Posts Tagged ‘ business brokers ’

So, a business broker, a priest and a stripper walk into a bar …

OK. At least there’s a business broker in the joke.   Read on …

Business brokers – for the small percentage of Americans who know what they are and what they do – have a mixed reputation in business communities. On the one hand, they’re the people business owners turn to in the hope of getting a great price for the sale of their companies. They’re also the people who not infrequently prod wary sellers – and buyers – to ‘move along’ with the deal.  Hmm…

And so – for the bad hats in our profession, we hear the jokes like this:

Business broker dies, goes to the front gates of heaven to present himself for his eternal reward. St. Peter holds up his hand and says, “You’re a difficult case. On the one hand, you did a lot for your community and its charities, but, on the other, there were some pretty shady owner-financing deals you peddled off. So, let me sell you on a sweet deal — we’re going to give you a tour of both your afterlife options to see where you’re most comfortable. “

The tour of heaven was delightful – the broker admired the broad streets lined with successful Main Street businesses and large homes (and thought who ARE the brokers around here?) but was a little turned off by people having fun by playing harps and singing heavenly music.

Second stop on the tour – Hell – wasn’t anything like the broker imagined. While not as much entrepreneurial activity — the people spent time playing golf or going to the club pools for smoking and drinking. And, amazingly, even the Devil seemed like a pretty nice guy.

“You know,” said the broker to St. Peter, “this is a tough call. Let me sleep on it and get back to you in the morning.”

And so it was agreed.

Next morning he told St. Pete his choice was Hell.  Long elevator ride …

The doors of Hell opened and what the business broker saw was just what we hear in Sunday school. Fire and brimstone, people burning and screaming out in anguish.

“Wait,” cried the broker to the Devil, “this isn’t at ALL what you showed me yesterday!”

“Oh, that” replied the Devil, “I guess the seller didn’t remind you of how fast deals can change. You should have locked in when you had a good offer.”


So, what are some of the ways that you can identify brokers you might want to steer clear of? How do you find people you will be comfortable dealing with something as financially and emotionally central to so many lives?

Social computing tools can help a lot. Different areas have forums where people share stories of their experience with different professionals. In Berkeley California, there’s a great local online space called Berkeley Parents Network. Yahoo Groups for neighborhoods can be places where you’ll get leads. Same thing for Google Groups.

More proactively? Start searching Facebook and LinkedIn profiles to locate possible candidates. If you’re comfortable with Twitter, today’s search on ‘Business Broker’ pops up over 50 tweets.

And, if you’re willing to deal with information overload, a search on “Blog, How to find broker recommendations” yields – well – put it this way … you’ll be skimming text for a long long time.

Next time – some specific search tips on tapping into what friends, colleagues and neighbors can teach you about their experiences with business brokers.


not as much a SIC group as a center of gravity

I help entrepreneurs buy and sell companies who’s focus is on new- and social-media.

That’s the short version.  Here’s the fuller story.

Web 2.0 *anything* has been the darling of the popular press for a couple of years now and while it’s frustratingly difficult to pin down, think of all the ways companies are using things like company blogs or wikis, home companies are taking more time (and investing in more infrastructure) to be more responsive to customer needs, and how, increasingly, ‘lightweight’ on-line tools are supplementing what used to be in-house (or on-desk) software packages  (things like the use of Google for market research, like the use of YouTube videos or screencasts for marketing, like the use of Facebook or Twitter to get brands and products in front of more people).

I’m the business broker interested in the companies that are giving everyone the tools and processes to change ways of doing business: all the companies that make these new tools, all the companies that repackage these tools and procedures into services for others to use, for the hardware and software infrastructure that makes these things work, and all the professional services that enable others to change the way they do business by way of all these new tools.

There are no clear boundaries of where these new tools start (or end), but there are areas of expertise that are strongest in the young companies that are making their mark in this world of “Enterprise 2.0”.  

And those are the areas where I help entrepreneurs.


If a picture is worth a thousand words, consider these two:


and …


why does anyone need a middleman to sell or buy?

You’d think it would be easy — you want to buy a business, you do what seems smart, prudent, professional, you look around for an opportunity. But, did you know — 8 out of 10 potential buyers give up the quest?

And on the flip side – it seems like a no brainer to sell a business.  But, did you know — 7 out of 10 poential business sellers end up …. NOT selling?

Morals from these hard won lessons are easy to spin, and despite the fact that this sound incredibly self-serving, both statistics point to an underlying truth.  For transactions as important as these, getting skilled hands involved ‘makes things happen.’

welcome to Business Marketplace 360

Marketplaces are about people coming together, about people buying and selling goods and services.   This is a place dedicated to the marketplace of small- and medium- sized businesses.  Over the next months, as this blog fills out, topics will focus ’round how companies are sold, about useful tips on the selling process, about helpful information for potential buyers, and about news of this particular activity – business brokerage.  

What are business brokers?

… I thought you’d never ask ..