I believe that there are four attributes one should look for in selecting a business broker.
- Integrity - I list this first as it truly is the most important. Only a broker with integrity can develop the kind of quality network who will seriously review opportunities he or she represents. Only a broker with integrity accepts engagements only if the expectations of the seller are within the scope of the market. Integrity translates into respect for the confidentiality issue, and concurrently for complete and clear disclosure to all parties.
- Tools - To be an effective broker, one must have the skills and tools needed to analyze, package, market, finance and close a transaction. This means embracing technology where it can facilitate the process but also appreciate the tools of face to face negotiations and relationship building.
- Experience - A golf pro trying to correct my swing once explained to me that “practice makes permanent”. What he meant was that only practicing and experiencing correctly, made one superior at what they were doing. Doing it wrong, over and over, does not make it right. I have been “doing it right” for over 30 years. I am the broker other brokers call on for advice.
- Passion - Every business owner knows from their own experience that only when they had a passion for what they were doing were they able to achieve beyond their own expectations. I love the process of first analyzing and creating a mutual understand of the value of the business between myself and the seller. Then I am able to transmit to prospective buyers my strong belief in the project I am representing. I transmit my enthusiasm for a project because I only accept projects I can be enthusiastic about!
Like the Marines, I am looking for “a few select projects”
After brokering businesses for many years, my focus turned to financing when I created Siegel Capital in 2002. This Philadelphia 100 repeat winner grew to become a national SBA loan packaging powerhouse. Ron Feldman and Nate Greenberg now handle the day to day operations with little input from “the old man”. That affords me the opportunity to re-focus my efforts to services I have the most passion for. Simply stated, I seek a few clients, typically with annual revenues from $1 to $10 million who can benefit from working with the best.
Awards and Board Memberships:
- Recipient of 2009 TOM WEST AWARD (the highest honor presented by the International Business Broker’s Association) for years of service promoting…….communication and ethics for the profession.
- First person in Pennsylvania to achieve the Certified Business Intermediary designation from the IBBA
- Advisory Board, Murphy Business (a national franchise chain of business broker offices)
- Small Business Advocate of the Year, Greater Phila. Chamber of Commerce
- Chairman, Temple University’s Entrepreneurial Institute
- Vice President, IBBA
- Member Inst. of Business Appraisers
- Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist
- Chairman, IBBA Govt. Relations Committee
- Founding Board Member, Greater Philadelphia Minority Business Strategic Alliance
Bernie is a sought-after speaker on entrepreneurship, financing of small businesses, exit strategies, valuations and franchising……..because he is not only a true expert but is an amalgam of knowledge, experience, wit, humor and has a sincere concern for small businesses and entrepreneurs.