Ask The Expert

How does selling a business work? How has the industry changed in the past 10 to 20 years?

This is a small industry, with only about 3,000 to 5,000 brokers nationwide. The typical broker or M&A intermediary tends to be a conservative solo-operator in their mid-fifties, less willing to take risks, and with a more short-term view of what is left of their career. They are also more likely to have an approach to selling a business that has not changed much in the past 20 years.

Highly-driven, talented experts migrate to more significant $100 million+ dollar deals, knowing that the way to make more money is to sell larger companies since there is a limit to how many businesses one person can sell per year. It takes as much effort to sell a $10 million business as it does a $100 million business. Most start by selling small businesses and graduate to larger transactions as soon as possible.

Due to the low barriers to entry in this business, many types of salespeople tend to join the industry, bringing with them a sales background rather than a business background. There is little-to-no formal industry training, and the business processes have not changed much, even with rapid advancements in technology outside of the industry. Few are committed to investing their money in innovations since their income and commissions are unpredictable. Whereas industries like technology and bioscience attract angel investors and venture capitalists, this industry does not.

A serious commitment to innovation requires investment, driven talent, and a long-term time horizon. These are rare traits in the industry, but at Morgan & Westfield, they’re the rule rather than the exception.

At Morgan & Westfield, we employ the latest technology and draw on a large stable of experts in a wide variety of disciplines to get the job done. The proof is in our track record.