As a business owner you have to interview your future employees for a vacant position, but hardly you may think of an interview of more importance than the interview for your business broker.

It doesn’t really matter what is the reason for you to seek such a specialist – you may be planning to sell your company and finish your career with a good retirement check, or you are looking to find a new starting point in a new and developing industry or a merger that would improve your position on the market drastically. The only thing that matters is the expertise of your business broker, his set of skills and experience in your specific field of work. At this point you should be wondering: “What questions should I ask when interviewing a broker?”. In order to save you some time and help find the right person or a firm for you, we gathered the most important and popular questions to ask brokers.

In case you are still at the point of looking for a broker for the interview – we prepared something for you as well. Visit a website where you can find online business brokers in your region or someone with a lot of experience in your industry. After you reach out to a specific advisor you would probably have a personal meeting at some point, and our set of questions would help you to be prepared and have basic and more specific questions to ask a business broker about their experience. But in the end you have to remember that there are no right and wrong answers for these questions and as every company and business history and situation is unique, you should look for a personal and professional understanding that this is the right person for you, that would not only help you throughout the process but also bring some value to the table and would be worth every dollar from his closer fee. Hopefully, our article would help you to better understand how to interview a business broker.

What is your experience in this industry? Have you been a business owner before?

As we mentioned before, every situation is unique, and you may be the best professional in a restaurant business, but it would turn out to be not very helpful in e-commerce or business that provides accountant services. It doesn’t have to be necessary, but it may save you some valuable time on explaining the basics of your day-to-day operations and a broker that is well versed in your industry may already have a shortlist of potential buyers on day one. Also, the experience of being the business owner should let you know that this professional would understand your troubles, your fears and desires and understand the value of all of your hard work that went into building and developing this company. This should be one of the first questions to ask a broker when interviewing for better understanding of the background and level of experience of the candidate.

What were the results of your last three transactions? And what was the result of the situation that was most similar to mine?

These are some of the basic questions to ask a business broker about their success rate. The answer for these questions should include the specific numbers of initial evaluation of the business, the final number when the deal was signed and as much important as the first two numbers – how long have it taken to finalize the transaction from the day of first evaluation until the last document was signed. You are looking not as much as a salesperson as for an advisor who understands the needs of the buyer and is able to increase the value of your business through his business advice and qualified presentation and negotiation skills. Great business broker pays for himself – in the way that he helps to increase the initial value for a number that would be bigger than his fee in the end.

Since not all states require licenses for business brokers there is no way to ensure that your broker has all the necessary skills and training, unless the personal experience and the result of similar cases. It may help you to better understand the whole process and the expected time periods for each of them. And it is much easier to take the same journey for the second and any consecutive times, because the broker already knows where to find potential buyers and what to improve in your business and how to present it in the best possible way.

Where do you look for buyers? And how do you check potential buyers?

These are more specific questions to ask a business broker in an interview about their work process. You can put your business on some business-for-sale website yourself – there is no need to pay a 10 % fee for such help. But a good broker will not only find a potential buyer – he’ll make sure to find the best one for you. The one who is interested in your company as much as you interested in retirement and this would help you to get the better price as well.
In order to make sure that you would not waste your time, you have to be sure that the buyer already has or will have access to the needed amount of money, and that is part of the job of the broker as well – to check any potential buyer or have a plan or ready-to-use financial decision. And check the reputation of the future owner to ensure that the business would continue to grow, and your employees would still have their jobs.