Owning a business


There’s a better option for selling your business than a local business broker

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Sam Rodriguez

April 16, 2024 ⋅ 5 min read

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Selling your small business is a far cry from listing a bicycle on Craigslist. We get this feedback weekly from owners who tried to sell their businesses themselves. These are often great businesses with a healthy buyer demand. The challenge they report back is not a lack of interest from the market but the time, effort, and experience it takes to navigate the complexity of a small business sale (while still running that business).

Finding a local business broker might seem like the answer to this, but let me explain why you don’t need to settle for the old-guard choice to sell your small business.

How to sell your business: yes, with help!

Small business owners are experts in their businesses, but they’re not experts in selling a business. They need help screening buyers to make sure they’re truly qualified and a good match for the business so that no one’s time is wasted. They need help with the intense ping-pong match that is due diligence, and tapping their networks to facilitate SMB financing so the deal can close successfully. If there’s negotiation, they’ll benefit from professional help there too.

Local business brokers might seem like the safest bet. They live in your community or nearby, and it’s reasonable to think that they have your best interest in mind. I’m not knocking business brokers personally(!), but the way traditional business brokering and M&A are structured, the house always wins.

Why a local business broker can’t give you the experience you deserve

They take too much of your business sale proceeds

Local small business brokers will charge you between 10%-20% of your sale price, and there is often a “success fee” for selling your business separate from the retainer you’ll pay before closing. This is to protect the broker or M&A advisor, but it offloads the risk onto you. You’re already risking a lot.

Their customer service is inconsistent and can delay deals

Local small business brokers routinely take on more clients than they can support fully. The result, as many Baton converts tell us, is that listings are an afterthought and don’t match the business they’re trying to sell. Or the owner has an important question for their broker, but they don’t hear back promptly. It’s frustrating, and worse, it can extend the timeline of your deal.

They won’t always honor your goals

Traditional business brokers often care less about your goals for selling and more about the payout. But small business owners have their own goals — sometimes deal-breakers. You might be looking to exit ASAP because you have a family health issue. You might be one those owners who care deeply about keeping their legacy alive and finding a buyer who will retain and respect current staff. Or, you may want to find the highest bidder and protect your nest egg. Whatever your goal is, it deserves to be honored.

How Baton has created a 10X better alternative to the local small business broker

You’ll save 70% on fees and make more from the sale of your business

Sliced one way, you make 10% more on your sale when you sell with Baton than with a traditional business broker. Sliced another, you save 70% on the fees, and the small retainer fee we charge is always credited back to you when your deal closes (no separate success fee).

"I felt like Baton is the only one that offers a fair price percentage of the sale. And if I had known that earlier, I would have considered selling the business that way a year before.”

- Charles Scarcériaux, Former Owner, The Crêpe Outdoors

You get the same result and walk away with more of your life’s work in the bank for retirement or your next venture.

We give you the attention you deserve from valuation to closing

We take pride in hearing folks say they had a better experience with us. (Our Trustpilot reviews page is a great way to learn what owners appreciate, specifically.)

When you start your journey with Baton, we give you a complimentary, accurate business valuation. Then you’ll hop on a call with me or one of my colleagues to discuss the results and where your business fits into the current market.

If you decide to sell your business with us, we’ll pair you with an experienced advisor who’ll provide regular updates and timely responses throughout the process. We have a no-stone-unturned approach to outreach which has helped us achieve some of the following results:

  • Your deal has a 5X higher likelihood of closing here

    than the industry average

  • We close deals 50% faster

    than the industry average so you can move on to your next chapter sooner

And though we’re a people-first small business ourselves, our platform has expanded to include dashboards to help you track how buyers are responding to your business listing and what’s coming up next in the process. Our CEO helped modernize real estate at Zillow and we’re often told we’re “the Zillow of small business sales.” Hey, we’ll take it! It’s all about tipping the scale and empowering the owner whenever possible.

We listen to your goals and never pressure you

Dozens of owners have told us they appreciated our free business valuation and follow-up, but they want to try selling their businesses themselves or with a traditional business broker. These owners came back within about 50 days on average to say that they underestimated the work or that their deal fell through.

There’s a 78% chance owners who circle back to Baton will decide to sell with us after all, and they’ll sign within 8 days.

The bottom line is: We’ll never pressure you to sell, but we’re here for you when you’re ready.

“The whole process was painless and actually not stressful. Why? Paul (Baton M&A Advisor) brought us through the process, giving us facts, and limited advice where it was our decision and not a pressure sale. He always had our best interest in mind."

  • Hans Kuhn, Former Owner, ASAP Pharmacy

Small business owners

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