In 2014, Mike Metzger was at a crossroads. After a decorated career in the US Navy, he had leveraged his skillset in leadership and process improvement to a six-figure, VP position at a Fortune 250 company. But after 15+ years in the corporate sector, Mike wanted the chance to run his own business. That led Mike to purchase a Murphy Business franchise, opening his office in December 2014.
Mike’s decision meant giving up his corporate career and putting in the time to build his new business. But Mike was confident he’d made the right decision for two reasons. He knew that the business brokerage industry had massive potential for growth. And he knew that the Murphy Business franchise system gave him a tried-and-tested process on which to build his business.
“I wanted the chance to use my business and analytical skills, and I wanted to buy into a proven system. When I looked at opportunities in the industry, Murphy had a system that really appealed to me. It was logical. It was well established. It was well documented. And it was repeatable.”
These days, Mike is one of the most successful business brokers in the Richmond, VA area, offering a model for other Murphy franchisees. We recently spoke with Mike about his secrets to success. In that conversation, we asked him about what led him to buy a Murphy Business franchise, how he built his business, and his advice for anyone entering the business brokerage industry.
Why Buy a Murphy Business Franchise?
“I had the back-office support, I had the educational opportunities, and I had a network of experienced brokers that I could tap into.”
Mike’s decision to purchase a Murphy Business franchise started with a close look at the business brokerage industry.
“I had been in corporate America for 16 years, and I got to a stage in my personal and professional life where I was ready to do something different. I didn’t really know what that was, but then I started learning about the business brokerage industry, and it checked a lot of boxes for me.”
When Mike researched the industry further, he realized it was a great fit for his existing skillset. He also saw an industry on the cusp of major growth.
“We’ve all heard about the Baby Boomer wave. As the Baby Boomers transition out of business ownership, we’re going to see the largest wealth transfer in history — not just American history, but human history.”
Once Mike had decided on becoming a business broker, he started to look for proven systems that could serve as the foundation for his business. That’s when he discovered the Murphy Business franchise opportunity.
“I had looked at some of the other companies, but Murphy was the one that really appealed to me. I felt really comfortable with the people and with the ethical standards of the company. And I had all the resources I needed to start my business. I had the back-office support, I had the educational opportunities, and I had a deep network of experienced brokers that I could tap into.”
Building a Successful Business Brokerage Firm
“Our goal is to position ourselves as true professionals and experts in our field, on par with a CPA or an attorney. That’s the standard we should be holding ourselves against, and that’s how business brokers should be perceived.”
When Mike purchased his Murphy Business franchise, he knew that it came with a lot of potential. But he also knew that his success would hinge on hard work, patience, and strategic planning.
“In my business plan, I made the assumption that I wasn’t going to take any money in that first year. And in the end, I made a little. But coming from a six-figure corporate salary, it wasn’t a lot. I knew that if I was going to grow my business, I really had to get out there and pound the pavement and build my brand. So I did a lot of building relationships and building referrals sources.”
That hard work has paid off with each subsequent year. These days, Mike estimates that roughly 75% of his business comes from referrals.
Mike also invested in developing a reputation for expertise and professionalism. In researching the industry, he discovered that many business owners are distrustful of business brokers. To win these clients, Mike knew that he’d need to shatter this stereotype.
“Our goal is to position ourselves as true professionals and experts in our field, on par with a CPA or an attorney. That’s the standard we should be holding ourselves to, and that’s how business brokers should be perceived,” he explains.
“Coming across as a true professional makes a big difference. And that can be as simple as just answering the phone. I’ve heard from people who say, ‘I’ve called three brokers already today, and you’re the only one who returned my call.’”
Advice for Future Business Brokers
“By following a proven process, I can make sure I’m not forgetting something that might kill the deal or put me or the company at risk by not dotting an ‘i’ or crossing a ‘t’.”
When asked what advice he’d give to first-time brokers, Mike says that the industry is rife with opportunity. But he stresses that success takes extraordinary discipline and years of patience.
“Right now, it’s a very favorable climate out there. For good quality businesses, I can find lots of buyers. And with the Baby Boomers, I think there’s going to be sustained growth. But it’s a hard business, and it’s hard work. A lot of agents get started in business brokerage, and they quit after 6 or 8 months because they can’t stomach the ups and downs of the business. But if you go into it eyes wide open, you won’t be disappointed.”
Mike also stresses the importance of industry education, an area where Murphy Business franchise owners are at a distinct advantage.
“The fastest way to get up and running and profitable is to immerse yourself in the education and materials that Murphy offers. When you’re sitting there in front of a prospective client, you have to come across as confident and competent. So you need that knowledge and expertise.”
Another distinct advantage for Murphy Business franchise owners is the proven process that Murphy offers. Mike mentions that, in his case, the Murphy process has been instrumental to his own success.
“When you buy a franchise, part of what you’re buying is a process that is proven and repeatable. With Murphy, it’s a logical process. It’s well established. It’s well documented. And it was something that I knew I could follow. It’s not rigid to the point where you feel constricted, but the high-level steps make complete sense.
“As long as you stick to the process you can expect similar results. And by following a proven process, I can make sure I’m not forgetting something that might kill the deal or put me or the company at risk by not doting an I or crossing a T.”
Ready to learn more about how to start a Murphy Business franchise of your own? Call (727) 725-7090 today for detailed information on the Murphy Business franchise offering.