What to Expect from a Business Broker

If you are seriously considering selling your company, you have probably considered using the services of a business broker.  You have probably Googled what you should expect from him or her. This works both ways.  For a broker to do an effective job, which is selling your company –  maximizing the asking price, terms and net proceeds, handling the details effectively – there are some things brokers will expect from you.  By understanding these expectations, you will greatly improve the chances of a successful sale.

Here are just a few:

  • Continue to run your business,  but be available – respond to emails and phone calls promptly.
  • Work in a coordinated manner with the broker. Beginning with the gathering of information, through the transaction closing, you need input about all aspects of the sale. Only they can provide the necessary information.
  • Keep the broker current. A business may take 6 months to a year to sell. The lines of communication must be kept open through the entire process.
  • You will rightfully expect the broker to develop a list of possible acquirers. You can help in several ways. First, you could offer the names of possible candidates who might be interested in acquiring your business.  Second, supplying the broker with industry publications, magazines and directories will help in increasing the number of possible purchasers, and will help in educating the broker in the nature of your business.
  • Keep your broker in the loop. Hopefully, at some point, a letter of intent will be signed and the deal turned over to the lawyers for the drafting of the final documents. Now is not the time to assume that the broker’s job is done.  It may just be beginning as the details of financing are completed and final deal points are resolved.  The broker knows the buyer, the seller, and what they really agreed on.  You may be keeping the deal from falling apart by keeping the broker involved in the negotiations.
  • Be open to all suggestions. You may feel that you only want one type of buyer to look at your business. For example, you may think that only a foreign company will pay you what you want for the company.  Your broker may have some other prospects.  Sometimes you have to be willing to change directions.

The time to call a business broker professional is when you are considering the sale of your company.  He or she is a major member of your team.  Selling a company can be a long-term proposition.  Make sure you are willing to be involved in the process until the job is done.  Maintain open communications with the broker.  And, most of all – listen. He or she is the expert.