Buying a business is a rewarding step toward self purpose and building personal wealth. It can be a grass roots adventure, made possible by you and the team of professionals you choose as your guide: an adventure of making your dreams a reality. Business buyers may come to business brokers in many “shapes and sizes”. As experienced and recognized leaders in business brokerage, IBG / BluestemUSA is comfortable guiding the process. We have negotiated and closed transactions with large, small and midsize business buyers, ranging from first time buyers to entrepreneurs, serial acquirers as well as institutional and corporate acquisition pros. We respect the importance of executing appropriate processes; enabling buyers to make informed choices in this major financial commitment, while protecting confidentiality and long term prospects of the businesses being brokered and investigated.
From our operational base in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as business brokers and M&A intermediaries, IBG / BluestemUSA wants buyers to know our roots in business are deep and span the USA. Our process is designed for buyers seeking businesses brokered on behalf of owners in transition. It is most effective to register as a buyer in our system. This allows us to notify you with fitting opportunities. We work as paid buy-side agents, or finders, assisting clients in finding businesses that may not be on the market or available from other business broker firms.
We welcome buyers who are considering working with a business broker to consider IBG / BluestemUSA’s Buying Process. Your first step is to call us 918-749-6016 or Connect with Us by email. Let us know about your objectives. Many businesses are sold before being profiled on a website or advertised for sale to the general public. Registered business buyers gain “Preferred Status” for access to the best opportunities to succeed in their search.
John C. Johnson’s Tips For Buying a Business
In twenty-five years of experience as M&A business brokers, we have worked successfully with a wide variety of business buyers. Following are a few of the many factors that drive or defeat a buyer’s success:
- Experience Matters. A highly experienced business broker brings many advantages to buyers as well as sellers. Experience gives a broker the all important sense of the market. A seasoned broker will know what is available, how to get a deal done, and may even be able to point toward lender options. Regardless of who they may represent, the most fundamental part of their assignment is to get a deal done – successfully.
- Register Your Interest & Qualifications. You can expand the effectiveness of your search for a business to buy by registering your interests, objectives, and qualifications with Bluestem. We will then be on the alert to find the business you seek, and make you aware of opportunities. The deal you seek may be coming to the market, but without registering, you may never know it’s available before it’s sold.
- Sell Yourself. Buyers sometimes choose counterproductive behaviors to posture for negotiations. In the end, a business owner will normally require affinity for the buyer to be willing to close a sale. Before a transaction is closed, there is invariably a need for the seller to trust, and believe in, the buyer’s genuine interest in the well-being of the sell. Stated differently, the buyer will need to sell his or herself to the seller. Negotiate a good deal, but don’t kill the opportunity by posturing your position.
- Who’s agent? While a business broker may help either or both sides in facilitating a business transaction, it is unusual for the broker to fundamentally represent the interests of both buyer and seller. Ethics and results are better served by being primarily responsible to buyer or seller, not both. That said, experienced brokers will be highly responsive and valuable to buyer prospects, even when representing the interests of a selling owner. The agent should serve as an informed guide, and wise buyers heed this guidance, but expect to verify in due diligence.
- The lightning rod. Buyer and seller have a shared major objective – closing a transaction together. There is ample reason to be cordial and cooperative. They also have strong opposing interests in specific price and terms issues necessary to close the deal. Having a lightning rod to absorb, or deflect, the inevitable emotional issues until resolved, and often proves invaluable to closing the deal, and preserving good relations between buyer and seller to and beyond closing. Bluestem does this. This is an important key function Bluestem brings to the deal.
- Protect confidentiality! You will be required to sign a strong confidentiality agreement by any knowledgeable seller. Honor it in spirit and word. If you buy the business, it is to your advantage that the confidentiality has been preserved for you. If you do not buy “this” business, you do not want your reputation soured by careless treatment of information on previous dealings.
- Embrace Bluestem’s proven process. Our proven M&A selling process works. It simplifies and expedites the purchase, and the sale. Professional buyers welcome the represented seller, following the accepted process. The buyer knows the steps and the seller understands them too. The selling process has many complications and is not enhanced by a serendipitous or haphazard process. Bluestem understands this and works to keep an effective process for all parties.
- Educated & motivated seller. A prime advantage from using a business broker comes from their investment in preparing the seller. Accepting an ill-informed or improperly motivated seller is a mistake brokers learn to avoid; it too is likely no deal will ever be satisfactory. As a skilled broker, Bluestem qualifies and educates its buyer or seller clients before going into the market to create a superior environment for success. This helps ensure the buyer is working with a seller who knows what to expect and who will not be responding from unreasonable expectations, fear, or ignorance. Professional buyers often express a preference for working with sellers that have employed a well educated and professional M&A business broker, such as BluestemUSAsm, to guide them.
- Conduit of information. Obtaining needed information about a business is critical to reducing the buyer’s risk and progressing to a closing. Qualified business brokers appreciate the value of investing in gathering, organizing, and effectively presenting information about their selling clients. “Do it yourself” sellers seldom have command of the need and steps to fully prepare. Bluestem serves as a coordinated and informed focal point and conduit of information between the buyer, the seller, and their respective advisors, lenders, etc.
- Trust, but verify – do your due diligence. First, trust your gut; if the business feels wrong, be prepared to walk away. Second, trust your representative and the business owner, but verify. Due diligence is a crucial part of a transaction. Take it seriously and do it well. If anyone has informed you of anything that is material to your purchase transaction, prove it to your satisfaction in due diligence.
Additional Comments . . .
For a buyer, working with a business broker should be rewarding and enjoyable. Experienced business brokers in Oklahoma, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, or elsewhere can help simplify the business buying process, ease obtaining capital, facilitate negotiations, and reduce risk. A capable agent will make the process faster, easier, less expensive, and more effective. Knowing this, it is important to realize the best business brokers are skilled professionals, but not miracle workers. Do not expect a business broker to be the know all, be all, and see all. Be responsible for your decisions in buying a business and do not expect anyone else, business broker or others, to investigate and decide for you. Plan and execute a thorough due diligence to satisfy yourself that all representation material to your decision prove out from your investigation.
Bluestem Resources Group is a respected firm, headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, as business brokers of midsize companies and small businesses. There are a number of Oklahoma business brokers in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, and elsewhere. Business buyers and sellers often distinguish between business brokers primarily by fees and conversation.
These may be the worst decision parameters, like looking through binoculars through the wrong end. A great deal of value is at stake, and only few requirements exist before one can put out a business brokerage shingle. That does not mean agents are indistinguishable. Look to the track record, their standing in the profession, advanced formal and heavy continuing education. Your broker should have client testimonials and show a strong portfolio of done deals, not just a few “headliners”. A short time in the business brokerage, without a proven mentor and guide on board, is never a good sign. Check out the broker’s background – never accept unexplained “holes” in career history, colleges and degrees completed, or continuous tenure in the business sale profession.
Brokering businesses is a specialty, whether in Tulsa, Oklahoma City, smaller rural communities, Oklahoma’s Green Country, the great Southwest, Main Street USA, or internationally. It is a specialty, if the business to be brokered is small, midsize, or a middle market firm, and is no less so if brokers represent a selling business or are agents for a corporate buyer.
As agents, knowing the objectives of the owner, having a strong understanding of the business sale to be negotiated, and knowing the full dimensions of the process, are critical first steps. The effective business broker must compile the introductory information about the client’s business, as well as background support data. They must then present effectively and serve as a conduit of information in investigations. They will provide guidance through the process and negotiations, and help keep other advisors communicating and on track through closing.
For additional information on IBG / BluestemUSA’s capabilities and track record of success, see our Client Successes. To learn more about selling a midsize business or small business in Oklahoma, or the surrounding states, see Selling My Business. To begin working with a business broker to find business acquisitions, see Buying a Business. Check out IBG / BluestemUSA’s Competitive Advantage to understand the benefit we bring to our clients from Tulsa, OK – in corporate acquisitions – or as advisors and M&A business Brokers of small and midsize businesses.