Selling Your Business – How to Hire the Right Business Broker

Apr 12, 2014

business broker 4When the time comes to sell your business, you have two options. One is to sell it yourself through your own network of contacts or targeted advertising; the other is to hire a business broker. While it’s entirely possible to sell your business without any outside help, hiring a broker will be worthwhile if your time is at a premium. Busy entrepreneurs often find they have little time to deal with all the inquiries, requests and negotiations, and they may have a harder time differentiating between a serious prospect and a time-waster.

Why hire a business broker?

Unlike many small-business owners, brokers have years of experience in selling small businesses. They know what works and what doesn’t, making them extremely helpful when handling tasks like business valuation, advertising or marketing, prospect interviews, negotiation, due diligence and other critical aspects of the sale. Hiring a broker also allows you, the owner, to focus on running the business and increasing its value while the broker handles the details of the complex transaction.

If and when you decide to hire a broker, make sure you properly vet your options. Having a quality broker can mean the different between a successful business exit and a long and costly sale.

For some business owners, selling their business turns out to be a lot less simple than they expected. You may have poured your time and attention into your business for many years, and you want to get the best return on your investment, but if you haven’t sold a business before you may need some help. Hiring a business broker should be high on your list of to-dos.

What will a business broker do?

First of all, a good business broker will take over the marketing aspects of selling your company to potential buyers. They will work with you and a business valuator to determine the most appropriate selling price, respond to potential offers, and free you up to take care of your company’s day-to-day operations.

Working with a business broker is a lot like working with a realtor who is selling your home, in that they do their best to find a buyer for your business who is willing to make an offer that is close to your selling price. The only difference is that business brokers tend to be more specialized. If you ask for some recommendations from other business owners in your industry, you may find a business broker in Colorado who specializes in selling your kind of business. Specialists often know a lot more about business valuation for a specific industry, and may even be able to provide leads for potential buyers. Because they “speak the language” of your business, they will also be able to represent your company’s interests in a negotiation.

Where can you find the best business brokers?

For the best business brokers in Colorado, check the IBBA, which stands for the International Business Brokers Association. When you find a broker that may be a good fit, check their qualifications and experience, and don’t be shy about asking for recent references. The sale of your business requires a business broker that you can trust.

Finally, be sure to ask about how the broker will market your business. Where will they advertise it? How will they handle confidentiality issues? How will they promote your company’s strengths to potential buyers?

Learn as much as you can about a business broker, because their abilities can make or break the sale of your business, and the strength of their negotiating skills may determine how much of a profit you make from the sale.

Photo Courtesy of Patrisyu /