Mike Metzger on What Makes a Great Business Brokerage Company

When Mike Metzger decided to start a business brokerage company in 2014, he was taking a big leap. He saw a lot of potential in the business brokerage industry, and felt that Richmond, VA would be the perfect market for his business.

At the same time, Mike knew that business brokerage was a demanding industry. What’s more, he would need to leave a six-figure position with a Fortune 250 company to start his business.

The stakes were high. But after more than 15 years in the corporate world, Mike wanted the chance to connect with small and mid-market business owners. And as a former US Navy Officer and Six Sigma Black Belt Certified Professional, Mike also saw a clear need for a better kind of business brokerage company: one built on a foundation of uncompromising discipline, statistical analysis, and high-touch client relationships.

“That’s how I distinguish and differentiate myself in the Richmond market,” Mike says. “It’s through that combination of professionalism and analytical insight.”

This approach has paid off in the years since Mike opened his office. Under his ownership, Murphy Business has become one of the most successful business brokerage firms in Richmond, VA.

Recently, we talked with Mike about what business owners should look for in a business brokerage company, why his clients appreciate the Murphy Business model, and his advice to anyone who’s getting ready to sell a business.

What to Look for in a Business Brokerage Company

“I’ve heard from people who say, ‘I’ve called three brokers already today, and you’re the only one that picked up the phone.’”

Prior to starting his own business brokerage company, Mike researched the industry in detail. He was surprised to learn how many brokers ran their firms as a side-business. He was equally surprised at how hard it was to find knowledgeable, qualified brokers in many parts of the country.

Mike felt that business owners deserved a higher standard of expertise and professionalism from their business broker, and he continues to feel that way today.

“Our goal is to position ourselves as true professionals and experts in our field, on par with a CPA or an attorney. That’s the standard we should be holding ourselves to, and that’s how business brokers should be perceived.”

When Mike started his business brokerage company, he was determined to meet these standards. He spent months learning everything he could about the industry, and when he opened his office, he made sure that his clients came first.

“Coming across as a true professional makes a big difference. And that can be as simple as just answering the phone. I’ve heard from people who say, ‘I’ve called three brokers already today, and you’re the only one who returned my call.’”

At the same time, Mike developed a network of specialists and experts to help his business brokerage company better serve business owners.

“I think of myself as not just a business broker, but as a hub of expertise. So, when people call me and I think they could benefit from other people’s services, I’ll refer them out.  That helps build my credibility as a true partner.”

The Benefits of a Proven Brokerage Process

“When you take the extra effort to understand the financials and the inner workings of a business, people appreciate that.”

In addition to expertise and professionalism, Mike stresses that brokers should offer a proven process. As a certified Six Sigma Black Belt with 15+ years of statistical analysis experience, Mike knows the value of proven, analytics-driven processes. In fact, that’s one of the biggest reasons why he chose to open his business brokerage company as part of the Murphy Business network.

“I wanted the chance to use my business skills and analytical skills, and I wanted to buy into a proven system. When I looked at the industry, Murphy had a system that really appealed to me. It was logical. It was well established. It was well documented.  And it’s repeatable.”

According to Mike, this system has been crucial to the success of his business brokerage company.

“A bad broker will look at a profit and loss statement, apply a 2.3 multiplier to earnings, and put you to market. But that isn’t effective. When you take the extra effort to understand the financials and the inner workings of their business, people appreciate that. It means you can be upfront and candid about the business. And it means you can be realistic about what that sale will look like.  Sometimes that means telling them that you can’t sell their business.”

Mike notes that his clients also appreciate the leverage of selling through Murphy Business. As part of the Murphy network, Mike can list his clients’ businesses through national and international brokerage networks.

“With Murphy, I have the horse power to get my clients more exposure. We have access to many data sources and listing networks. It’s expensive to list on these sites – individual and small brokerages just don’t have those types of resources.”

Advice for Business Owners Preparing to Sell

“I’ve had this happen before where we get it listed… and we start getting offers, and the value has tanked.”

Since opening his business brokerage company a little over four years ago, Mike has helped countless Richmond-area entrepreneurs sell their businesses. So, we asked Mike about the most important piece of advice that he has for business owners preparing to sell their business.

“One of the most important pieces of advice that I give to all my clients is to keep running the business as if you’re going to own this forever, even when we start talking to buyers. Don’t start throttling back and dropping sales.

“I’ve had this happen before where we get it listed, and we start getting offers, and the value has tanked because the seller took their foot off the gas.”

We also asked Mike about some of the biggest issues that his business brokerage company encounters.

“Without exception, the most common challenge I see is the business owner who hasn’t been able to step away from their business. The fact that they are so integral to every facet of the company can make it really challenging for the buyer to visualize himself or herself taking over.”

Mike says that, while the process takes time, his business brokerage company has helped a number of clients address this weakness, boosting the value of the business come sale time. In other cases, Mike has used outside-the-box strategies to help his clients capture full value for their business.

“Even though someone’s really integral to a business, that doesn’t mean the business isn’t sellable. But it might take longer to find a buyer. And once you find a buyer, the transition period might be longer, or you might need to structure the deal to spread the risk between the buyer and the seller.”

For Mike, these kinds of situations underscore the importance of hiring a business brokerage company that will go the extra mile to understand your business and to be transparent about the status of your listing.

“For me, the first step is explaining that upfront before you even take the listing. Having those conversations upfront can help avoid surprises down the line. When the rubber hits the road, I can advise them on which deal structures are appropriate and help them find the right deal for their business.”

Getting ready to sell a business? Call (727) 725-7090 today to connect with your local Murphy Business brokerage company!

When Should You Hire Company Valuation Services?

As you prepare to sell your business, your due diligence should include a proper business valuation. But when’s the right time for you to hire company valuation services? In many cases, owners lose value when selling their business because they waited too late for a valuation — a situation any small business owner will want to avoid.

Let’s take a look at a common scenario. You’ve been running your business for more than a decade. In the past few years, you’ve thought about selling, but you’ve made no concrete plans. Recently, your circumstances have changed: it’s time to sell your company. Before listing your business, you hire a company valuation service to determine the fair market value of your business.

The catch? Your business is worth a lot less than you thought. Worse yet, you no longer have enough time to sufficiently increase its value before it goes on the market. Suddenly, you’re looking at a much smaller nest egg for your retirement.

If you want to avoid this kind of situation, you should get your business valuated well ahead of time. This way, you’ll have an earlier sense of your company’s value. More importantly, you’ll have the time and the guidance you need to ensure your business will net the figure you expect to make your next move.

The Benefits of Company Valuation Services

A lot of small business owners think of valuations as little more than a formality. You need a number that you can stick on the price tag for your business. Company valuation services provide that number.

This line of thinking overlooks important benefits of getting a professional valuation. More importantly, it can lose you untold value when it comes time to actually sell your business.

A business valuation offers more than a simple dollar figure for the value of your business. It also shows you where that value comes from. What’s more, it can help you identify issues that are lowering the value of your business.

Using this information, you can develop a strategy for increased value. With help from a valuation specialist, you can come up with a plan that will strengthen areas of positive value and address areas of weakness. This way, your business will be worth much more when you finally list it for sale.

The benefits of this approach may seem glaringly obvious. After all, every business owner wants to maximize the value of their business when selling. But there’s an obvious drawback to this approach: it takes time and effort. If you wait until the last minute to have your business valuated, you won’t have the time you need to increase your valuation figure.

That’s why it’s a smart idea to hire company valuation services well in advance of selling your business.

When to Hire a Valuation Specialist

If you want to maximize the market value of your business, you need to start planning your sale well in advance. Rather than contacting a valuation specialist 3 to 6 months before you intend to sell your business, your initial valuation should take place 24 to 36 months in advance.

While this might seem excessive, it’s the only way you’ll have the time you need to increase your business’s value.

Let’s say you hire company valuation services 24 months ahead of selling your business. After your valuation, you learn that your business is worth less than half of what you expected. Accounting for the 3 to 6 months it will take to sell your business, you have roughly a year-and-a-half to address this deficit. If anything, you’ll probably regret not having valuated your business earlier.

That raises another important concern. Not only is it important that you hire company valuation services early, but it’s equally important that you find the right valuation service. If you hire an unqualified, inexperienced, or unreliable professional, you could end up wasting untold hours and/or dollars based on faulty advice.

Our suggestion? Contact your local Murphy Business® office to request company valuation services. All of our valuations follow the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice of the Appraisal Foundation (USPAP), as well as the Business Appraisal Standards of the Institute of Business Appraisers.

As business brokers, we also know what it takes to increase the market value and appeal of your business. We pride ourselves on working closely with business owners in preparation for business sales and transfers, including professional consultation and strategic planning for raising the value of your business.

One final note: While it’s best to valuate your business well in advance of a sale, that’s not always possible. Even if you’ve waited until the last minute, there are steps that you can take to maximize the value of your company and position it for sale. So make sure to hire a trusted and experienced valuation specialist!

Need company valuation services? Call Murphy Business (888) 561-3243 to connect with a local business broker and request a valuation.

How To Sell A Business in St. Louis

Are you looking to sell your company, but not sure if you need professional assistance? At Murphy Business, we know the ins and outs of how to sell a business. We've worked with business owners in St. Louis, Clayton, St. Charles, Maryland Heights, and Chesterfield to provide expertise on how to sell a business at a fair, competitive asking price. Like most business ventures, valuable industry contacts and a seasoned business acumen can be a game-changer. For business owners, getting expert insights from a trusted brokerage can transform the sale of your business. 

How To Sell A Business: 3 Reasons To Rely on St. Louis Area Experts

While you're an expert in running your business in St, Louis, you may not know how to sell a business while achieving a maximum possible profit. As your partner in selling, Murphy Business can help you reduce the selling period while successfully netting a robust price for your company: 

  • Increase your sales prospects. When you choose Murphy Business as your brokerage, you'll get the benefit of our international reputation, resources, and connections. We don't just know how to sell a business to St. Louis area buyers. We'll also target national and international purchasers with strong buying potential and a high interest in expanding to St. Louis. With an expansive range of prospective buyers, we can leverage your business at a lucrative price.   
  • A level head during negotiations. When you've built a business from scratch, it can often color your perspective during the deal structuring stage. At this crucial bargaining stage, it's vital to have an impartial third-party who can maximize your profits while providing a fair market price to the buyer. With Murphy Business, you'll have the advantage of trained expert negotiators in St. Louis who know how to sell a business while preserving goodwill between buyer and seller. 
  • An expedited closing period. Once a deal is struck, you'll want to start seeing earnings pretty quickly afterward. Our business advisers can help to shorten the closing period while still doing comprehensive due diligence on a buyer. With our global network of banking contacts, which includes firms that deal with traditional financing and small business loans, we can help you to minimize seller financing if that's a concern. 

You can focus on running your business, while we focus on getting you a great price with a trusted buyer. Call our expert team of business brokers at (314) 369-1436 to learn more about how to sell a business with Murphy Business Sales – St. Louis Central. 

Businesses for Sale in St. Louis: How Murphy Can Help You

When you're seeking businesses for sale in St. Louis, you want to bring in the experts. Business-buying requires expertise in negotiating, facilitating, and business management, plus a network of banking contacts, business assessors, and local industry connections. Murphy Business can help you achieve it all. We can help you buy a business on your terms, at a fair price, and with the discretion needed for transferring ownership. 

Businesses for Sale in St. Louis: Why an Intermediary is Important

Selling a business can be an emotional process for business owners, which is why it helps to have an intermediary reach out to businesses for sale. As a full-service firm, Murphy Business can help you with each step of the business buying process: 

  • Getting a fair market valuation. A Fair Market Valuation is an essential step to business-buying, using industry standards to reach a supportable opinion of a prospective company’s value. In turn, this will help you get a fair price for a business on terms that both you and the owners are satisfied with. 
  • Facilitating and negotiating. Purchasing a business can take time and significant negotiation power. When a deal is structured, it often requires procrastination and delay as key tactics. Our brokers are trained negotiators and facilitators, and can build a strong relationship with sellers to help secure a strong price. 
  • Confidentiality. A critical aspect of buying a business is discretion. Finding out that a business is for sale can have adverse effects on suppliers, employees, clients, and competitors. We can help both parties maintain confidentiality during the business-buying process for a more seamless transition. 

Expert Business Advice in St. Louis 

Murphy Business can help you navigate local businesses for sale with expert financial advice, buyer negotiations, and even assistance with financing. Acting as your business partner, our consultants can arm you with expert insights into the local industry, business management, and more. We'll also help you tap directly into our global network of contacts to access publicly advertised and private businesses for sale in St. Louis, St. Charles, Chesterfield, Maryland Heights, and Clayton. During the financing stage of the sale, our banking contacts can assist you with traditional loans as well as SBA small business loans. We can take your business-buying experience to the next level, with bespoke support at every step. 

For investors and entrepreneurs, Murphy Business Sales – St. Louis Central is your partner in business buying. If you're seeking businesses for sale in St. Louis, contact us today at (314) 845-7000.

Overview of Business Valuation Services in Kirkland

Business valuation, also known as business appraisal, is the process when a neutral third party conducts a defendable, impartial assessment of the value of a company, business ownership interest, intangible asset, or security. Having an unbiased evaluation from a professional consulting service can be vital when selling a company, liquidating a business, building a prenuptial agreement, and countless other circumstances. When you choose Murphy Business Kirkland-Redmond, business valuation services are just one of the many consulting services we offer. 

Choose Reliable and Experienced Business Valuation Services in Kirkland

To manage a Kirkland business, getting a comprehensive valuation from a trusted business valuation service will be necessary at some point. Having an accurate picture of the value of your company can help in any number of circumstances, whether it's because you're trying to deal with investors, building a partnership agreement, or dealing with taxes. Here are some of the common scenarios that services from Murphy Business can help you with: 

  • Sale, acquisition, or merger of a business
  • Planning for retirement
  • Trying to obtain financing 
  • Building buy/sell agreements
  • Disputes with shareholders 
  • Creating an exit strategy 
  • Dealing with divorce settlements or prenuptial agreements
  • Estate and gift taxes
  • Insurance, such as life insurance
  • Litigation 
  • Structuring a partnership agreement 
  • Appraising intellectual property 
  • Restructuring from a "c" corp to an "s" corp 
  • Creating stock option plans for employees (ESOPs)
  • Liquidation 

Our Business Valuation Services in Kirkland

When you choose Murphy Business, you're getting a business valuation service from an internationally reputed firm in Kirkland. Each valuation is conducted by a trained, expert appraiser who is up-to-date in every aspect of business transfers and valuations. Our reliable appraisers fully comply with industry standards such as the Business Appraisal Standards of the Institute of Business Appraisers and the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice of the Appraisal Foundation. This compliance means that our valuations are backed and fully defendable. 

For businesses in Redmond and Kirkland, we offer the following business valuation services:

  • Business Valuation Report. A formalized summary of a business's value, used when selling a business or structuring buy-sell agreements with partners and shareholders.  
  • Business Appraisal Report. A comprehensive report with step-by-step explanations of how a fair value was assessed. Can be used for review by the IRS, in litigation support, and by third parties.
  • Calculation of Value Report. A calculated business value developed in compliance with national standards such as the IBA and NAVCA. 
  • Broker's Opinion of Value. Used by brokers, sellers, and buyers, this small business pricing helps to develop selling and listing prices.

Get business valuation services that are trusted and fully backed, by calling Murphy Business Kirkland-Redmond at (425) 679-6627. 

Overview of Business Valuation Services for Greensboro

With Murphy Business Greensboro, business owners can get comprehensive business valuation services that are impartial and defendable. At some point or another, every business needs a thorough valuation from a neutral third party. Whether you're building a partnership agreement, creating employee stock options, or liquidating, understanding the fair market value of your company can be vital. With Murphy Business, you get a local business with global connections and practices that are backed by national industry standards. That means sharp business acumen from experts you can trust. 

Comprehensive Business Valuation Services From The Experts in Greensboro

When it comes to business valuation services, Murphy Business can help business owners in Greensboro navigate how to proceed with a fair assessment of your company. Our experts are fully trained on all aspects of valuations, and are up-to-date on the latest developments, court cases, and issues. We can help you in the following circumstances: 

  • Financing or applying for a loan 
  • Liquidation 
  • Selling or acquiring a business 
  • Planning an exit strategy, retirement, or life insurance
  • Structuring a prenup
  • Divorce proceedings
  • Building a partnership agreement or stock options for employees 
  • Litigation
  • Estate taxes or gift taxes
  • Shareholder issues
  • Shifting from a "c" corp to "s" corp
  • Assessing intellectual property 

Choosing Business Valuation Services in Greensboro

As a brokerage firm in Greensboro, Murphy Business understands how necessary it is for companies to receive fair, impartial business valuation services. We strictly adhere to national standards, so you know you're receiving a defendable assessment that will hold up in legal and sales environments. For business owners in Oak Ridge, Summerfield, and Greensboro, we offer the following expert services: 

  • Business Valuation Report. This shortened report typically provides enough information to determine a fair selling price for a business, or to assist in non-legal purposes such as agreements. 
  • Calculation of Value Report. This report provides a calculated value compliant with national standards such as the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts. 
  • Business Appraisal Report. This formalized document can be used in legal proceedings and for third-party review. Includes detailed step-by-step of how the appraisal was conducted. 
  • Broker's Opinion of Value. The BOV is created specifically for small businesses. It presents a pricing report used by business brokers and sellers to determine listing prices for companies. 

Get a comprehensive overview of your company's value. Call Murphy Business Greensboro to learn more about our business valuation services, or to set up a no-cost consultation: (336) 609-7039.

Our Business Valuation Services for St. Louis

At some point, every business owner will need a comprehensive valuation from a reliable third-party assessor. Whether it's for partnership agreements, employee stock options, or putting your company on the market, a business valuation can help you understand the fair value of your company from an objective third party. You can enlist the trusted help of professional business valuation services from Murphy Business Sales – St. Louis Central. As a brokerage firm with a full staff of trained experts, we can provide you with an impartial assessment of your business.  

Business Valuation Services in St. Louis With A Global Reputation

With offices across North America, Murphy Business is a full-service business brokerage firm backed by a global reputation. We're able to keep updated on the latest trends, issues, and court cases related to business valuations. Our valuations are informed by national standards and the most recent developments in business affairs. That means our St. Louis staff can offer you fair, defendable business valuation services for any number of situations:   

  • Acquisitions, mergers, sales, or liquidation of a company 
  • Financing or loans, going from a "c" corporation to an "s" corporation, managing estate/gift taxes, or calculating stock options for employees
  • Navigating divorce process or premarital agreements 
  • Structuring exit strategy, retirement, or managing life insurance
  • Partnership or buy/sell agreements
  • Shareholder conflicts or legal proceedings

Business Valuation Services For St. Louis Area Businesses

Murphy Business has a full team of experienced, qualified appraisers who are fully fluent in every aspect of business valuation services and transfers. For business owners in Maryland Heights, Clayton, Chesterfield, St. Charles, or St. Louis, we can offer the following industry-backed services: 

  • Business Appraisal Report. This formalized document gives a detailed account of how our appraisers reached their assessment. It can be used for IRS reviews, legal proceedings, and more.  
  • Business Valuation Report. This standard, formal summary document is for non-legal situations and can help you reach a fair selling price for a business, structure a partnership agreement, and more. 
  • Calculation of Value Report. This report presents a value that's been calculated in accordance with national valuation standards such as the Institute of Business Appraisers and other organizations. 
  • Broker's Opinion of Value. This document is specifically designed for small businesses. The report can help determine a clear listing or selling price for independent businesses on the market. 

Get a detailed assessment of your business's value, from experts with a global reputation. To set up a free consultation on our business valuation services, call Murphy Business Sales – St. Louis Central at (314) 845-7000.

Business Valuation Services in Jacksonville

What is a business valuation? Also referred to as a business appraisal, it's when a third party assesses and develops a supportable opinion of value for a company, a business ownership interest, a security, or assets. Business valuations are a necessary and inevitable part of running a Jacksonville area business. Having a defendable assessment of your company from an impartial group can help you in any number of ways, whether you're buying or selling a business, structuring a prenuptial, or supporting a legal dispute.  As business consultants with a global reputation, Murphy Business Jacksonville can provide comprehensive business valuation services to your company.  

Business Valuation Services in Jacksonville With Industry-Backed Standards

With Murphy Business, you get business valuation services that are detailed, reliable, and in compliance with national standards. Our expert appraisers are fully experienced in business transfers, valuations, and other aspects of business affairs. They're also up-to-date on the latest issues in valuations and related court cases. That means they can help you navigate valuations, and can prepare neutral, industry-standardized reports for the following situations: 

  • Buying, selling, merging, acquisitions, or liquidation of a company 
  • Obtaining financing, loans, life insurance, or navigating gift/estate taxes
  • Structuring partnership agreements, planning retirement, or exit strategies
  • Developing prenuptial contracts or dealing with divorce proceedings
  • Litigation, shareholder conflicts, or appraising intellectual property
  • Building buy/sell agreements or stock option plans for employees
  • Going from a "c" to an "s" corporation   

Our Business Valuation Services for Jacksonville 

With a proven track record, a global reputation, and comprehensive industry expertise, our consultants can help you navigate the world of valuations and arrive at a fair, defendable price for your business. For Northeast Florida companies in and around Jacksonville, Orange Park, Yulee, Fernandina Beach, and Jacksonville Beach, our firm can provide the following industry-backed business valuation services: 

  • Business Appraisal Report. This formal, detailed report includes a step-by-step summation of how our trained appraisers assessed your business. Suitable for the litigation process, IRS, and others.  
  • Broker's Opinion of Value. Designed for small businesses, this report helps sellers, buyers, and business brokers to determine reasonable selling/listing values and exit planning. 
  • Business Valuation Report. For non-litigation scenarios, a business valuation report is a formal summary of your business's value. Can be used to structure agreements, the sale of a business, and more. 
  • Calculation of Value Report. You'll receive a calculated value adhering to national standards such as the Institute of Business Appraisers and National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts.

Get a detailed valuation from experts you trust. Contact Murphy Business Jacksonville at (904) 683-6655 for a free consultation, and to learn more about our business valuation services today.

8 Tips on How to Sell Your Business in Jacksonville Florida

Historically, starting and growing a business has been the sign of a successful entrepreneur. Today, however, the most successful entrepreneurs don’t make their mark by starting their own business. Instead, they thrive by learning how to buy and sell businesses.

While some business owners retain lifelong ownership, the vast majority do not. Given this, you need to think about your business as an investment. Whether you already own a business or you’re purchasing one for the first time, you should already be thinking about how you’ll increase the value of your investment for the moment of sale.

At Murphy Business®, we have a unique understanding of what it takes to buy and sell businesses. Below, we’ve collected eight expert tips so that you can learn how to buy and sell businesses like a business broker.

Sell Businesses In Jacksonville

1. Hone Your Negotiation Skills. Negotiations used to be an everyday occurrence for most people. Now that everything has a fixed price tag, that’s no longer the case. If you’re planning to buy and sell businesses, you’ll need to develop your negotiation skills. You’ll also need to keep in mind that different kids of negotiations require different tactics.

2. Find Out What Depresses Market Value. Many business sellers are shocked to learn that their business is much less valuable than they initially thought. A business may be profitable, but if its owner plays an indispensable role or it lacks a diversity of revenue streams, these factors will depress its market value. Identifying these kinds of factors can help buyers avoid over-valued, high-risk investments. Sellers, meanwhile, can address these weaknesses before selling.

3. Learn How to Quickly Increase Market Value. Whether you’re buying or selling a business, you should learn different strategies for increasing a business’s market value. If you’re a seller and you’re underwhelmed by the value of your business, it’s possible to increase your valuation with the right steps. If you’re buying a business, these same tactics could allow you to scoop up a low-cost business and flip it within a few years at a much higher figure.

4. Know Where to Look. If you want to buy and sell businesses, you need to know where to look for buyers and listings. At Murphy Business, we have access to a number of exclusive business brokerage associations, which allow our clients to reach a wider, higher-quality pool of targets. Sellers get access to national and global buyers, while buyers can gain access to thousands of confidential and non-public business listings.

5. Target Serious Buyers and/or Sellers. When you buy and sell businesses for a living, you quickly learn to gauge the sincerity of different sellers and buyers. This is an indispensable skill if you’re on either side of a business transaction. If you’re unable to qualify buyers or listings, you could waste weeks or months (not to mention substantial funds) on a transaction that never comes to pass.

6. Understand the Emotions Behind Business Sales. From the outside, business sales might seem like a cut-and-dry process. Once you start to buy and sell businesses, you quickly learn that this isn’t the case. At Murphy Business, many of our business transfers involve small business owners who are selling for the first time. Selling a business is an emotional event for many of these sellers, so it’s important that both sides understand the emotional as well as financial stakes of the transaction.

7. Get a Grip on Financing Options. As a business buyer, you’ll want to research financing to ensure sufficient funds for purchase. Even as a seller, it’s a good idea to learn about financing options. At Murphy Business, we will often assist buyers with financing, even when we’re representing the seller. Buyer financing ensures fewer headaches for sellers, and because we’re familiar with the local area, we can point buyers in the right direction for local financing.

8. Surround Yourself with Experts & Specialists. Buying and selling businesses can be lucrative, but it’s rarely easy, and it’s always complicated. Even the most experienced buyers and sellers depend on professional advisors, including accountants, tax specialists, lawyers, and business brokers. While it costs money to surround yourself with a team of qualified experts, doing so will save you countless hours, steer you clear of costly mistakes, and help you optimize your return on investment.

Discover why so many entrepreneurs buy and sell businesses with help from Murphy Business in Jacksonville Florida! Call (888) 561-3243 today for more information about our business brokerage services.

Peggy Kragh on the Value of Selling with a Business Broker

Before becoming a business broker, Peggy Kragh’s career included stops in e-commerce, online publishing, construction, property management, and telecommunications. Peggy’s marketing savvy and a finance background led to success at every step of her journey. But it wasn’t until she joined the Murphy Business network that Peggy found her true calling as a professional business broker.

“It’s not an easy business,” she explains. “But it’s very rewarding to see a seller get full value for their business and to see that business flourish after a sale.”

Since launching her brokerage business in 2008, Peggy has become one of Murphy’s most successful business brokers. She is a three-time member of Murphy’s “Million Dollar Club” and was named the #1 Murphy Business office in 2015. These days, Peggy handles business sales in three of Montana’s most attractive metro areas, boasting a sell-through rate of more than 80%.

In a recent conversation, we asked Peggy for her advice to business owners getting ready to sell their business. Here’s what she had to say.

Why Hire a Business Broker When Selling?

Every year, thousands of business owners sell their companies. Yet the vast majority of these sellers don’t actually bother to hire a business broker. According to Peggy, many of these sellers struggle to sell their business for proper value.

“We hear over and over how business owners have tried to sell on their own and have run into problems,” she says. “Most business owners have never done this before, and a business broker brings a lot of value to the process.”

In Peggy’s experience, business owners make a number of common errors when they try to sell a business on their own. Some end up selling their business for a fraction of its actual value, while others struggle to attract qualified buyers.

“One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make is selling to the first buyer. Someone approaches them to sell their business and they make that sale without putting their business on the market. I always say that one buyer does not make the best price.”

“Other business owners will put too high a price on their business, and then it doesn’t sell. If it sits on the market, people start to think there’s something going on with it, and then you need to drop the price dramatically.”

Peggy says that business sellers can easily avoid these issues by hiring a qualified and experienced business broker. This way, you can start with an accurate sense of your business’s value. What’s more, you’ll have an expert to help you maximize that value.

The Value of a Professional Business Valuation

When a business owner comes to Peggy with the intention of selling their business, Peggy starts by conducting a professional business valuation. This, she says, is an integral step for business sellers, one which underscores the value of hiring a business broker.

“Most property owners know the value of their property. But business owners rarely know the value of their business. We show them on paper what that value is and where that value comes from. Once somebody has gone through that process, they understand our value, because they understand that we know the market.”

During the valuation process, Peggy works closely with business owners to help them understand how their business value has been calculated. Sellers learn how different aspects of their business influence this figure, as well as what steps they can take to boost the value of their business.

“What I’m doing is helping someone understand the value of their business, and what’s a big contributor to that value, and what’s a big deterrent to that value,” Peggy says, stressing the importance of the valuating your business with a business broker. “You have to have a baseline, and you have to understand what creates value in a business.”

Boost Value with Help from a Business Broker

Once her clients have gone through the valuation process, Peggy employs a number of strategies to help them capture full and fair value for their business. If a seller is happy with the valuation figure of their business, Peggy helps them market their business. As a member of the Murphy Business network, Peggy has access to national and international brokerage associations, allowing her to reach a wider pool of qualified buyers.

Before listing a business, Peggy prepares bespoke marketing materials for the business. This helps her attract a larger pool of qualified buyers, and it helps her clients capture full value for their business. “It takes packaging,” Peggy says of the marketing process. “You already know the value of your business. But we package the business so that the buyer sees the value.”

If the valuation figure is lower than the seller expected, Peggy will work with them to boost the market value of their business. To do so, she identifies issues that reduce the business’s value on the open market, as well as strategies for how to increase the business value.

According to Peggy, there are three common reasons for a lower-than-expected business valuation:

  • Dependency on the Owner. “A business owner who’s required for everything — that’s not attractive for buyers. What happens to the business when the previous owner isn’t there?”
  • Concentration of Customers. “We see a lot of businesses where 70% or more of their business comes from just one or two customers. That’s a big risk for a new owner.”
  • Living Out of Your Business. “You need to keep your personal life separate from your business life. I always tell clients: Clean records sell.”

Peggy says that a number of her clients who were initially disappointed with their original valuation later managed to sell their businesses at a much higher figure. She cites one case in particular where a seller received a much lower-than-expected valuation. With Peggy’s advice, the owner successfully doubled the value of his business.

At the end of the day, Peggy believes that hiring a business broker is an important step for any business seller. “Selling a business is an emotional process, and most business owners have never done this before. They need someone to guide them through the sales process and get them across the finish line.”

Getting ready to sell a business? Call Murphy Business at (727) 725-7090 to connect with a local business broker and learn more about our services.