Four Traits of an Owner-Centric Service Provider

July 26, 2018Insights, Selling a Business

Business sale transactions typically involve some combination of an accountant, attorney and financial planner. Exit Consulting Group serves as the broker or transaction coordinator, liaising between the buyer, the seller and the service providers to facilitate the sale. As service providers ourselves, and having worked with countless service providers over a span of decades, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of building the right team. The best service providers see beyond the transaction and their particular part in it, they are “owner-centric”, meaning that they tailor everything to you, the seller.

Let me explain the key traits that you should look for in a service provider

“Owner-centric” service providers:


  1. Understand

The very best service providers can and do assume an owner’s perspective. They understand that every owner is different in every aspect of the sale. Risk tolerance, motivation, experience, goals and many other variables are at play. It’s in your best interests as the seller to seek professionals who truly “get” your business and your vision.


  1. Employ Creativity

The details in a transaction are inherently negotiable. Historical knowledge allows for creativity, meaning the provider realizes that there are options available at every stage of the sale and they take the time to walk you through them and choose the right one for you.

Think of it like this: When you’re painting your house, you don’t need someone to tell you what color the paint is. You want to know about the sheen, shade, adhesion, longevity, etc. Selling a business is the same way; the more creative your accountant, attorney, financial planner – and your broker – can each be, the better the shape the sale will take.


  1. Have Transactional Experience

Just because a CPA has completed tax returns, does not mean they are equipped to navigate the nuances of selling a business. Attorneys and financial planners, too, often lack the transactional experience needed in this arena. The best way to sell a business is to surround yourself with service providers who have done exactly that—even if it means extending beyond your immediate circle. Good advisors know their skillset and will help where they can and offer recommendations in those areas they don’t.


  1. Are Active

“Service Provider” is not a noun, it is a verb. It is an action that happens continuously. The job is to provide service, not just give information. In addition to fielding your needs, your team should be proactively identifying challenges and bringing you solutions.

Many business owners are inclined to select their service providers based solely on price and/or previous relationships. If these two factors align with those above, fantastic. If not, don’t be afraid to go and get the right people. You are already stepping out of your comfort zone to sell; why not protect yourself with a team of transaction experts at every position? See how Exit Consulting Group can help you build a team uniquely suited to you.