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Want to sell your firm Heres how the business transfer agent could help

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With that in mind, we asked small business leaders how BTAs had been of help and got in contact with Phillip Colbeck, who runs a general store and off-license in Wakefield.

The need for a BTA came when the next-door post office became available, he said. Spotting an opportunity, Colbeck bought it and developed in into a sandwich bar. While it thrived for some time, its biggest hurdle came in the form of a rival grocery store Nisa had opened up around the corner and threatened to steal some customers.

This led to Colbeck to attempt selling his general store so as to focus on the sandwich bar. However, the restricting nature of the buildings lease didnt help matters when it came to finding a buyer for the premises. And after a disappointing response from an advert on his landlords website, he turned to Andrew Wilby, managing director of Clifford Lax. The BTA ended up negotiating the transfer of the lease.

Of Wilbys help, Colbeck said: Hes given me all kinds of advice on all sorts of areas, and as a result Im getting my business rates reimbursed and hes recommended a fantastic solicitor. Im in a much better position than I would have been without Wilbys help.

This is a good example of why business bosses should view BTAs as something similar to an estate agent, said Broschomb.

A commercial property agent values the physical premises empty warehouses, closed shops, vacant office blocks and so on while a business transfer agent also values the business itself,” Broschomb explained. The professional expertise of a business transfer agent is their ability to value the whole business.

Wilby further explained that the relationship between funders and buyers tended to be brokered by BTAs, who are well placed to provide that advice because their knowledge transcends many professional boundaries.

Im a chartered surveyor, but I also have legal and accounting knowledge, and know when to point people in the direction of other sources of advice,” he said. Its a bit like being a GP were good at identifying the problem and helping the client to resolve it.

Essentially, there are many aspects that need to be considered from the initial business valuation through to the final details of the sale and it never hurts to consider a little help in order to make the journey smoother.

Elsewhere, legendary serial entrepreneur Mark Mills shares his top advice on how to make your business look its best ahead of a sale.

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