What to Look for in a Fire Protection Broker

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or investor new to industry, or a seasoned professional looking to sell your business or expand its footprint, there’s hardly been a better time to be involved in the sale of a fire and life safety company.

A study released last year by Grand View Research predicts an expected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for fire protection systems globally of 6.6% until 2030, or 3.9% CAGR in North America–which is the world’s largest market. This news has made a once-cottage industry extremely appealing to first-time entrepreneurs. Similarly, legacy businesses are seizing this moment to expand their footprint by acquiring long-time operators.

So, with presumably so many motivated buyers and sellers out there at this moment, would it be advisable for even seasoned industry professionals to DIY the transaction? That answer would be a hard no.

As Abraham Lincoln once famously said: “A person who represents themself has a fool for a client.” And while the context of that quote from our 16th president originally referred to courtroom representation, the same holds true for any complex business transaction. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, there are certain qualities that make an experienced broker a must for the sale or purchase of any fire and life safety company.

Everyone Leaves the Table Happy

A broker builds his good name one transaction at a time. If one party in the sale feels that their best interests weren’t in mind during the purchase, that opinion could adversely affect the reputation of the person who set up and oversaw the deal–especially in an industry like fire and life safety where so many players are familiar with each other. It’s the job of the broker, not only to accurately communicate the value of a company, but equally if a buyer has the means to purchase it and run it properly.

Buyers are always looking for the best deal. Sellers are always looking for top dollar. This is the nature of any sale. It’s imperative for both parties to know the true value of any company during any sale. A broker serves as a neutral party, who reviews inventory, assets, financials, and other factors that best represent the health of a company.

Moreover, a seasoned broker knows the competitive landscape of the industry that may vary from region to region, and can communicate any pluses or minuses that may accurately reflect a company’s value outside of a broad national lens.

What You Should Look for in a Broker

  1. Industry Expert: In the ever-expanding fire and life safety market, it’s job one for a broker to stay on top of market trends, regulations, and nuances specific to the industry. This information allows them to function as experts with valuable insights to both buyers and sellers, helping them close deals that are advantageous for all parties.
  2. Time Saver: In every transaction, a broker saves his clients significant time handling tasks like researching market trends, competitive businesses, and setting up negotiations. Having someone to handle these time-consuming tasks is particularly useful for sellers and those looking to merge who need to keep up with the successful day-to-day operations of their businesses.
  3. Networker: One of the most useful tools in a broker’s arsenal is his rolodex. For businesses, trade shows are a great way to meet others in the industry for two or three days. But brokers are constantly working those relationships and bring a vast network of contacts to the table, opening doors to better and faster deals. The best broker will have a standing relationship with potential buyers and understand what they are looking for.

Why You Should Work with AFS

Recent economic news and industry forecasts all signal that now would be a good time to purchase a Fire and Life Safety company. But with valuations that can range for a small to medium-size operation, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re getting the fairest deal during the transaction.

We’re here to help. With over 30 years of industry experience, we understand the fire and life safety business and the importance of streamlining sales and acquisitions. We find and vet available companies and buyers, help with valuation, and make the financing or funding you need possible. AFS also understands the importance of saving your time. We don’t waste your time with sending impersonal letters to potential buyers; instead, we vet potential buyers to ensure the best fit and quickest sale possible. Whether it’s to sell a security alarm business or expand your current operation, we can help you find the right buyer, seller, loan or funding option that’s right for you.

Contact Rory Russell at 888-544-6726. As a lifelong veteran in the fire and security space, Rory specializes in helping fire protection entrepreneurs sell, acquire, and secure funding to purchase or expand operations. You’ll receive expert guidance and support throughout every stage of the sales process, dealing with the negotiations and logistics so you can focus on realizing your business goals. Contact him today to get started!