Whether you are ready to list now or are considering it in the next few years, as you move forward with the sale of your business, you will want to consider all of your options. Speaking to a qualified business broker is one of the first steps you are going to want to take. You will be better prepared to move forward whether you list with the broker or not. Arming yourself with all the tools available to you is always a good idea. But, do not think a quick conversation over the phone is going to give you a full picture of the advantages that a business broker can offer to the situation.
A qualified business broker can render an initial opinion of value, and recommend courses of action to market your business. In order to do so, you will want them to have a full picture of your business. An on-site meeting can give your potential broker a better understanding of your business. You want them to see it as more than just the numbers. Your business has a flavor, and should you decide to list, the better understanding the broker has the more likely they are to concentrate on that “right fit” buyer, the one most likely to see the value and succeed in your business.
In addition, a one on one meeting is an opportunity to really get to know the personality of your potential broker, and look for red flags in their personality or behavior. You should work with someone you are comfortable with. A good broker will make you feel at ease, and be knowledgeable about your industry and business model, and be ready to ask questions about those things they are not familiar with. Remember, this is the person who will be talking to prospective purchasers about your business, so their personality should reflect that confidence and knowledge level.
After a meeting, you may find that it may not be quite time to list, you may need to make some preparations before doing so. Many times a business broker can recommend exit strategy options once they have looked your business over and asked a few probing questions. If your motivations are more time sensitive, the broker can explain how that will affect your most probably purchase price. One of the most important aspects of a business broker’s job is to be prepared for any of the little roadblocks that crop up on the listing, marketing, negotiating or closing stages of a deal. Your business broker should be able to educate you on the process, and help you understand and respond at each stage.
The final reason that meeting with your potential business broker in person is a good idea… in most cases, the consultation is free with no obligation to list. It can do no harm, and can only help you feel better educated in moving forward.