Frequently Asked Questions

General

Why should I use your program?

We save you time and money when selling your business. Our system is simple and easy to follow. You get access to the same tools and resources we use when charging commissions in excess of $100,000.

Is selling a business hard?

It can be. It depends how you go about it. Frankly, dealing with buyers can be time-consuming. With our program, however, you do not have to deal with tire kickers. Our program naturally weeds them out. It can also be hard negotiating with buyers; however, even if you have a broker, you will still have to be involved in this process.

What are the chances of selling my business?

A lot of people ask us this question. It depends on many factors. But the bottom line is that if your business is attractive, and you market it for sale and position it properly, then you have a very high chance of selling it. The key is to market it to the widest audience possible, position it in the best light possible, and to use a proven system. Many brokers quote statistics of closed deals; however, in our experience, this is often puffery and not independently verified by a third party. Statistics are very difficult to compile because of the long cycle time of selling a business. Additionally, statistics can be skewed by the broker’s selection process. For example, if a broker only selects businesses that are easier to sell, then their percentage of closed deals will be much higher. This does not mean they are a more skilled broker; it only means they are selective in their client selection.

Does this really work?

Yes. These are the exact same tools we have used to sell hundreds of businesses for many years. We consider our resources and processes to be superior to those of other brokers because we have a large dedicated team made up of specialists in each phase of the process while most business brokers work solo without even one assistant. We consider a team to be much more effective than an individual.

Can you guarantee that this will work?

No, we would be lying if we guaranteed that. Nothing can be guaranteed when selling your business.

I haven’t been involved in many sales before, do I need experience?

Over half of our clients have never sold a business before. You follow a straightforward system, and we provide you with the technical expertise. Experience is helpful, but not necessary. We handle all technical aspects of the deal while you handle the simple process of showing pre-screened buyers your business. You can reach us on the phone anytime. We are glad to help. We are available during business hours by phone or email.

Why should we use your program?

Our program is easy to navigate and saves you both time and money when selling your business. Work with a professional firm whose practice is structured similar to other professional service providers, such as accountants and attorneys, and only pay for the services you select without having to sign a long-term contract. Our team will be there to provide you with support and guidance and answer any questions throughout the entire process of selling your business.

Why did you start this program?

Sellers don’t want to pay the high fees that most brokers charge. Additionally, there is always mistrust when a broker’s entire compensation is commission-based. We keep our fees low because we do not travel and attend unnecessary meetings. The most time-consuming aspect of selling a business as a broker is attending meetings with the buyer. We feel this isn’t necessary; however, most brokers participate in these meetings in order to justify their high fees and to protect their commission. By cutting out the travel time and unnecessary meetings, we have been able to substantially reduce fees.

Do I need an attorney?

Our closing documents have already been reviewed by hundreds of attorneys on actual deals. An attorney might be helpful but not required. Many transactions conclude successfully without one. However, if you feel more comfortable using an attorney and are willing to bear the added expense, we would be happy to work with your attorney or could recommend one for you.

Fees

Why are your fees lower than business brokers who work on a commission basis?

We sit in the office and focus 100% on doing the most important tasks. We do not have to drive and get stuck in rush hour traffic and be present at the initial buyer-seller meeting. We are only paid for providing value, not for clocking in hours. Because we do a higher volume than most other brokers, we have become very efficient at what we do and can therefore charge much lower rates. Additionally, we do not have to charge high commissions to offset the transactions we do not close because we are fee-based.

Because we are primarily fee-based, we are only compensated for the work that we do. With commission-based brokers, you will pay a high fee of 8-12% of the selling price of your business. Commission-based brokers charge such high fees to compensate for the typical 50-75% of transactions that do no close. Part of the commission you pay for selling your business is offsetting time the broker spent on other businesses that did not close. With Morgan & Westfield, you only pay for the time our team of highly trained specialists devotes to selling your business, not someone else’s. We do not have to charge high commissions to offset the transactions we do not close because we are compensated through our fee-based services. And because we do a higher volume than most other brokers, we have become efficient at what we do by developing systems for each phase in the process of selling a business. Our team of skilled specialists — including CPAs, attorneys, graphic designers and more — are able to accomplish the tasks involved in selling your business more efficiently, and can therefore charge a lower fee. Most brokers work unaided, without the support of a team. Additionally, brokers typically spend 50-80% of their time talking to buyers and showing your business. We have eliminated this step from our process, which allows us to pass the savings on to you. We sit in our office and focus 100% on accomplishing the most important tasks involved in selling your business. We do not have to waste time driving and getting stuck in rush hour traffic in order to be present at the initial buyer-seller meeting. We are only paid for providing value, not for clocking hours.

Why are the fees different from one business to the next?

Because each transaction is customized, fees will vary from business to business. Fees are determined by the type of business, the industry, the marketing strategy and by the number of services you choose to utilize. Some business owners prefer we take a limited role and select a limited number of services, while others request that we do everything, from A to Z. Our level of involvement also affects the price. For example, some owners are comfortable with a verbal opinion of the value of their business, while others prefer a formal written report. 

What do most business brokers charge?

Commission-based brokers charge anywhere from 8 to 12%, with the national average rate being 10%. Many brokers also charge up-front fees, which range from $1,000 - $10,000.

How much can your program save me in fees and commissions?

Typical brokers charge 8% to 12% commission on a sale. On a $500,000 sale, broker fees can range from $40,000 to over $60,000. With our program, you can save tens of thousands of dollars.

Do broker fees normally include closing fees and other fees paid to third parties?

No, the broker’s fee normally only compensates the broker. Any additional advisors you choose to consult will be paid for separately. For example, an attorney who may review the documents or an accountant. In the majority of transactions, fees paid to an escrow company are split between the parties, which is in addition to any broker fees or commission.

I am worried about confidentiality. How is my confidentiality protected?

Your business name is not included in advertisements. Non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are also required from buyers prior to releasing your Business Summary.

Us vs. Other Brokers

How is your program different than using a normal full-commission broker?

Our program is very similar to using a full-commission broker; however, we do not physically show your business. Buyers often feel more comfortable and relaxed at a more casual meeting of just the buyer and seller. It is simple to show your business and does not require any specific expertise. You simply meet with the buyer and give them a tour of your business and answer their basic questions. If the buyer wants to make an offer on your business or has technical questions that you cannot answer, then pick up the phone and call us, and we can assist from there. We believe that most buyers actually prefer to talk with sellers directly, which can increase the chances of a successful sale. Additionally, do you think a buyer is going to trust someone whose entire compensation is based on a commission? If you were buying a business, would you trust someone whose entire fees were only paid if you bought the business?

Why shouldn’t I just hire a real estate agent to sell my business?

Because a real estate agent is an expert in selling homes, not businesses. Why not hire your dentist or auto repair technician to sell your business? They might do it for a greatly reduced fee. But they are not experts in the process of selling a business. If they were, they wouldn’t charge less than the industry norm. It was very common for residential real estate agents to sell small retail businesses in the ’80s and ’90s; however, this trend is reversing as real estate agents are realizing that selling a business requires highly specialized knowledge in finance, law, negotiations, deal structure and dozens of other areas.

Marketing

Why shouldn’t I advertise my business for sale in the newspaper?

Advertising in the newspaper is no longer as effective as it used to be. Open up the Sunday edition of your local newspaper and see how many business-for-sale ads are there. 90% of business brokers no longer advertise in the newspaper, and neither should you. It’s a waste of time unless you have a business that is predominantly purchased by one nationality of buyer (i.e. Chinese restaurant – then we would recommend advertising it in the local Chinese newspaper).

How do I know your marketing is effective?

Google “businesses for sale”, and see which websites appear. We use the most popular portals for selling businesses. We provide you a listing ID number and a document with links to all of the major websites we use for marketing. You can log in and view your ads live anytime.

Contracts

Do you require a contract?

We never require a contract. You can cancel anytime with no questions asked.

Can I cancel anytime?

Yes, you can sign up today and cancel tomorrow. We do not require long-term contracts. There are no penalties for canceling. Simply call or email us anytime you wish to cancel. Because we work on a fee-basis like other professionals such as attorneys and accountants, you have paid for the work that we have performed and you can terminate our services at any time. Commission-based brokers require an exclusive long-term contract as a means of protecting their commission. Because they are only paid at closing, and in order to recoup their investment of time spent selling your business, they require you to commit to a long-term contract.

If you don’t require a contract, then what am I “canceling” when you say I can cancel at any time?

You can cancel the marketing service, which requires a monthly fee, at any time. We only require an agreement, not a long-term contract. This agreement is simply an outline of our responsibilities and does not require a long-term commitment.

Buyers

Once I have found a buyer, should I take my business off the market?

No. Keep your business on the market until a definitive agreement is signed and all contingencies have been removed. Maintain your negotiating position by keeping your business on the market, continuing to show it, and considering backup offers.

I have a buyer. I am going to wait to see what he does before I try your program.

Based on over ten years of statistics from successful brokers, over 95% of potential buyers do not end up buying a business. We see this situation time and time again: a seller is sure he has secured a buyer for the business only to have the sale fall through. You typically need to talk to over 30 buyers to sell a business! We can help you find serious buyers and weed out those who will just waste your time. 

What do buyers think of Morgan & Westfield?

Buyers love how streamlined our process is. Most traditional brokers still fax non-disclosure agreements, take days to respond to emails and prepare out-of-date business summaries. Our tools are state-of-the-art, and buyers simply love them. Again, we have made a large investment in our technology and have built a large team of support staff because we have structured our business model after other professional service firms, while most business brokers work solo in small offices with no support staff or technology.

The Process

Why can’t you put a proposal together for me now?

Many business owners want us to submit a proposal to them even before we get to know the details about their businesses. However, preparing a proposal without an accurate assessment is like recommending a strategy that is not grounded on solid and holistic information. Some clients we work with require minimal preparation and an entirely different marketing strategy for the sale of their businesses while others require extensive preparation. Once we have performed the assessment, you are assured that we will be in a much better position to make sound recommendations while avoiding unnecessary work on your end. Ultimately, this will allow us to help you maximize the purchase price for your business while minimizing the professional fees.

What if I can’t or don’t want to show my business?

Whether you choose to work with Morgan & Westfield or with a full-commission business broker, showing your business is essential to securing a sale. It takes no special skill to show a business, and by showing the business yourself, you are not charged for the time a full-commission broker would spend performing this task for you.

Do we ever actually meet in person?

No, our interaction with business owners is strictly through phone calls and email. In addition to saving time, this is another aspect to our firm that allows us to save you money.

I have a small business, not a big corporate business. Do I need the Business Sale Package?

Many buyers are first-time buyers who are not comfortable making an investment unless a professional process is followed, along with clear documentation. A Business Summary gives them information to review, allowing them to think about the purchase further. It also helps control where a buyer’s thoughts lie.

 
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