Looking to SELL your Las Vegas Based business? (Questions Answered)
- Hey there, today, we're at First Choice Business Brokers talking to Andrea and Moe Bousaid all about how to sell your business. (upbeat music) Hello. - Hi. - So you two are business brokers here in Las Vegas.
I have been in real estate for over 10 years. I really didn't know what a business broker was, or what they did. So could you tell me a little bit about what a business broker is? - Absolutely, what we do is we help people buy and sell businesses. And as you mentioned, it's one of those things that enough business owners don't even realize we exist. We have a role where we help business owners get the most money for their hard-earned investments.
And, unfortunately, too many people don't even realize that they have options when they close their business. - So how do you get in touch with them? I mean, if not enough people know that they actually have options to sell their business, how do you find your clients? - Good question, I mean, there's so many different ways we have to go about doing that because like you said a lot of business owners don't know that we exist. The majority of our business does come from referrals such as yourself in the real estate industry, and just continuous marketing to business owners, letting them know that we have options for them.
- Yeah. - Well, so I kind of have a personal investment in this because I have a very close family member who owned a local business here for over 40 years, kept trying to get them to meet with a business broker so that they could figure out is this business able to be sold? If so, what do I need to do to get it sold? What does that even look like? And I just could not get the message across that this could be done it just didn't register. No, nobody's gonna come in and buy my business.
And so, unfortunately, for health reasons, they had to very quickly shutter that business with no, I mean, you have a 40 year business that should have had a value to it, and now they just had to walk away. - That situation is so common and we laugh in a way because you would never not know the value of your home. You would never know the value of your car.
You're gonna know the value of your assets, and your business is one of the biggest assets that you own. So how can you not know the value of it, or have plans, or an exit strategy? You should always. - And we offer a free complimentary market price analysis for business owners to know the value of their business. And we actually have a client right now who came to us in 2016, and wanted to sell their business for we valued it to 150,000.
We suggested a few ways for them to increase the value, and start to prepare for filtering out of their business. And we've relisted their business for a multi-million dollars now. - Wow. - So they've really built their business up, as well as really prepared it for an exit strategy. And that's something that we really like to talk to business owners years before they plan to sell, so we can really get the business prepared for them to make the most of their business.
- And I think that's the benefit in speaking to us before you actually need us. Whenever it comes down to the wire, and things are really tight, or the landlord is giving you issues, it's a lot more difficult for us to be able to get in, and do what we need to do when things are... - But don't get us wrong. We help that person every single time. - Right. - We are right there negotiating with the landlord.
Right there helping with attorneys. That's exactly what we do for our clients. We really are trying to get them through the process, and we understand it's emotional. They have an investment, a financial investment, their blood, sweat, and tears are put into this. And so we really try and help our clients, and really be understanding when it comes to that type of feeling. - So is there a time that's too soon to get started with seeing what that exit strategy looks like? - I don't think they can ever really be bringing us into soon because we're gonna tell you the value of the business today, what it could be in a year's time, and we can help you with ideas to increase the profitability of the company as well.
- I think that is genius. I mean, because sometimes you get stuck as a business owner. I mean, I know I did. I got really stuck in the way that traditionally things were done, and it wasn't working for me.
So I had to do a huge shift, very uncomfortable. - For sure. - Right here sitting, looking at a camera talking. I mean, talking to people is no problem, but you put a camera in front of me, I just, okay, goodbye, I'm leaving now, but I think it's so important that that option is there for them to say, okay, here's your business today.
With these changes, this is what your business could be valued at a year from now, two years from now, five years from now, because I think sometimes people don't realize that there's ever an out. - We actually suggest somebody to reach out to us approximately three to five years before they're thinking about selling because what's typical is a buyer will request the last three to five years of financials. So that gives us a chance to really speak with somebody about how to prepare their financials, and the best way that they can, so when a buyer comes in, they can really identify how much money the business is making. - Yeah, that's a good point.
Okay, so I guess just for my own 'cause I've never sold a business, so I don't know what that actually looks like, or feels like. Where do the employees fit into this scenario? - So, I mean, the employees is one of the most important assets that you can purchase with a business. That's what allows the business to be turnkey. So pretty much every buyer would always expect that the employees would remain with the business. - And we would always advise a business owner not to disclose that the business is for sale until after the business is closed because we've had experiences with clients. One gentlemen, we said, do not say that this business is for sale.
He had a very close relationship with the manager. He did disclose the business was for sale, and all the staff walked. - Oh no. - He lost over half a million dollars in value in his business.
We sold it as asset sale. - Well, I mean, then I would think that employee satisfaction would be a huge selling point in a business. So, I mean, if that transaction can be made seamlessly it would seem that it would benefit everyone. - And that's always our goal is to sell the business before anyone even knows the business is for sale. Any of the employees, the vendors, the landlord. - And that's something that's very unique in our industry as opposed to real estate is we do not let anyone know the business is for sale.
And with the customers and so forth it's so important and key. - Well, and that requires a lot of trust from your clients. So that speaks volumes to the success of your business because people trusting you with that knowing that you are kind of their front line with kind of navigating this whole process because it could feel very isolating I would assume. - For sure.
- If you can't share any of that information with anybody. - It can be a scary process. And that's the benefit of working with us is the fact is we've done this quite a few times now, and we've sold multiple businesses in the same industry. So we could look at your pizzeria, and tell you what other pizzerias are doing.
And that's only gonna increase your revenue. - [Eileen] Right. - And our experience in the industry has really allowed us to protect our clients as well. When we begin to work with a seller there are certain things that we know to navigate them away from, or different tweaks that we might be able to do. Maybe sometimes we will suggest that we don't allow the business for a customer to go into the business because it's just not that type of a business to have a walk-in client, or something along those lines. So we'll offer certain protections to keep the confidentiality during the process of the sale.
- You know, something that we run into a lot is whenever a business owner really wants to sell their business, but they have too much responsibilities, they're doing too many of the daily roles. - Yeah. - And then our buyer is basically someone whose gonna be buying themselves a job. And people don't really like to buy businesses to buy themselves a job because they can get a job without buying a business. - That is a great point. As a person who does not delegate well.
- It's hard. - I could see myself being that type of owner where, I mean, now you're not replaceable. - And that's one of the key things that we suggest to clients when we are doing our analysis is we actually try to understand what their entire role is. And if there's any way to start delegating some of their obligations to allow us to have a smooth transfer. - Okay, so question, I mean, a very selfish question. Do you ever deal with real estate agents, or somebody like a real estate agent like a doctor, or a lawyer who's selling a book of business, not necessarily a brick and mortar? - That's a very hard business to sell because now the buyer is replacing the seller, and that's exactly what we were discussing how we try to delegate those roles because when a buyer comes in and purchases a business their main focus is if I invest this amount of money how long is it gonna take me to make my money back? And what do I need to do to make that money back? And when the business is the seller they're buying a job, which is unique as if it were a law firm where there's a lot of lawyers that would be very unique as opposed to the one lawyer who is running the firm.
- Yeah, so like a brokerage you could sell. - For sure. - Okay, but like a solo person doing a job that is different. - That's right. - The number one hurdle that you'd have to overcome in doing that is you own all the relationships, you control the relationships.
How is the buyer trying to replicate those relationships? You are the business, so that's that. - Okay, all right. So my next question is this has been a crazy year. I'm sure that your business now, or the businesses that you're helping now look a lot different than pre-pandemic. So what has changed? - COVID-19. - This year has been exhausting, absolutely exhausting.
Every business owner we talk to has pivoted, has changed, has tweaked their business model. And what we're really seeing from every business owner is they're tired. - Yeah. - And we're seeing a lot of people who we've been working with for many years who have been planning for retirement say we're done, we're ready to retire. We don't have the heart to rebuild.
And we understand that. It has been an exhausting year for all of us. - Even the businesses that haven't necessarily needed to rebuild, and they're doing really well, they feel that they're at the peak. - They're tired too.
- They've been operating at 150% for the last 12 months. And it's very draining. A lot of business owners have young families, and they want to be able to spend time with their family. - Yeah, priorities have shifted for sure. - Absolutely, we see that across the board. - Yeah, so are you seeing that the market is still good for businesses that are selling right now? - Definitely, I mean, the market is very strong.
As you can see with the stock market, the stock market is still strong as well. We have a lot of people coming in from California. We have a lot of people that are looking to leave their jobs, and become business owners so they have more freedom. So in terms of being able to conclude transactions there's a lot of deals still to be made. - It's a very busy market for us. We're seeing that business owners really need our services now more than ever before, which has been great for our industry.
Our industry has grown. Our company is thriving. And that's because business broker is just becoming more of a need, particularly for these people who need the help. - Right, and I think that might be like a way that people are now becoming aware of business brokers is because to navigate all of these PPP loans. - Absolutely - And help with landlords and all of this, it's caused us to kind of come out of our traditional way of doing things, and look for alternative methods to help us. - You bring up a great point regarding PPP because that is so much more an issue that we have to deal with now whenever we're trying to sell a business because you owe the government money.
The government is involved now in this business, and there isn't really any forgiveness that's taken place yet. So whenever we're selling a business that has a PPP loan we're having to work with escrow, and the bank that issued the loan as well, but that's what we're here for, and we're able to help with those. - That's good. I think it's gonna get more, you're going to find it more and more common as time goes on. I know we were talking before we started recording I kind of see in the real estate industry we may start having some distressed properties maybe 18 months down the road, 24 months down the road, but with businesses, I mean, you've been seeing that since when, I mean, since March? - April.
- March, had very much. We've had businesses come for sale in this office that have been for a dollar. - [Eileen] Oh my gosh. - As long as you can qualify for the landlord and the lease, the business is a dollar.
- We've had businesses that we sell, and the sellers come to closing with cash just to get off the lease, or to remove themselves from the liability. - Wow, yeah, so you must be exhausted that emotional-- - We're ready for vacation. - Well, once we can travel, right? - Yes, exactly. - I mean that emotional drain though, you know? I mean, I'm sure you're feeling that as well from a lot of your sellers. - When we work with a client we're signing up to take on those burdens with them, and we're championing the situation, and trying to get them over the finish line.
So we do carry that. - And I feel like we add a lot of value to our clients for that because there's such emotional times during the entire process that we can let them know, absolutely, completely understand what you're going through. We've seen it with every transaction we've done. Here's how we would handle it. Let's move forward this way. And that's really where we lend our value to our clients.
- So I know that if my husband was in my industry we would have completely different takes on everything. Like what car to drive, what marketing to do, what we thought was best for this client. So has that affected you guys at all? - Absolutely, we became a husband and wife business broker team back in 2015, and throughout the five years of working together we've had our differences and found a mediocre through, but you know what? It's really unique is a lot of business owners are husband and wife teams as well.
So we find a lot of camaraderie that we are also managing our business as a husband and wife team. - There's no written in stone way in terms of how to operate a business, or what anyone should do. So a lot of it is opinion. We definitely are very opinionated when it comes to that.
- Well, it's good, though, that you can bring different perspectives to it because I think that you have on the outset you probably have the extremes, and then everything kind of gets brought into, okay, we can navigate through this shared kind of design that we've created through probably all of the discussion that goes into it. - There is a lot of gratitude and good feeling that you get when you're able to work with your husband or wife on a business, or on a project together, and you can look back and see all of your hard work, and everything. - [Eileen] Yeah. - And there's so much when you run your own business.
It's easy to take on certain roles. And what we try and do is we try and focus on what we're good at. Moe does a lot of working with our clients.
I do a lot of our marketing in back of the house, and it works well for us. And we see the same thing in other business owners. We see that some people will run a certain section, and the other partner will run another section, and it works well together. - Well, I mean, and I just know that there are certain things that I'm not good at.
When I go to a house and I try to open a door, and the lock is stuck I'm not opening the door. He's opening the door because I'm like, doesn't work. Who's here to help me? - Right. - Yeah, so I mean there's just certain things, and that's good that you have that kind of balance that you play to your strengths because I think a lot of times like I used to do, I tried to be everything and I'm not good at everything.
So you really do have to pick, and stick with what you're good at. So I think that's a great way to run a business, in my opinion. - Yeah, the power of the team definitely works. - [Eileen] Absolutely.
- This year, our team has really grown, actually. We have additional agents as well. So we're really growing on all different dynamics, and it's kind of a unique time for us.
We've seen a lot of agents who aren't really looking to grow, but then at the same time, we've just continued to thrive and grow. And it's great because business owners are really starting to learn that we're out there. - Yeah, something I always like to ask because Vegas is such a unique place to live is how people came to live here. So I came to live here because my dad was in the construction industry. And so I was brought here as a child. No choice, no one asked me.
So how did you guys come to live in Las Vegas? I mean, I don't want to point it out, but one of you has an accent that doesn't sound like you might be from the United States. So your journey may be a little bit different, Moe. I don't want to point fingers or anything, but it's you. - It's definitely me. I came to the U.S. in 2006 and I immigrated to Florida. I lived there for about 10 years where I met Andrea.
And we came out here in 2014, and we built an amazing business and have a lovely family. - So when we originally met we thought we wanted to be business owners. So we started looking at some options, and how we could get to the point of actually owning a business. We met a couple business brokers, and we started to think, wow, what a really interesting industry.
And then we did a little bit more research, and we found out that here in Nevada is the only state in the nation that requires a real estate license, and a business broker permit to be a business broker. At that time, there was less than 100 business brokers in Nevada. - Wow. - So we came out here to feast our eyes on the business owners.
And it's been amazing because since we've come out here we've really seen our company grow and our industry grow. And Vegas is one of those big cities, small towns. - Absolutely.
- Every year it's just word of mouth, and referrals have grown for us. And that's our favorite type of marketing. - After a certain time you go out for dinner, and you hope someone doesn't recognize you because you already know everyone. - I don't know if it's that small, but, yeah, I mean, it definitely is I know.
I graduated high school in the '80s, and I was at Target and just walked in, hadn't seen this person in 30 years, and I'm like, ah, hey, how are you? You know, I mean, so it's a very small town in that aspect. So just to put a little bit of perspective on it I'm probably gonna get this number completely wrong, but I think there's somewhere around 17,000 licensed real estate agents just in Las Vegas. And you're saying there's only 100. - That was five years ago.
- [Eileen] Okay, but that's you said the state of Nevada. - That was the whole of Nevada. - Yeah. - Yeah, so I mean, you guys really are a treasure that people need to get in touch with and stay in touch with because this is not a one-stop shop, we're gonna sell your business in two minutes and be done. - It's not and being a business broker is not easy.
So we've seen a lot of people come in, and try and sell businesses. It's a different type of sale, and it's a very emotional sale. You have to be that pillar to help somebody really get through the unusual times. - I think the biggest thing to consider as a business owner when looking to work with us is we save time. We make you more money.
So it's a win-win in terms of you know? - We also have the portion of transferring the liability. What we really offer a business owner is that sense of security of knowing that they've sold their business, they're done with their tax liabilities, everything is a clean and clear transfer. And that's the most important thing when you're selling your business. - So thank you for joining me, and Andrea and Moe Bousaid today.
I am going to link all of their information below because you really do need them in your corner for advice, for trust, for strategy, if you eventually see yourself selling your business, or on the flip side, if you're looking to buy a business. So all their information will be below. Contact them, you will not be disappointed. - Thank you so much. - Oh, you're so welcome. We'll see you the next time, bye.