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Selling Your Business with a Business Broker

Selling a business is a big deal so finding the right person to help you along the way is crucial.

When looking to use a brokerage firm to sell your business, there are several things to consider. The first question you should ask yourself is: whether the firm and the person you’re dealing with has had experience selling a business in your industry. Do they have a track record within the industry or understand how businesses in that particular industry are valued? Do they have a network of contacts and buyers within that industry?

The size of resources should also come into play. If it’s a one or two-man band, I would question their ability to expose my business to as many people as possible. That's one of the big benefits of using a firm such as LINK.

What are the qualifications for a business broker?

There are various qualifications that people can have. For example, in real estate, there are agents who have been certified merely by doing a two or three-day course. Once done, away they go, selling businesses.

However, there are also individuals like me – university educated with business degrees and diplomas of management, with licences in brokering and evaluation, and members of the Australian Institute of Business Brokers.

For sellers, you also must be able to work with the broker. It is just as much about the personal attributes and communication as it is about the qualifications. Remember, you will be working as a team to sell the business. It also goes the other way. The broker must be able to work with the vendor.

The LINK advantage

The great thing about LINK is that we have brokers who have experience in all different industries. We also have numerous offices around Australia and overseas, so our buyer networks are extensive.

This means, if a business we have in Sydney is going to be a viable option for a business in Queensland, or a business in Melbourne, or West Australia, we can tap into those networks quite easily. Compare this to smaller firms that wouldn’t have access across the country and there’s no question who will get the better deal.

We also have an overseas network. While smaller, we certainly tap into it as best we can. For example, we have a Chinese brokerage team. Where relevant, we translate everything into Mandarin. To make overseas deals happen, we use We Chat and social media, as well as all the Chinese publications.

We have offices in the US, South Africa, New Zealand and the Philippines, so we certainly promote and communicate with these offices. To advertise overseas, we post on international M&A (mergers and acquisitions) websites as well, but overseas buyers will generally go through the Australian channels, websites and avenues; they’ll look at our website and see what is for sale. We certainly keep our avenues for overseas buyers open as much as possible.

In conclusion

Ultimately, for the vendor, when it comes to finding the right person to sell the business, being proactive rather than reactive is always the best way to go. That way you’re less likely to be an anxious seller and you will better value for the business.

Being prepared is key, so when you are ready to go to market, it’s a time-driven process and it is less likely to be on the market for too long, running the risk of the sale going stale. And believe me, buyers will notice and comment that it hasn’t sold yet.

Sean Wolrige
LINK NSW, Broker

For further information, contact your nearest LINK Business Broking Office.