4 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Sell Side Broker

Aberdeen Advisors M&A: Business Process Checklist

Selling your business can be a stressful experience, especially when you’ve spent a lifetime building it. There is a myriad of concerns, best practices, and other issues that need to be addressed when selling even the smallest business. Often times, business owners can be overwhelmed with all that is involved around selling their business, which can lead them to make mistakes.

If you are selling your business, you want to make sure you are doing everything you can to maximize your profits and minimize the hassle. That is why the first thing you should do once you have decided to sell your business is to contact a sell side broker to help you navigate the process and get the most from the sale of your business.

But finding a sell side broker can bring challenges of its own. After all, a bad business broker can do just as much damage to your company as attempting to go through the sales process alone can.

We’ve compiled a list of questions to ask when interviewing brokers to help you get a feel for who they are, what their experience is, and what their competency level is.

How Long Have You Been Selling Businesses?

While inexperience isn’t necessarily a sin, it is important to know that if you direct someone to “sell my business,” they will have the tools to perform the job successfully, understanding the nuances and intricacies of the process at a complex level.

What Size Business Do You Typically Work With?

This might not seem important, but the differences between a mom and pop shop, a Main street business, and a corporation are stark. If the broker claims to be an expert in all three, or can’t tell you that a Main street business bridges the gap between a mom and pop store and a corporation, or that some of those businesses typically earn between two and 30 million dollars annually, then you might want to consider another firm.

Do You Co-Broker?

Co-brokering means, essentially, that the firm is willing to split their commission with another firm or broker in order to sell your property more quickly and at a better price. If they don’t co-broker, then you should be aware that there might be a smaller pool of potential buyers for your business.

What is Your Closing Ratio?

Here you are essentially asking them: What percentage of businesses do they end up selling? It is important that you know how likely a business is able to sell your type of business, but remember that just because they are selling at 70% doesn’t mean that the sellers end up satisfied.

Selling your business, or even finding the right sell side broker can be difficult. But if you know what questions to ask, you can at least be confident that you are choosing the right firm to help sell your business.

If are looking to sell or buy a business in Florida, or you would just like to speak to business brokers in Florida, contact our experts at Aberdeen Advisors.