How a broker can help you buy or sell a business

Posted On June 19, 2023

Looking to buy or sell a business? A broker can help.

Our guest in a recent episode of “What’s Working with Cam Marston” was Trey Langus, a business advisor and broker with Transworld Business Advisors. He connects owners who are looking to sell their businesses with potential buyers.

There are a lot of potential buyers looking for businesses, Langus says, and many of them are coming from out of state and across the country, attracted by the favorable business climate in the Southeast. What they’re looking for, typically, is a business with clear financials, upside and, ideally, scalability.

But Langus is also looking for something in the sellers and potential buyers with whom he works. Sellers need to have some kind of post-sale plan. How are they going to handle letting go of the business they’ve built?

For potential buyers, Langus said he’s looking for some excitement for the company and what it sells in order to ensure it’s a good fit. “I need your blood boiling a little bit,” he said.

One buyer in which he found an abundance of excitement was Trey Galloway, whom he helped purchase The Health Hut, a Mobile vitamin and supplement retailer, last August.

Galloway, who also joined us on the show, had worked for 25 years in corporate sales, but was looking for a new opportunity after the pandemic sapped much of his business and income. He didn’t know anything about vitamins and supplements, but he knew a good opportunity when he saw it.

“It had been around 39 years so I knew they were doing something right,” he said. “I quickly saw how each employee seemed to get along with the other employees. This is very cliché, but it had a family atmosphere. There were four employees there who had been there 20-plus years.

“I didn’t have any experience running a business. I didn’t have any experience managing employees. But what I did know how to do was … get people excited.”

Galloway also saw opportunities for growth. He’s bulked up the company’s marketing, hired a social media manager, built a website and is preparing to start selling its products online.

While most such transactions are handled with a certain level of confidentiality, Galloway’s situation is a bit unique in that the company’s previous owner was willing to stick around for a while and help him learn the ropes. He had to sell himself to his employees, as most new owners would, but now leans on their expertise to educate himself about the products he’s now selling.

“I’m having a ball,” Galloway said. “I’ve never had this much fun in my life. It’s as much fun watching these employees get excited as it is for me.”

I’ve written many times in this space that as Baby Boomer business owners look to retire, it’s essential they have some sort of exit strategy – both for themselves and their succession in the business. If that plan includes a sale, a broker like Langus can help them find a buyer who will have as much passion for it as they did.

Categories: Blog, Entrepreneurship, Podcast, Succession Planning, What's Working with Cam Marston