How to Deal with Business Brokers

Business brokers specialize in helping business owners sell their businesses. Most business brokers represent the sellers rather than the buyers. As a result, business brokers are responsible for qualifying buyers to weed out “tire kickers” and make sure that only buyers with the motivation and financial resources to purchase a business are presented to sellers. There are two reasons for the need to qualify buyers:

  1. Save the broker’s and sellers’ time. Statistics have shown that only 10% of business buyers actively looking to purchase a business end up buying a business. The other 90% never buy a business in their lives.
  2. Protect the sellers’ confidentiality. The business could be substantially harmed if the word goes out that the business is for sale. Confidential information should only be given to serious buyers to reduce this risk.

What should a business buyer do to be considered a serious buyer?

  1. Spend the necessary time: Buying a business is time and energy consuming. Serious buyers are not afraid to devote their time to research the right business. Business brokers generally require that buyers come to their office for a meeting before providing them with more information. Buyers who negotiate where to meet or require considerable information before meeting are generally considered not very serious about buying a business.
  2. Show proof of available financial resources: Brokers only work with buyers who can demonstrate that they have the financial capabilities to purchase the business or borrow the necessary funds. Buyers should not be offended when asked for proof of financial capabilities.
  3. Show focus and determination: Asking information about too many unrelated businesses is generally interpreted as lack of focus and discourages brokers from working with buyers. Unfocused buyers are very difficult to work with as brokers cannot identify their needs and as a result cannot help them.

Business brokers can be an excellent source for detecting the right business to purchase. Brokers know the market and can help serious buyers locate and purchase profitable businesses that fit well with buyers’ personalities and goals. However, buyers interested in getting the most value from brokers should be ready for purchasing a business and should prove it.

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