If you’ve decided it’s time to move on from your business, you will most likely investigate using a broker. Unless you have a ready made pool of prospects to choose from, you will have to find some way to let people know your business is for sale. Not just anybody can sell your business, however, so here are some things to consider:
- Confidentiality – you may not want your customers to know you’re selling the business. They may assume you’re going under and spread the word you are no longer there. Likewise, you can lose good employees.
- Specialties – does the broker know your business? Can they sell the strong points to a potential buyer? Could they qualify a prospect?
- Goodwill – do they understand the goodwill you have generated by being a part of the community, making an investment in your customers or the things that will pay off later. Can they “sell” this or do they only look at the financials.
- Cause – does the broker truly understand that a new owner may generate better revenue? For example, a current owner in poor health cannot devote as many hours as a new owner could, to revive the business. Can they sell that concept?
- Valuation – can they help you put a positive value on your business or do they only want a quick and easy sale?
Don’t forget that a broker works on commission and will take a part of your proceeds. If they bring in a premium dollar, then it may be fine, but if they want a quick turnover, be cautious. A better avenue may be to advertise your business/franchise for sale with someone that uses social media and a website to target as many potential buyers as possible!