The process of starting and running a successful business is both art and science yet rarely do we consider the added mastery required to sell an established firm once ownership decides to sell a business.
That’s where Certified Business Intermediaries like those at Lion Business Brokers step into the picture.
While undoubtedly experts in their fields and knowledgeable of their own firms’ competencies and areas for growth, selling that potential to a would-be buyer for top dollar is often a more fraught process than ownership realizes.
After all, each party is looking to maximize their gains and the presence of an intermediary agent helps them both come to a common, middle ground.
This often requires synthesizing a wide array of disciplines. Joshua Carnes’ career is a testament to that.
Starting with a background in marketing and consulting, Joshua rose to the top of Lion Business Brokers driven partially by his love for the deal and all that it entails from due diligence to closing.
We sat down with Joshua Carnes to talk about the future of Lion Business Brokers as well as that of the industry at large, covering aspects of his career and work as well as a detour into his personal life with a discussion about what drives him outside of work.
Delving into topics such as Lion Business Brokers’ new business valuation service, we explore what makes a successful business brokerage deal in addition to some of the high-level processes employed to match a firm with the ideal potential buyer. We explore Joshua Carnes’ career prior to LBB, what major influences have shaped his approach towards business, and what motivates him outside of the office, specifically his commitments to family and community. Looking ahead, we conclude with a forward-looking statement about both LBB and the business brokerage industry.
Joshua, can you start off by telling us about Lion Business Brokers and the work it does with clients?
At Lion Business Brokers, we strategically and confidentially help business owners sell their business. Our team members have worked hard to become Certified Business Intermediaries, through the International Business Brokers Association. After decades of analyzing and completing deals, debriefing with seller clients and acquisition teams, along with multiple team members recognized as Industry Experts by the Business Brokerage Press, we are comfortable stating that we know what it takes to get deals done.
What led you into the business brokerage industry?
My personal start is kind of funny. I had just exited my own business as a marketing consultant and was getting ready to enter the real estate industry. I met with a business mentor of mine who questioned why I was considering a real estate business. He said, “Why don’t you talk to my friend who is a business broker?” and then introduced me to someone in the industry. I instantly fell in love with business brokering. I love helping business owners and enjoy the challenge that every deal brings with it!
Why do companies hire business brokers to help facilitate purchases and sales?
The initial reason business owners reach out to brokers is the confidentiality that we bring to the table. Putting a “for sale” sign in the window can sometimes cause employees or customers to panic due to the unknown. We are able to list and market businesses without putting that for sale sign in the window, which helps ensure a smooth transition to a new owner. Most business owners generally end up selecting us because of the high-level strategic marketing we bring to the table for our clients.
How can a business broker help a client looking to sell an existing business?
Business brokers have a fiduciary responsibility to their client. They are the go-between for any potential buyers and the seller. On average, our Sr. M&A Advisors will speak to 150 – 200+ potential buyers on any given transaction. The time alone this saves a business owner is invaluable. A good broker also knows how to navigate the due diligence process. We tell our clients, this is the part of the deal where buyers are looking for a reason not to buy the business, and a buyer’s consultants are looking for a reason to get a better deal. It takes a skilled specialist to strategically navigate the due diligence process and ensure a successful transaction.
What is the process for acquiring and selling a business and how do you fit into the process?
At Lion Business Brokers, we manage the entire process from the initial marketing of the business, interviewing and qualifying potential buyers, project management of the due diligence process and so much more. We walk with our seller clients every step of the way to ensure a successful outcome.
In April, LBB announced that it is now offering certified business valuations. Can you tell us about this major announcement and how it impacts your clients?
We are really excited to have added a NACVA Certified Valuation Analyst to the team and are now offering Certified Business Valuations. Business valuations are commonly referred to as business appraisals that are performed by certified valuators who adhere to published valuation standards set forth by well-known, accredited organizations. A business valuation report issued by a firm with certified valuators holds credibility.
NACVA is the National Association of Certified Value Analyst is considered to be the “gold standard” in business valuations.
This means we can now offer bank level business valuations to our clients, to ensure the highest level of service.
What was your career like prior to becoming president of LBB?
I have a background in marketing and consulting, with extensive training from the hands of a former CMO of Oracle, along with years of high-level strategic marketing experience that helped prepare me to lead Lion Business Brokers and its successful team of Mergers and Acquisition Advisers.
Joshua, outside of working with LBB, you work with youth programs. What inspires your work with youth programs and how rewarding is it?
I am currently the president of the local youth feeder program, Vista Ridge Youth Sports. It’s an honor and privilege to serve the kids in my local community by providing a resource and an outlet for all kids to play, regardless of their household income. Last year Lion Business Brokers was able to sponsor several student athletes in both football and cheer. I am encouraged by every season that I am able to coach these kiddos, and watching them grow from season to season is always a joy.
How do you find time to juggle the work you do with Lion Business Brokers and the volunteer work you do with your children’s various sports teams?
I have been blessed to be able to participate as much as I have in my own children’s sports. I credit a lot of it to the team that we have in place here at LBB. We all have worked hard to instill a family first work environment that is only made possible by having a true team that woks as one on every transaction.
What is in the future for LBB?
The future is truly bright for us at the moment. We have officially opened another office in Oklahoma and are continuing to expand throughout the United States.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
My very first job out of high school, was with the California Department of Forestry, where I spent three seasons as a seasonal firefighter out in California. I was able to hike all over the state, from the deserts on the southern border to the historic redwood forest of the north.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Every M&A Advisor with Lion Business Brokers is a member of the International Business Broker Association, has their CBI or is working toward becoming a Certified Business Intermediary, and several advisors are recognized as an Industry Expert by Business Brokerage Press Inc. & Business Reference Guide.
2022 has been a great year for Lion Business Brokers, not only has LBB expanded with new advisors and new offices, but they have also been recognized as a top 10 “Business Brokerage Service” by Biz Tools Pros, “Most Trusted Specialist, for Private Equity Firms 2022” by the Texas Business Awards and “5 Best Brokerage Services to Watch” by the Silicon Review.
To learn more about Joshua Carnes and Lion Business Brokers, please visit https://lionbusinessbrokers.com/
Or connect with Joshua at https://www.linkedin.com/in/joshuacarnes/
Images credit: Maegan Kylie Photography