoother sale. There are business brokers who are generalised and work across multiple industries and those who specialise. It's important the broker you look to engage, has worked with businesses in your industry.
Finding a qualified buyer can take time, even for an experienced business broker. The effective ones will use a variety of tools that are best suited to your industry. This could be email lists, online marketing, local newspapers, social media, and trade journals. There are business for sale websites such as Bsale that target potential business buyers, your broker should be well represented on all the major websites as they drive a lot of enquiries. Ask your potential broker what tools they will use to sell your business.
Finding a broker who knows your industry is great, but do they have that X-Factor to get top dollar for your business. Do they communicate well? Are their negotiation skills on-point? Can they close a deal? Will they take care of your business? These services are intangible, and you'll only learn whether they have what it takes by taking the time to talk with your broker as well as past clients. Repeatedly, industry experts will say, that a good business broker will care for the clients whilst holding their hand and navigating through the sales process, it's not like selling a car or a house. There's a lot more involved in a business sale. It's about finding the right fit.
Want to find a suitable business broker? Find a Business Broker
Yes. In every state of Australia a business broker must be licensed to operate. They are usually licensed alongside Real Estate agents though some states have special classifications for ‘business agents’. It is important to check the governing body in each state to ensure the broker has a current license. Check NSW License, Check QLD License, Check VIC License, Check SA License, Check WA License, Check NT License, Check TAS License and Check ACT License.
Bsale has been working with business brokers for over 15 years. Their loyalty to Bsale and our family business still humbles us today. Business brokers are the professionals who can assist owners in buying or selling businesses. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience. Bsale provides an advertising service that allows business brokers to place their client’s listings for sale on Bsale with the goal of generating leads. We are big supporters of business brokers and partners of the AIBB and love to share stories about brokers and their advice for business owners.
Finding a business broker for your sale is made easier on Bsale. Our find a business broker system allows you to enter your industry and location, and a relevant list of brokers will appear. You will be able to see their biography and businesses they currently have listed for sale so you can compare them to your business. It's important to contact at least three business brokers to compare their experience, services and whether you can connect with them. It’s important to have a good relationship with your broker as it usually takes 6-9 months to sell a business. Always check the licensing of the broker and ask to speak with previous clients or to read testimonials.
A good business broker will be actively involved in the industry and have a good network of contacts. On Bsale we have a ‘find a business broker’ section so you can search for a specific business broker who can assist you with your business sale. All of these brokers advertise on Bsale and support our family business. There are a number of industry bodies including the AIBB REIA, REINSW, REIQ, REIV, REIWA that reputable business brokers are members of.
Every business broker has a different fee structure based on a number of factors. Selling a business can be a lengthy process, some may sell in 3 months, others may take 2 years. It depends on the complexity of your business, whether it is a niche market, your price point, your expectations and whether the right buyer can be found. In general, commissions are 5-7% and there may be additional fees for marketing expenses. A good broker should be judged based on their experience selling similar businesses and not solely on commission rates.
A business broker is a licensed professional who is usually engaged by a business or franchise owner to assist them in selling their business. Initially, a business broker will perform an assessment of the business and recommended any preparation that is required to achieve an optimum sale price. They will then prepare a market appraisal for the business and determine a price guide. If the owner engages the business brokers services, the broker will continue to prepare the business for sale. This will include roles such as; determining the best sales strategy, creating marketing materials, promoting the business for sale; fielding buyer enquiries, engaging in negotiations, connecting with allied professionals such as a solicitor and basically guiding the seller and buyer through to settlement.
A business broker may also assist in a number of other areas such as; assisting buyers find opportunities, assisting with due diligence, guiding mergers and acquisitions, business coaching and business valuations.
A good business broker has a lot of knowledge and experience in selling businesses. They have good communication skills and can negotiate between you and the buyer to enter an agreement. A good broker will be well organised and in regular contact with you, so you know they actively promote your business sale, receive inquiries, and narrow down genuine buyers. A good broker should be advertising your business on multiple websites to be achieving the most exposure. If they are only on 1 or 2 websites, they are not working in your best interests. A good business should be well represented in the industry.