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How Not to End Up Working with a Bad Business Broker

So you have spent years successfully building up your supermarket to what it is today, and have finally made that exciting decision to implement your exit strategy and sell it for the right price. That means enlisting the work of an experienced industry broker to help you through the stages of a quick and easy sale.

The last thing you want is a repeat of some of those horror stories you’ve been hearing from colleagues though, right? That when they went to sell their business that their broker disappeared, didn’t stay in touch and never got any offers. So what are the things you need to look out for when it comes to making sure you get the right broker – and ensure they don’t do a disappearing act on you?

Work with an industry expert

Professional brokers who work with supermarket owners are responsible for a lot; and good ones will provide information on business valuations and appraisals, tips to help you prepare to sell, and advice on how to get all your paperwork and legal notifications well before you put it up for sale.

According to Business Sale and Valuation Expert Brian Mazar from American Fortune Mergers and Acquisitions, you need to choose someone who wants to work in your best interest.

“Choose a firm (or broker) that uses a ‘business advisor’ approach that fully serves the client’s best interests and by not following the traditional business broker model,” he says.

Don’t be afraid to speak to others

Likewise, look for ratings and customer reviews from other business owners who have used the broker you’re interested in using. Contact them for a chat, see if the process was clear and easy, and if they were happy with their overall performance.

Research and ask questions

Your broker will be dealing with lots of paperwork, a big market, and a well-established supermarket, so it’s only natural that you ask the right questions. How many supermarkets they have sold in the past, how long they have been a broker for, and how many businesses do they sell a year?

Question how many listings they currently have – if you feel in your gut they have too many, that could very well be the case. They won’t pay enough attention to your sale and leave you to fend for yourself. If they don’t have enough listings, you’ve got to ask yourself – why?

Your broker should be a good communicator

Test them by way of a phone call and see how long it takes for them to return your message. Keep note if they listen to your needs and wants. Do they ask about your financial status and plans to learn everything about you? A good industry broker is a great communicator, and will always be in close contact with you.

Trust is a big factor, so ensure you feel comfortable with your industry broker, who should be happy to answer all your questions, constantly stay in touch with you, and be transparent with all their past experience.