What Every Good Business Broker Should Know: The Jim Afinowich Interview

What Every Good Business Broker Should Know: The Jim Afinowich Interview

Our recent Industry Veteran Spotlight interview featured Jim Afinowich. He has 25+ years of experience selling businesses and has supervised over 500 transactions. Afinowich has also owned 15 businesses in a range of industries, including manufacturing, publishing and aviation. He has been recognized as an industry leader and was selected by AZ Business Magazine as an “AZ Business Leader.” During our webinar, Afinowich was interviewed by John Howe, Director and Co-Owner of N.H. Business Sales, Inc. Howe is the past chairman of the M&A Source and is currently the Chairman of the International Association of Business Intermediaries. To watch the webinar, please click here.

The Power of Referrals

Afinowich had a good deal of practical knowledge to impart during his interview. His advice should prove valuable to new and experienced business brokers alike. One topic covered was the fact that Afinowich places high value on the power of referrals. In Afinowich’s eyes, referrals stand as a great way for business brokers to build their businesses. He points out that over the years, he has had referrals from various industry professionals including accountants, attorneys, financial planners, and, of course, former clients. Ultimately, Afinowich believes that it is critical that business brokers “remind people they exist” and do a lot of networking.

Encouraging Auctions

One strategy that Afinowich strongly believes in is the use of controlled auctions. Through auctions, clients will receive the best value for their business. The reason is that in a controlled auction, the business owner will receive a much clearer picture of the value of the business. This is especially true if multiple buyers are involved. In turn, this means that the seller is not left wondering if they received a good value for their business, which otherwise tends to be a consistent source of psychological stress for sellers.

Fostering Good Relationships

Afinowich rejects more potential clients that he ultimately accepts. He wants business brokers to remember that, in his experience, the average transaction takes a year. In short, this means that business brokers must have a decent relationship with clients, as there will be a good amount of communication and interaction over this extended period of time. “If we don’t like each other on the first date, we’re going to hate each other after the wedding,” says Afinowich, “So I I’d rather find out up front if they have unrealistic expectations, are not responsive or hard to deal with.”