The Firm Outpaces Transaction Totals from Previous Two Years
Nearing its seventh year, business brokerage The Firm is seeing growth in number of listings, amount of closings and professional staff.
"By June 30, 2016 we completed more business transactions than all of 2015, which had been our record year," said founder and President Cortney Sells.
In fact, as of mid-August, the 34th deal of 2016 had been completed. In 2015 and 2014, 25 and 24 transactions had been completed respectively.
Sells attributes growth to its approach to team members.
"The team is all W2 employees working full time as industry experts - not 1099 subcontractors or agents," Sells said in mid-August, noting its foundation is "not commission-driven or sales-driven but rather ethically-driven - we educate the clients. We do the right deal and not the quick deal."
Headquartered out of 210 N 78th St. in Omaha, The Firm specializes in the sale and purchase of cash flowing, successful businesses.
Its brick and mortar further embodies the aforementioned people-oriented differentiator.
"We are now on all three floors of the building," Sells said of the 17,000-square foot space. "The first floor is the 'Outreach Division,' second floor is the 'Brokerage' and the third floor is 'The Firm University and Event Center'."
Within this space are, according to Sells, outreach coordinators working with and qualifying buyers; and in-house valuator; research analysts; in-house counsel liaisons between buyer and seller attorneys; and a deal team responsible for bank packaging and licensing.
Rounding out its nearly 20 employees is "strategy," which Sells said is tasked with all the press, events, education seminars and a soon-to-be-launched peer think tank.
Working one's way up from the ground floor of the building, Sells noted clients start with the coordinators who qualify buyers (i.e. assure the most robust portfolio of qualifying buyers, get buyers to the table), while the second floor centers on the buyer and seller coming together and the negotiations.
"The third floor is where we do our education and our events," Sells said.
Features such as educational and networking opportunities bring to the surface another differentiator.
"It's not 'just a transaction' to us," Sells said. "We send out press releases after the sale, we visit them on their business birthdays, and feature businesses at our quarterly event."
The Deal Review showcases entrepreneur clients, according to Sells, who notes this gives the businesses significant exposure.
Once an entrepreneur partners with The Firm, Sells also noted they have access to substantial resources, as the team has taken the approach of building an entrepreneurial community.
The Firm University offers niche classes targeting, for example, licensed home daycare owners who receive insight on the likes of SBA financing for women-owned businesses.
Its "next phase" focuses on a forum group for all new owners who buy a business from The Firm, the aforementioned "Think Tank."
"We fell a peer group is so powerful, because less than 20 percent of all business owners actually bought their business and we know that folks that buy their business have different struggles than [those] that inherited it," Sells said.
Sells indicated it will get like-minded people in the same room and in a confidential setting to discuss their struggles - as a source of both education and experience-sharing to build their respective businesses.
Think Tank is poised to launch in October in conjunction with its software system's matching buyer and seller algorithm; for example, should a visitor to is site click on a manufacturing - or B2B-type company, the search will be saved and the individual will be notified of any relevant new listings via auto-email or text message.
"I think it will help us bring in more qualified buyers," Sells said.
Its core values are embodied by The Firm's swan logo; Sells noted that the swan may appear calm and collected on the surface, but it's a fiercely strong and fast swimmer.
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