Buying and selling a business in regional areas has its own set of challenges and benefits. Regional business brokers need a special set of skills and connections to successfully make a deal.
Eden Exchange recently talked to Peter Gubbins, founder and owner of Ballarat and Geelong Business Brokers, a leading Australian business brokerage in regional Victoria.
Thanks for speaking with us Peter. What brought you into the world business broking? Can you tell us a bit about your background and career?
I had a background of owning and running my own businesses in areas such as food and hospitality, as a qualified residential builder and as a real estate agent. I was fortunate to reach a lot of my personal and professional goals and decided to use my knowledge to help others sell and purchase businesses.
What markets does Ballarat and Geelong Business Brokers focus on? What do you specialise in?
We don’t limit ourselves to a specific market. All businesses for sale in Regional Victoria are our focus.
How do you match a buyer with the right opportunity? Are there any rules you stick to?
We find that buyers know what they don’t want rather than what they do want. We try to match their skills set with that required in the business on offer.
What advice do you have on positioning a business for sale, especially in a regional area? What’s key piece of advice do you communicate to your clients about this?
The main advice when working with owners is to confirm “where does your business sit in the community?” This is, in turn, is important to convey to any purchasers interested in buying the business.
What are the major industry trends do you believe buyers and sellers should be aware of?
Return on Investment and potential growth of the business. Both are equally important.
What advice do you have for a business owner thinking about selling their business for the first time?
Owners should understand ‘value for money’ when they choose a broker. They should be aware that the broker with the cheapest or most expensive engagement fee is not necessarily the best broker for marketing their business.
All financials should be up to date & available for the launch of the business sale; ie, Profit & Loss, Plant & Equipment, Depreciation Schedule, Lease (if applicable), etc.
In your opinion, what makes a good broker, especially one servicing regional areas?
Good business brokers should have an extensive experience in a wide range of business types, financial models and current market trends.
What’s the most interesting part of your job?
Helping people to either sell, or buy, a business is what we do. Every day is different with different people, different businesses — all bring to us a wide array of interesting life stories.
Thanks for your time Peter
Director – Ballarat & Geelong Business Brokers