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Business Growth
Jan 31, 2022

Pros and Cons of Selling your Business Without a Broker

Sponsored Content provided by Thomas Kelsey - Owner, Transworld Business Advisors of Fayetteville


Are you ready to sell your business, but still on the fence about using a broker? You’re not alone. Many business owners, especially first-time sellers, feel compelled to DIY the process, thinking it will save them time and money. Selling your business can be a long process with many tedious steps.


An experienced business brokerage (plus the valuable resources they bring to the table) can make a big difference in your profits, your reputation, and even your legal culpability. Read on to find out what business owners absolutely need to know before selling without a broker.


Selling without a Broker

If you decide to act as your own broker, it’s important to understand your responsibilities.


You’ll have to guess what your business is worth. Are you prepared to do dozens of hours of research to determine what businesses like yours are selling for? Can you be sure you’re asking a fair price? If you sell, how will you know you’re making the most profit?


You’ll need to handle the paperwork on your own. Do you understand your obligations in terms of legal liability? Have you filled out all the correct forms? Are you meeting the terms and conditions of your buyer—and are those terms fair?


     You’ll be responsible for pitching your business to buyers. Can you commit to fielding calls from dozens of interested parties? Do you have time to spend hours on the phone with each one? Are you a good negotiator? Are you ready to fight for your business.


Selling with a Broker

Selling a business is a bit more complicated than selling a forklift on Craigslist. Transactions like these are far more complex due to negotiations, legal requirements, and no small amount of paperwork. Having a professional at your side to navigate these processes can go a long way in protecting your peace of mind, as well as your bottom line.


Resources. Not only do brokers handle the difficult and complicated portions of selling, but they also have access to years’—and sometimes even decades’—worth of financial and market data. These resources give them insight into your business’s value in the context of its industry, helping your broker fight for the best sale.


Time. A broker can be a business owner’s best friend when it comes to time management. Running a business is a full-time job. Many owners don’t have time to create listings, field calls, and negotiate with potential buyers while handling day-to-day operations. Enlisting a brokerage to handle these tasks leaves you free to do what you do best: run your business.


Security. Many businesses maintain proprietary information and data. Choosing when to share that information—and with whom—is essential to protecting your operation. An experienced broker will know when it’s appropriate to discuss this information with potential buyers, as well as how to navigate challenging or sensitive questions and situations.


Strategy. Veteran brokerages have tried-and-true methods for putting businesses in front of the most likely buyers when those buyers are ready to buy. They know how to position your business for a quick, profitable sale thanks to the years they’ve spent developing strong industry connections.


What’s at Stake?

A lot more than just profit is riding on your business’s prospective sale. Your reputation as an industry professional, as well as your future ventures, could suffer from a bad sale.


Scammers and other “known” untrustworthy buyers may try to approach you with offers. Brokers know how to recognize these parties and can warn you ahead of time.


The deal of a lifetime could slip through your fingers if you push too hard or don’t negotiate appropriately. A broker can help you take advantage of great offers.


Settling for a “lowball” offer could hurt for years to come as you’re forced to put off retirement or other ventures. Brokers help sellers get the offers they need—and deserve—so they can move forward with their lives confidently.

“Sometimes it’s easy to find a buyer, but like trying to catch a fish, the magic is getting it in the boat. Losing a big fish could mean losing the only fish you’ve seen all day. That’s where you need [our] expertise.” – Andy Cagnetta, Transworld CEO


It’s Your Business—And Your Life

Bottom line: you can certainly sell your business without a broker. But doing so may mean sacrificing your time, your money, and maybe even your plans for the future.

Brokers provide the valuable inside perspective that sellers need to understand their options and plan accordingly. After all, you don’t want to see a once-in-a-lifetime deal slip away—nor do you want to see your beloved business in the wrong hands.

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