When thinking about when and how to sell your business, there are a lot of different strategies to do so.

A business broker can help maintain confidentiality and will work to identify the right prospective buyers who qualify. Most business owners do not want their staff, customers, or suppliers to know they are considering selling as it can ultimately impact the day-to-day business operations in a negative way. The business broker is a vital advisor to the seller at any stage of the sale transaction.


As a business broker, we will do all we can to protect the identity of the company we are trying to help sell. Buyers are first qualified before any personal information is exchanged. Blind profiles are available describing the business without revealing its identity. Confidentiality is always important.


Trying to sell your business is time consuming. Running a business and trying to sell it at the same time can be problematic.  A business broker group can maintain a focus on your business with the goal of finding viable buyers as quickly as possible.


We have several marketing tools. The internet, direct mailers, internal buyer lists and our website are a few that we use to help support the sale of your business.


Putting a value on your business is very different. Our entire team will evaluate your business. First, we will determine whether we think we can sell it or not. Then, if we believe that we can find a qualified buyer, we will determine a likely selling price range.  This price should enable the business to cash flow such that a banker would be interested in financing the transaction, rather than the seller financing the transaction.


No two sales are the same. As a team, we will confront challenges and work toward a smooth transition.


Our sole function is to find a qualified buyer for a motivated seller. We only get paid if we are successful. We know that time is of the essence.

Let me know how me and the team can help you!

Dave Hooper


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Thoughts on Business Acquisition Financing from Roger Kerndt

There are a lot of factors and things to consider when going through the financing phase of acquiring a business. I’ve been in the business for over 40 years and have seen a lot of things and thought a few points on the financing process might be pertinent.


Things to keep in mind about financing your business acquisition: 

  • When buying a business one typically arranges for the financing of the purchase with a bank; very often a local bank with ties to the community.
  • It is important not to overlook the fact that an operating loan may be needed for certain times during the year. The buyer will need to work with their accountant and banker to determine when those funds will be needed and to ensure there is a strong banking relationship in place for those key times.
  • In many cases, business sellers may have cash reserves to use when sales fluctuate during the year. This may not be the case with the buyer and you will need to be prepared.


Please give me a call if you are thinking about buying or selling a business and we can talk!


Roger Kerndt

515-707-6401 (cell)

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Should You Buy a Business?

Before you consider buying a business, it is very important to consider all the options, challenges, and potential life impacts from every angle. In today’s society, many people gravitate toward the positives of owning your own business, including:

  • Working for yourself
  • Being “the boss”
  • Having the ability to make decisions for the growth of the business
  • Being the central key figure and having all the business dynamics flow around you and your vision

However, there are some important things to consider before making the decision to buy a business.

  • You must first consider your age and how long do you want to run the business.
  • Because buying a business is a major life decision, you must discuss with your immediate family if and how they will be involved.
  • Once you find a business you’re interested in buying, look at the team. Are they the right employees to keep the business running? Will they stay after the purchase?
  • Really ask yourself if you have the dedication and commitment to keep things running in both good and bad times?
  • And are you prepared for serious challenges? The recession of 2008-2009 was stressful for many people, including me. You are responsible for the recovery of the business or making the decision to call it quits.

Owning a business can be very rewarding. If you have done things the right way, a business can be in your family for many years.  You just need to consider everything possible before making a decision.

Dave Hooper

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Appearance Is Important To Your Business

One thing that business owners may not think about as they make plans to sell their business is appearance, both interior and exterior.

A buyer isn’t just buying the books, they are buying the entire asset; building, customers, files, and the relationships. No one wants to buy a business with weeds growing everywhere, paint chipping and boxes of files piled in the corner.

A few ideas for improvement of your business might be:

  • Spruce up the exterior of the building.  A fresh coat of paint and clean windows always helps.
  • Clean up any grassy areas and the parking lot.
  • Organize shelving, desktop, and office space.
  • Get rid of clutter and maintain a clean environment.

These ideas, along with showing good profitability, having qualified staff in key positions, and showing an upward trend can make a business look appealing to buyers.

Please contact me with any questions!

Connie Mendrys

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Recruit and Retain Quality Employees in a Tight Labor Market

The business climate in Iowa is currently facing a “good news, bad news” scenario.  Although the Ag economy is not great, the general business economy is doing very well.  Interest rates are relatively low.  Inflation for the moment is manageable and unemployment rates place the Sate of Iowa in the top five in the nation.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Iowa’s unemployment rate in March, 2018 was 2.8%.  Only Hawaii, New Hampshire, North Dakota and Maine have lower unemployment rates.  This is awesome news if you are looking for a job.  If you are a small business owner looking for employees, it’s not great news.

Below you will find a list of ideas for business owners to consider as they develop a strategy to recruit and retain quality employees:

  1. Promote a positive work environment

Team lunches, training opportunities, “bring your dog to work day”

  1. Recognize and reward employees for a job well done

This can be “public” or “private” recognition, giving valued employees more responsibility.

  1. Say “thank you”

Saying “Thank you” costs nothing but provides important recognition for a job well done, effectively compensating people in the form of social currency, which is highly valued.

  1. Provide “benefits” beyond the “basics”

Hy-Vee recently offered even PT employees Health and Dental Insurance.  Gym memberships are popular among millennials. Flexible                       working hours can increase productivity.

  1. Profit sharing and including employees in future planning.

Business owners will need to continue to be creative in offering employee benefits if they intend to recruit and retain quality workers.

Dan Meyer


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None of us like it, but it is said about Iowa privately owned businesses:

  • Many owners are at or near retirement age.
  • Over half have NO succession plan.
  • Many with NO plan will not develop a plan.
  • 40% of the business will either change hands or close in the next five years.

What will your community look like in five years?

There are buyers out there.  However, they are selective because of significant business availability.  What they want is normally what you want in financing a business:

  • Key and trained people who will continue after the sale.
  • A market segment that will remain solid and grow.
  • Upwardly trending financial performance.
  • Pricing where the buyer can service debt and pay themselves appropriately.
  • If, in a smaller community, a business that has someone who can be the General Manager. This will enable the buyer to regularly interact with the G.M., but not necessarily move to the town.

When we visit with potential sellers, we tell them this story.  If the local banker doesn’t like it, buyers generally won’t like it either.

Lastly, if you have local businesses and business owners that have no succession plan and you believe the business is saleable, just give us a call.  There is never a charge unless we sell the business and then we get paid at closing, when the seller gets paid.  We do it right or we don’t do it.


Mike Schoville

The Business Brokers, Inc.


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1 + 1 CAN = 3


One method for increasing both revenues and profits can be through an acquisition.  You see it all the time, one similar business buys another.   Examples include corporations as large as Berkshire Hathaway Energy acquiring another energy company, to smaller twenty-man operations buying a ten-man business.

So why can this make sense and how can 1+1=3?  In many acquisitions, if done properly, the revenues can continue for both entities at the same level or even higher.  However, in many cases, some of the expenses are duplication.  These duplicative expenses can be cut, adding to the bottom line of the combined company.

Some duplicative expenses might be:

  • One outside accountant, attorney, advertising agency for both companies.
  • Internally, a potential reduction in compensation by having one; owner, sales manager, office manager, and service manager.

Efficiency and scale can also be positively affected by:

  • Fully using available assets and selling unused assets.
  • Using existing people more efficiently.
  • Acquiring larger purchase volumes for lower prices.

We currently have over $40 million in listings.  Check out our website and see if there is any 1+1=3 for you!

Mike Schoville

The Business Brokers, Inc.


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Some advice before you sell a business- “It’s not what you sell it for, it’s what you get to keep after the sale.”  When starting to think about selling, owners should take steps to “dress up” their business.

…Reduce unnecessary assets

…Address environmental issues

…Direct responsibilities to qualified employees

…Understand tax strategies

…Identify your weaknesses as well as your strengths

Both price and tax consequences can be crucial in maximizing the proceeds of a business sale.  For most owners, their business is their most valuable asset.  Having a valuation done if you are planning a sale in the future is the first step.  We can help with that.

Connie Mendrys


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If you need a heart transplant, a brain surgeon is not the right specialist. The same can be said for running and transitioning a business.  The expert, the one that does the work regularly, is likely your best person.

As a business owner, there are lots of issues to consider as your business moves toward that successor. Some of those topics might be:

  • Who can best train that selected Assistant General Manager, soon to be the owner, especially on the most current management skills?
  • How can I save on taxes, especially considering that the business tax basis is low? What about the concepts floating around like Structured Sale, ESOP, Charitable Remainder Trust, and Charitable Lead Trust? Or, is it simply better to take the cash and pay the taxes? Do you need to make decisions before closing or can it be done in that taxable year?
  • Is a Stock Sale or an Asset Sale best? Should some be of the sale be financed by the Seller? And, how should the selling price be allocated?
  • What if there is no successor? What are the options?

Working “on” the business, in addition to working “in” the business is hard. Make sure you’re spending time preparing and the Specialists can help. And, when is a good time to start?  Now!

Mike Schoville


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Buy Smart

When  buying a business, there are many things to look for to make sure that it is a good fit for you.  Sometimes buyers tend to overlook obvious red flags in the excitement of business ownership.  Buyers need to make sure that the financials are carefully examined and that the business is or has the potential to be profitable.  You may want your accountant or a third party to look at the financials to ensure that you have left no stone unturned.  When purchasing an existing business, the inventory and equipment are included in the sale.  Do not assume that everything is accurate.  Ask for proof.  Are these things in good working order, or will they need to be replaced soon?

When thinking about buying a business, look carefully at everything.  By being thorough, you can find the perfect business to meet your needs.

This is just a small snapshot of things to consider when buying a business.  Please feel free to call me at The Business Brokers, Inc., 515-249-6053, for assistance in making this important decision.

Dave Hooper

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