3 Questions you Should Ask Before Hiring a Business Broker

3 Questions you Should Ask Before Hiring a Business Broker

If you decided to sell your business, you now have two options: Do-It-Yourself or work with a business broker.

In today’s climate, it takes a lot more than just sticking a for-sale sign in your window. The truth is, as a business owner, your time is better spent running your company; not dealing with prospects or negotiating deals.

Hiring a broker may be your ideal option if you want to get the best possible return on your years of investment. But only if you find the right broker for you.

Working with the wrong broker can be the difference between a quick and easy sale, or not selling at all.

Avoid the headaches, and ask these 3 questions before hiring a business sale broker:

1.    What’s your business valuation process like?  

Valuation is typically the biggest concern of business owners contemplating a sale. But when it comes to determining the worth of your business, there’s no easy answer. Valuations are subject to the appraiser’s judgement, skill, access to data, and quality of methodology.

If your broker provides a simple formula before getting to know your business, this can be a huge red flag. You’d want your broker to assess every factor – location, size, competition, and growth rates, just to name a few! – when calculating your company’s worth.

Use our free business valuation calculator to get started or meet with our experts to identify the perfect price range for you.

2.    Do you have a network of qualified buyers?

One of the biggest differentiators between selling a business yourself and working with a broker is their large pool of buyers. Access to a database multiplies your efforts and helps identify the right buyer faster. If your company attracts hundreds of buyers, a broker can create competition to ensure you achieve the highest price while maintaining your confidentiality.

With over 40 years in the business brokerage industry, Transworld has managed to build a database of 300,000+ buyers, including international connections. We advertise your business to a worldwide network of active buyers who are either interested in growing through acquisition or are searching for their next opportunity.

Schedule a complimentary consultation today to learn how our professional connections can help you sell your business.

3.    What does a business broker charge and will they co-broke?

While most business brokers prefer to take a commission, some charge a retainer fee that is either paid upfront or monthly.  If a broker or company charges a large upfront fee, that is another huge red flag. The fee to sell a company relies on the size of the business being sold. Commission tends to be a percentage of the total sales price and paid at closing so our interests align.

In the case where another broker is involved in finding a buyer, you’d want to know if your business broker will split the fee. This is known as co-brokering. Not all business brokers opt to cooperate with others, which may lead to losing your best offer. Transworld has a philosophy of co-brokering, but that is not true of most business brokerage firms.

Before starting a transaction, you should ask to have the business broker fees outlined in advance of the sale in your agreement (service contract). It’s important to have a clear understanding of exactly where your money is going before starting your transaction. 

Selling a small business shouldn’t be a long and complicated process. At Transworld, you’ll find some of the most sophisticated and experienced brokers in the industry, who are looking out for your best interest.

To learn more about how a business broker can support the sale of your business, schedule a consultation today or use our free business valuation calculator to get started.