7 Tips on Picking the Best Business Broker

Thinking of selling your small business? Are you one of those fearless entrepreneurs who think they can market, negotiate and close a deal by themselves or are you going to take the more logical route of working with a business broker? If sanity prevails and you are going to work with a pro, here are a few things to look for to find the best business broker.

1. Get recent references

Ignore all the hype a brokerage firm places in their literature and ask for recent references and then follow up and actually check them out. If you’re dealing with a larger business brokerage, get references from the broker you will be working with. Big offices will always have rookies and you want to insure that the broker you get knows his or her stuff.

2. Work with certified brokers

Many states require that business brokers hold a real estate license but just having that license does not mean that the broker necessarily knows anything about buying or selling a business. In fact a number of realtors turn “business brokers” when the real estate market gets slow. What you should be looking for is certification from the International Business Brokers Association who grants a certificate as Certified Business Intermediary (CBI) after completion of an extensive educational course.

3. Don’t be fooled

If the reason that you are considering selling is because you received a letter or email from a broker with the message “We have a buyer for you” then think again. This is one of the most common marketing ploys used in this business. Without question these brokers probably have people interested in buying a business but not necessarily yours.

4. Don’t rush to a decision

Selling your business is a big deal and one you want to be sure you do right. In your conversation with brokers ask them if now is a good time to sell. Ask for an opinion of value. Coming up with this could take a bit of time and if the broker is reputable, he or she may advise you not to put the business on the market but rather make suggestions on what to do to improve the value. A broker who makes this suggestion is looking to make both of you a bigger buck by making the business more attractive.

5. Pick a brokerage with experience in your industry

Look at current listings that the broker has. Check out both the size and types of industries to insure that he or she has experience in your market place. Again, don’t rely on marketing material find out the facts yourself.

6. How does the broker market

Ask what the broker’s marketing plans are and ask to see samples. If he simply puts an ad in the paper or posts it to a single website you probably aren’t getting the exposure you deserve. Good brokers have networks they can tap to find interested and qualified buyers.

7. Avoid packaged services

At some point in the sales process you are going to need the services of an attorney and a qualified accountant. Your broker will probably offer those services but in most cases what he or she is doing is outsourcing to someone else. If you have your own attorney and CPA just stick with them. Otherwise it may be less expensive to find and deal direct with those professionals rather than getting them through the broker.

Finding the best business broker isn’t really that difficult it simply requires some time and effort on your part. However, getting the best broker makes a huge difference in how the experience plays out and the total value of the deal.

Social Media Marketing: A New Business Prime Mover

What Is Social Media Marketing?

Almost half of more than 2 billion people who regularly use the internet are addicted to Facebook. Using the social media outlets like this one has been a recent phenomenon, interlinking people through a cyberspace process. And this is the main reason why businessmen should consider social media marketing as a new prime mover of their business for them to hit ‘profit.’

Social media marketing is a process giving multiple benefits to business owners by way of using Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, LinkedIn or Tumblr Accounts to promote brands of products and services. People are very much aware of these social media channels. For this reason, the business owners can expect an incredible increase of their sales volume that is denoting income.

Comparing it to the conventional way of promoting business brands, i.e. the use of televisions or radios, this newly-discovered method is more powerful in one way or another due to several factors such as:

1. No territorial boundary;
2. Greater market;
3. Lesser investment; and
4. Simultaneous promotional actions.

How Does This Prime Mover Work?

The first factor talks about the spatial aspect. Applying this technique does not put limitation on where should and where should not. There is no delineated and surveyed market territory where a particular business is only allowed to operate. The main medium is the internet and it penetrates almost every geographical line of the four hemispheres of the world.

The second factor emphasizes quantity. Try to imagine that in a traditional way of promotion, let say TV, it is only feasible to tap those people in a certain locality who are watching the primetime show with the advertisement of this product during commercial breaks. The difference now is that, it might be more doable to persuade more people simultaneously about particular brands through the social networking sites.

The third factor implies ‘money’ used in the promotion. Paying television networks needs big additional capital. However, opening a Facebook page is free. What is important is to learn about the dynamics of this promotional technique. In fact, there are people who are earning by opening a simple online store in FB.

The last factor elucidates time. Simultaneous action is indicated in this methodological application. Try to imagine that it is possible to have a lot of social media accounts. And instantaneously, it is probable to promote products and services using those accounts.

It is quite simple to analyse. The factors being considered are place, people, capital and time. No businessman will tend to neglect these aspects. They are the known as the business pillars. With the presence of social media networks, generating what a businessman calls ‘profit’ has a greater feasibility. Social media serve as the new prime mover of business.

Organizational Culture – Service Industry

One of the most underrated aspects of making a business successful is the importance of the organizational culture. The culture is built on the shared values, beliefs, and principles of individuals within the organization. Instead of focusing on building a strong, sustainable culture, organizations are more concerned with cutting costs. The service industry is a prime example of this. I have worked in different facets of the service industry for the past five years and all the organizations I have worked for are structured the same way. They use labor, food, and bar costs as a barometer to measure how well the organization is operating. Management is judged by how well they are able to manage these costs.

How much total revenue the organization brings in seems to be almost irrelevant. The overall goal of the organization is to maximize profit. Lowering labor, food, and bar costs and maximizing profits do not go hand in hand. For example, a manager could decide to cut the number of employees working on a Saturday night in half. The manager could also order poor quality food in attempt to lower food cost. Meanwhile, the service and quality of the product suffer because of the structure put in place by the organization, so no one wants to patronize the organization, thus actually reducing profits. Organizations structured in this manner suffer from weak cultures. The organization’s goal, maximizing profits, and the management’s goal, lower costs, are not aligned, resulting in a large organizational performance gap. According to the article “Importance of Organization Culture”, building a strong organizational culture helps with many aspects of making a business successful including the following:

• Aligning individual and organizational goals
• Creating healthy competition amongst employees
• Helping create a positive brand image of the organization
• Creating a common platform allowing employees to perform at their best
• Helping unify employees from different backgrounds
• Promoting healthy relationships between employees
• Extracting the best out of each individual

A strong organizational culture conveys the goals, beliefs, ideas, and appropriate behaviors to individuals within an organization in order for the organization to achieve its goals (Gupta,2009). Poorly structured organizations in the service industry need to adapt by making changes to their culture. Changing the culture of an organization can be a very difficult task to accomplish. Leaders of the organization need to facilitate the change by evaluating ineffective strategies and recommending new strategies (Gupta,2009). The leaders must promote the cultural values of the organization by conveying these values to all individuals in the organization and encouraging socialization among employees. By developing a strong, sustainable culture, organizations will extract the best out of their employees, become more efficient, and increase profitability(Gupta,2009).

References

Gupta, A. (2009). “Changing Organizational Culture”. Practical Management Retrieved from
http://practical-management.com/Organization-Development/Changing-organizational-culture.html

“Importance of Organization Culture”. Management Study Guide. 2013. Retrieved from
http://managementstudyguide.com/importance-of-organization-culture.htm.