No Coast Business Advisors – Providing Expert Representation for Nebraska Buyers & Sellers
Primarily focused on the Lincoln and Omaha markets, No Coast Business Advisors (NoCoastBusinessAdvisers.com) offers professional, comprehensive services while maintaining the utmost confidentiality. No Coast Business Advisors not only specializes in selling businesses but also offers buyer representation, business market valuations, business investor services, seller coaching, business licensing rights services, and consulting services.
Give us a brief synopsis of what your company does and your business philosophy. Our primary goal is to help people buy and sell businesses. We believe owners are the best people to sell other owners businesses, and that’s our business model. There’s a right way and a wrong way to do business and you can trust that an owner is invested in doing things the right way. Furthermore, only someone who has owned and operated a business can fully understand both sides of the table.
How long have you been in Lincoln/Omaha? No Coast Business Advisors was officially established two years ago, but has technically been in the market for four years.
Who are the owners/important executives? Myself, Jethro Hopkins, Broker/Owner.
What do you think makes you different from other companies similar to yours? We do not just “list” businesses; rather, we represent them. Every broker at No Coast Business Advisors either has successfully run or is successfully running a business, or has successfully bought and sold one or more. We have practical, real-world experience that’s of great value to our clients. Additionally, our NAABB certification demonstrates that we have completed the industry’s most comprehensive certification process. This is not mandatory for any business brokerage, speaking to our pursuit of being the best possible brokers and advisors. I’m also an IBBA (International Business Brokers Association) Certified Broker, which is a collective of the world’s largest community of business brokers in the industry. Between that and our specialized partnerships with lending institutions that allows us to open up the entire market, from businesses valued at $30,000 to $5.5 million, we are entirely unique from any other brokerage in the area.
What do you like about doing business in Lincoln/Omaha? There’s a personal touch and a working relationship between two parties that you don’t see other places around the country. You’re not just doing business with this company or that business, but the actual people that represent them, and you get to know each other. It enables you to form solid relationships that last far beyond what you’re doing today to close a deal or get an account. There’s accountability, loyalty, and support. That’s why I started my business here and remain here. I like the way business is conducted here.
What kind of community organizations/groups are you involved with? Since we are based in Lincoln, we’re involved with LIBA, Lincoln Chamber of Commerce, and the Better Business Bureau, as well as supporting the work of Clinic With A Heart and Child Advocacy Center.
What changes have you seen in the industry and your company in the past few years? There are several that come to mind. The banks have tightened their lender requirements on business loans, which makes it harder to get financing for most deals. As the economy gets better, fewer people are buying businesses. The internet has made the entire world accessible now, so a lot of things that were just coming into their own in the early 2000s are more mature now. In my case, there’s broader scope of what you can do to connect buyers and sellers with marketing. The networks are getting better to attract attention from all over.
What do you see happening with the business in the next five years? I see the brokerage continuing to expand at a fairly good clip as we continue to develop our range of partnerships with other area business organizations, lenders, and spread the word about what we do and how we do it. As we’ve moved forward, there’s been nothing but upward trends and I expect that to continue.
What is one of the biggest challenges that your company has faced? We’re in a highly competitive market with no restrictions to access. When anybody can be a broker, as a buyer or seller, educating yourself and researching who you work with are absolutely key. The lack of conditions that need to be met to be a business broker is astonishing to most. So with that being the case, it’s been an uphill battle to establish trust and top-of-mind recognition so that business owners intentionally select No Coast Business Advisors instead of the first broker they come across. I didn’t get in it to make money exclusively; I enjoy it and had plenty of experience that I wanted to share with others. I get personal satisfaction from helping others who are business owners and those who want to be business owners. Unfortunately that’s not the case with everyone in my profession, but the prevailing assumption is that anyone with the title has experience and credentials to back it up and can be fully trusted. I feel compelled to caution people, but my intent is not to be derogatory, just to present the facts so they can make an informed decision and protect themselves.
What has been your most important achievement as a business? Recently, I formed a partnership with a lending institution that will pre-qualify disburse loans in the under $250,000 range. There is nothing that I have done up to this point to grow my business that equals the capabilities that I have now, and it’s so exciting to see what the future holds.
What is one goal for your business that you have yet to accomplish? I want to expand into surrounding states but keep my home base here. Up to this point, I haven’t figured out how to clone myself to make it happen.
In closing, what advice would you offer to our readers who are interested in your services? For buyers, understand that a business deal is typically going to be the biggest deal you’ll do in your life, usually far eclipsing a home purchase. This deal could make or break your entire life. You don’t get a second chance and rarely will there be a safety net. You can’t make a mistake and get someone to magically fix it. It’s not for the weak of stomach or heart. You could literally have nothing left to your name. Take the extra time research who you are working with and not only that they are qualified, but that they are going to take good care of you and want to see you win. This is also a person who will help you fully understand what you are getting into and will be honest as to whether it’s the right fit for you or whether you are better off looking into other options.
For sellers, you’ve put so much into your business, and you deserve to get nothing less than what it’s worth out of it. Be sure you’re working with someone who knows exactly how to make that happen and is committed to getting that exact result. Also, I can’t stress enough, it’s never too early for succession planning. You may not be ready to sell now or even in the near future, but life happens and when it does, the value and success of your business will depend on it.