Business Brokerage Specialization? It’s Different Than You Think!

You may be surprised to discover that, for us, business brokerage is largely industry-agnostic.  Within the mergers and acquisitions (M&A) industry, we have encountered firms and brokers who focus their expertise in a specific niche, be it restaurants or healthcare-related businesses or otherwise.  While these preferences serve their own strategic business goals, we find this mindset does not apply to Calder’s business brokerage services.  Because our approach is technology-driven, we are able to transcend industry silos to ensure the broadest exposure to thousands of qualified buyers for each business we represent.

We have found that there are other significant characteristics, however, of business ownership that are the key drivers in establishing a relationship and executing a transaction.

  1. OWNERSHIP.  Independent and family-owned businesses are important to their respective industries, facing similar challenges and opportunities regardless of their industry.  Understanding the nuances of private ownership and structuring transactions to ensure specific owner needs are met is crucial.
  2. RAPPORT.  Entering into a transparent, trusting relationship is not something to be taken lightly.  Interactions should be positive and professional, communicative, and understanding.  The selection of a business broker is a highly relational component to a business sale’s success.
  3. THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DEAL.  For both buyers and sellers, the evaluation of the financial feasibility and potential profitability of the other side’s offer is not the only factor to take into consideration.  Each side needs to select each other – and we often find that although a seller receives multiple queries or LOIs, their understanding of the buyer determines their selection.
  4. GROWTH STRATEGY.  Whether growth is organic or the buyer is growing their business through acquisition, the future of the company is important to the current owner.  Every seller takes the buyer’s business plan into account, whether they remain in an advisory role or are selling outright.
  5. CONFIDENTIALITY.  Because the decision to enter into a business sale is a sensitive situation for many employers, maintaining the strictest confidentiality within their organization – keeping the stakeholders at the table to the smallest possible group – is crucial to the success of the transaction. 

Where we have determined that specialization occurs is in the structure and scale of a business. Traditionally, our sweet spot has been sell-side representation of business services and industrial companies $1-20MM in enterprise value. We continue to view this as segment as core primarily because a) we understand it; b) we have a large, growing, and developed pool of buyers; and c) this size/segment is generally underserved by small firms that do not operate efficiently or at any scale.

Over the years, however, we have expanded into almost every imaginable industry and size. Between Calder and our sister company, Small Business Deal Advisors, LLC, we are presently representing companies valued from $200,000 to $120MM.

When we provide technological efficiency as an overlay to the key drivers listed above, we ensure the sale of our clients’ businesses is a positive experience – regardless of industry.

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This blog post was written on behalf of Calder M&A Advisor Shane Kissack. Shane Kissack is a principal at our Chicago Metro office and can be reached here.

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