Why Hire a Broker to Find Businesses for Sale?

With the proliferation of business listing websites, it’s become much easier to find businesses for sale. Because of this, some first-time buyers assume there’s little need to hire a business broker when buying a business.

That can be a serious mistake. While these websites have made it easier to find businesses for sale, the confidential nature of business sales keeps many of the best listings hidden from public view. Additionally, finding and buying a business remains a tricky, complicated process, particularly for first-time buyers.

Without a broker, you may struggle to find the right fit. And even if you do, you might have trouble closing the deal. So, before you start to look for businesses for sale, here’s why it’s a smart idea to hire a business broker.

Murphy Business helps business owners sell their business.

How Our Business Brokers Will Help You Find Businesses for Sale

We’ll Help You Understand What to Look For

A number of business buyers know what they want out of a business. But when they’re looking at businesses for sale, they’re not sure what look for in a business to make that happen.

At Murphy Business, our brokers are experts at determining what businesses have to offer, and how to read business listings to gather this information. So, when buyers need assistance finding businesses for sale, we know what to look for.

At the same time, we can use our experience from other transactions to help uncertain buyers narrow down their list of options. Based on your situation, skills, interests, and resources, we can recommend which types of businesses will be the best fit for your needs.

We’ll Help You Find Higher Quality Listings

When you’re searching for business listings on your own, you’ll face a number of hurdles. First, you might not know where to find the kind of listings you’re looking for. Second, you won’t have access to some of the top listing networks. Third, you’ll be less efficient than a broker, which means you’ll find fewer listings in the same amount of time.

By hiring a business broker to find businesses for sale, you can find better listings than if you were searching independently. Brokers will know where to look, will have access to industry networks, and can leverage their skills to find top listings in a shorter period of time.

We’ll Help You Avoid Easy-to-Make Mistakes

Buying a business is a tricky and expensive process. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy for buyers to make unforced errors and mistakes. Here are just a few examples:

    • Missing telltale warning signs of a high-risk business listing
    • Accidental confidentiality breaches before a business is sold
    • Procedural mistakes in financial or legal paperwork

With a business broker, you won’t run the risk of deeply expensive but easily made mistakes. An experienced broker will know which pitfalls to avoid. At the same time, they’ll have a proven system to ensure that I’s all get dotted and that T’s get all crossed.

We’ll Help You Negotiate and Close the Sale

A business broker won’t just help you find businesses for sale. They’ll also help you negotiate terms of sale and close the transaction.

Brokers have experience on both sides of business sales, so they know how to accommodate any specific concerns or requests from business sellers. If you hit a roadblock during negotiations, a broker can often find a workaround well-suited to both parties.

Hiring a business broker can also refer you to legal and financial specialists that you’ll need when purchasing a business. They can also help you acquire purchase financing, through referrals to traditional sources or through an SBA loan.

We’ll Save You Time, Effort, and Stress

Finding businesses for sale takes less time, less effort, and less stress with a business broker’s assistance.

On your own, you’d spend who-knows-how-many hours going through listings. That’s time and energy that you could direct to other pursuits.

At the same time, searching for businesses for sale can be a deeply stressful process. Without a broker’s expertise to rely on, you may worry about settling for a less-than-perfect business. Or you might fret about making small mistakes with big costs.

With an experienced business broker, these concerns fade into the background. By conducting the legwork of your search, a broker will spare you the time and effort that it takes to find great businesses for sale. At the same time, you’ll enjoy peace of mind, knowing that your search is being conducted by an experienced expert.

Start searching for businesses for sale with an experienced business broker! Call (727) 725-7090 to connect with your local Murphy Business office.

Murphy Business brokers can help you purchase your next business

An Expert’s Advice on How to Find a Business Broker

Frank Chebalo has been working in the business brokerage industry for more than a decade. He’s worked as a staff broker at a successful brokerage firm. He’s operated his own independent brokerage business. And since joining Murphy Business, his Hampton Roads brokerage firm has become one of our most successful offices. So if anyone knows how to find a business broker, it’s him.

If you ask Frank, he’ll tell you that most people aren’t sure what to look for in a broker. That’s partly because most people misunderstand the role that business brokers are supposed to serve.

“People say to me, ‘Oh, you sell businesses.’ But when you look at what we do, that’s not actually right. What we really do is solve problems for business owners. And that doesn’t always mean selling the business.

“At the end of the day, we’re individuals helping other individuals solve a problem.”

In Frank’s view, if you’re selling a business, you don’t just want to find a business broker. You want to find a business broker who’s a committed problem solver.

Don’t Just Find a Business Broker, Find a Problem Solver

“We’re dealing with people where they’re selling the assets that they started, nurtured, and grew. So it’s not about finding just any buyer, but a buyer who’s going to carry the business forward.”

Frank says that the first problem most brokers need to solve is helping clients understand the brokerage process. Due to the confidential nature of business brokerage, many business owners have a hazy understanding of how a business actually gets sold. It’s important to find a business broker who makes that process as clear as possible.

“The reality of what we do is very difficult and complicated, and most people don’t fully understand it. So the first thing I’ll do is sit down with a person and talk them through what selling their business looks like. That way, they get an understanding of how the process evolves, even if now’s not the right time to sell their business, which it isn’t for a lot of people.”

At that point, Frank says it’s important that you find a business broker who can accept that answer.

“A lot of people will come back a year later, and by then, they’re ready to sell, and they’re in a much better position.”

Frank notes that it’s best to find a business broker who takes this problem-solving mindset into the sale process as well.

“We’re dealing with people where they’re selling the assets that they started, nurtured, and grew. So it’s not about finding just any buyer, but a buyer who’s going to carry the business forward. Someone who will keep it going long after the sale. And in the end, our clients are thrilled, because they’ve exchanged out the business, which was their ultimate goal, and they feel that they’ve handed it off to the right person.”

What Problem Solving Means for Business Brokers

“All of a sudden that energy and creativity comes back to them. And lo and behold, the business starts to perform again.”

Frank offers another example of why it’s so important to find a business broker who’s more interested in solving client’s problems than selling their business.

“The most difficult situations are the ones where the business owner has allowed a business to deteriorate in performance. By the time they come and talk to us, they need to get the business sold, because they’ve run out of energy. They’re coming to us saying: ‘I need to sell my business. It’s getting away from me, it’s costing me money, I can’t keep up. I need it sold.’ And at that point, you have to say: ‘We’re not in a good place here.’

“I’ve done this a few times, where you enter into a consulting arrangement, and you help bring the business back up to speed. You make things more manageable. You get someone else involved. And you give the owner time to live their life again. All of a sudden that energy and creativity comes back to them. And lo and behold, the business starts to perform again.

“A lot of times, at the end of that process, the owner doesn’t want to sell their business anymore because it’s fun and rewarding and profitable again. And even though we didn’t sell their business, we solved their problem.”

The Advantages of Murphy Business vs. Independent Brokers

“There’s a built-in wealth of knowledge with Murphy that you don’t get with independent brokers.”

When it comes time to find a business broker, Frank says that there are advantages to hiring a broker who’s part of an established brand, like Murphy Business. Having worked as an independent broker himself, Frank says that independent brokers can have trouble finding time for their clients.

“As an independent broker, I had to do a lot of back-office work by myself. But Murphy does an excellent job of taking care of that work. Now I have that time back, so I can put that time into my clients, where it’s needed.”

He also stresses the value of finding a business broker who is part of a larger, trusted network. This way, they can draw on the expertise of other experienced brokers.

“Over the years, and this is known industry wide, the organization has attracted the best of the best,” he explains. “There’s a built-in wealth of knowledge with Murphy that you don’t get with independent brokers. And when I’m facing an unusual problem that I don’t know how to solve; I can find a business broker who does and give them a call.”

Want to find a business broker in your area? Call us today at (888) 561-3243 and connect with your local Murphy Business office.

What Sets Our Business Broker Service Apart?

At Murphy Business, we’ve worked hard to become the business broker service we are today. Over that past 25 years, we’ve become a leading name within the business brokerage category, and we’ve set ourselves apart in a number of ways.

For starters, we offer the high-touch relationships that distinguish local brokers. Unlike most larger brokerage firms, we specialize in Main Street business transactions. We take the time to understand what makes your business unique, as well as what makes it uniquely valuable.

At the same time, we’re one of the largest business brokerage networks in North America, giving our brokers the resources, systems, and reach of a larger brokerage firm. We offer access to certified valuation specialists, customized marketing materials for your business listing, access to national and international brokerage networks, and more.

And that’s just the start of what makes us unique as a business broker service…

The Unique Qualities of Our Business Broker Service

If you’ve sold or bought a business through Murphy Business before, you already know what makes us unique. But if you’re working with us for the very first time, here are five areas where we stand out from other brokerage service providers.

Our Commitment

We dedicate our professional lives to business brokerage.

Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of business brokers. On the one hand, you have brokers who treat business brokerage as a full-time vocation. On the other hand are brokers who approach their work as a second job or a kind of professional hobby.

Unsurprisingly, the best business brokers tend to fall within the first category. They’re more invested in their clients, they’re more experienced and knowledgeable, and they boast wider professional networks. Simply put, their more committed to their work — and it shows.

With Murphy Business, you never need to worry about working with a part-time business broker. Every single broker within the Murphy network is dedicated to business brokerage full-time. By choosing our business broker service, you’ll be working with a dedicated, full-time broker.

Our Experience

We boast 25 years of business brokerage experience.

Our business broker service was launched four decades ago by our founder, Roger Murphy. Since then, we’ve become one of North America’s leading names in the field of business brokerage services. We’ve earned this distinction in part by making our 25 years of experience available to every client.

Each of our brokers has a detailed knowledge of the brokerage industry. This is made possible by our rigorous broker selection process, as well as the robust training we require for all Murphy Business brokers.

At the same time, we provide our brokers with direct access to industry experts. We maintain a network of veteran brokers for this purpose, allowing our brokers to quickly answer questions about practically any matter related to business sales and brokerage.

Our Reach

We can reach a wider and higher quality pool of business buyers.

Murphy Business started with a single office in Clearwater, Florida. Now, we operate in more than 35 states and Canada. This makes us one of the largest, most successful, and most recognized business brokerage networks in North America.

This gives us a level of reach that a typical business broker service cannot offer. We connect our clients with certified valuation specialists, provide referrals to local business services, and can help buyers find local financing.

More importantly, we have access to national and international listing networks. This allows our business broker service to market your business to a much wider pool of qualified buyers. As a national network, our brokers can collaborate on cross-market transactions, facilitating interstate and international sales.

Our Process

We use a proven system for business valuations, listings, and sales.

When you hire a business broker service, the first thing you should look for is a proven track record.

At Murphy Business, we not only offer the confidence of a proven track record. We also use a proven system for all of our business brokerage services. This system ensures a meticulous level of due diligence at each stage of the sales process: from your initial valuation to the listing of your business to the negotiation of the sale.

We also offer robust marketing materials for business sellers. We’ll create a custom listing to attract potential buyers, plus a detailed offering package to entice qualified buyers to purchase.

Our Values

We approach our work with honesty, integrity, and ethical practices.

In searching for a business broker service, you may cross paths with inexperienced or untrustworthy brokers. Some may try to win your business by inflating the value of your business in their initial estimates. Others may misrepresent their level of experience or their track record with business sales.

At Murphy Business, we know the importance of honesty and integrity in a business broker service. Our company was founded on rigorous ethical standards, and we hold our brokers to these standards above all else.

By working with a Murphy Business broker, you can rest assured in the honesty of our advice and the integrity of our values. We maintain an extraordinary level of professionalism and discretion, and we’re committed to making each sale work for all parties involved.

Connect with your local Murphy Business broker service and request a free consultation by calling (727) 725-7090 today!

The Advantages of Selling with Small Business Brokers

When you’re selling a business, finding the right business broker will save a lot of time and stress. More importantly, it will improve the actual chances of selling your business, and it can help increase the value of your sale. So, you want to make sure that your broker understands what it takes to sell your business. For most small business owners, that means choosing a small business broker.

What constitutes a small business? The Small Business Administration is the best place to reference for details, but typically a company with less than 250 employees is considered a small business. While the definition does vary by industry, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council found that of all US firms, 99.7% or 28 million are considered small businesses.

Murphy Business brokers can assist you in selling your business.

Small business brokers are brokers who specialize in selling smaller. These brokers tend to work directly with independent business owners, rather than working as part of a larger, multi-touchpoint team. They also tend to be locally based, focusing on sales within a particular market.

This makes them uniquely valuable to small business owners in a number of ways, both before and during the business sales process.

Why Sell with a Small Business Broker?

If you’re selling a small business, it simply makes sense to hire a broker who specializes in small business sales.

First and foremost, they’ll understand how to sell a small business better than a broker who’s focused on mid-size companies. The best small business brokers have chosen to focus on Main Street business sales because they’re passionate about working with Main Street business owners.

As a result, they’ve built a unique skill set for valuating and selling small businesses. At the same time, they understand the small business market better than most other brokers. They also possess detailed understanding of how different small businesses operate, and how different business structures impact the value of a business listing.

Working with a small business broker also comes with additional benefits. For example…

High-Touch Relationships

With small business brokers, one of the biggest advantages is the high-touch nature of their client relationships.

With larger brokerage firms, you’re typically looking at one of two options. Some of these firms specifically target larger businesses. They might accept small business listings, but they don’t invest a lot of time in smaller clients. Then you have larger firms that target smaller businesses, but who churn out listings via an assembly-line-style process.

In neither case will you build the kind of relationship you want with a business broker.

Instead, you want a broker who works specifically with small business owners and who treats each business and listing as a unique project. This kind of broker will take the time to understand the ins and outs of your business, what’s contributing to or detracting from its value, and how to make it saleable.

Professional References

The vast majority of business brokers are locally based, serving sellers within a specific metro area or regional market. Over time, they develop relationships with other local providers of professional services, including valuation specialists, attorneys and paralegals, real estate brokers, and loan officers.

These relationships can prove valuable to small business owners preparing to sell a business. Most sellers have never gone through the process of selling a business, so they don’t know which kinds of services they need or who to trust with these services.

A small business broker with a strong reputation and track record can refer you to other professionals who provide the services you need. Keep in mind that, typically, a broker only makes money if they successfully sell your business, and the money they make is contingent on the value of that sale. So, it’s in a broker’s best interests to connect you with the services you need to make your business more saleable and valuable.

Best of all, brokers who work with small business owners tend to develop referral networks with similar professionals. That means referring you to other professional services providers who specialize in working with small businesses like yours.

Local Expertise

A local business broker isn’t just a great source for referrals. They’re also a great source for information and insights about your local market.

This level of expertise can prove valuable in many different ways. If there are state or local regulations that could complicate the sale of your business, a great broker will not only alert you to these regulations but will also help you navigate them. If you find the perfect buyer but they’re looking for local financing, your broker will know where to direct them.

At the same time, a local small business broker will know how to market your city or region. Many business buyers are looking to not only find a great business, but also a great place to live. A great local business broker will know which types of buyers are attracted to your area, which qualities about your area attract them, and how to market your listing to these buyers.

Finding Small Business Brokers Near You

While selling with a small business broker has lots of advantages, that’s only the case if you find the right broker. If you choose an unreliable, inexperienced, or otherwise low-quality broker, you won’t enjoy these benefits.

Our suggestion? Start by contacting your nearest Murphy Business brokerage office. We have decades of experience working with small business owners. Additionally, each of our brokers offers the kind of local expertise you need in a small business transaction.

While we offer all the benefits that you’d expect from small business brokers, we also offer the perks of a larger brokerage network. Our brokers use a proven system for assessing, valuating, and listing small businesses for sale. We also have access to national and international brokerage networks. This allows us to reach a much larger pool of qualified buyers compared to your typical independent broker.

Looking for small business brokers in your area? Call (727) 725-7090 today and connect with your local Murphy Business Broker!

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!

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.

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.

7 Reasons to Hire a Professional Business Broker

If you’re planning to buy or sell a business, you’ve likely thought about whether to hire a professional business broker. This could be one of the biggest transactions you ever make, so it’s important that you leave nothing to chance. A business broker will be there at every step of the transfer process, protecting you from costly mistakes and ensuring you get maximum value from your investment.

Despite the advantages of hiring a business broker, many business sales still occur without one or more parties retaining brokerage services. That can lead to serious problems. So, if you’re on the fence about whether or not to hire a broker, it’s a good idea to take a closer look at the advantages offered by a professional business broker.

7 Advantages to Using a Professional Business Broker

1. Save Time. Buying or selling a business is a complicated process. If you don’t have extensive experience in the world of business sales, each step of this process can take an extraordinary amount of time. A professional business broker gives you the experience you need to shrink the timeline of your sale/purchase. He or she will also do much of the heavy lifting on your behalf. This could save you literally hundreds of hours compared to a DIY approach.

2. More Opportunities. With the right broker, you can reach a much wider pool of buyers or sellers. Take your local Murphy Business Broker. Each of our brokers is tapped into his or her own local market, providing you with an inside track on business sale opportunities within your metro area. At the same time, our brokers have access to national and global business sales networks. This gives you access to a near-unlimited pool of buyers and sellers.

3. Qualifying Expertise. Many of the biggest mistakes made in business transfers happen at the qualification phase. Mistakes at this phase can result in pursuing bad prospects, leading to untold amounts of wasted time and money. In the worst cases, a deal can fall apart in the finalizing stages, after you’ve already taken steps to assume or relinquish ownership of the business. By hiring a professional business broker, you can ensure this process is properly handled, protecting your interests.

4. Business Valuations. Another common problem in business transfers is the improper valuation of a business. If you’re buying a business that is priced over its value, you could end up with an abysmal return on your investment. The same applies if you’re selling a business that is undervalued. Many professional business brokers — including your local Murphy Business Broker — can connect you with an accredited valuation expert, ensuring you get fair market value for your investment.

5. Assistance with Financing. If you’re planning to purchase a business, there’s a good chance that you will need financing. This is yet another area where a professional business broker can provide guidance and assistance. At Murphy Business, we connect purchasers with banking contacts and provide detailed advice about how to pursue financing.

6. Confidentiality. Every year, an untold number of sales implode due to lack of discretion. If word gets out that a business is for sale, that business could run into serious problems. Workforce morale could plummet, employees could jump ship, and customers could start to shop elsewhere. When you’re selling a business, a professional business broker can protect your identity and that of your business. This way, you can avoid unwanted disruptions until the sale is finalized.

7. Paperwork & Legalities. When you are purchasing or selling a business, minor oversights can have major consequences. It is therefore critical that any documentation is handled correctly, and that you are guided by experts who understand the legalities of the sales process. A professional business broker will ensure that you are covered in both of these areas.

Looking to hire a professional business broker for help buying or selling a business? Call (727) 725-7090 today to connect with your local Murphy Business Broker and get started!