COO Dave Meekings explains how the new AVB Business Baton will connect BrandSource buyers and sellers.

New members-only marketplace to assist with succession

By Alan Wolf, YSN

One of the biggest challenges facing BrandSource members and all independent dealers as they approach retirement is finding a buyer for their businesses.

After building equity in their brand throughout their working lives, some owners simply close shop and walk away — depriving themselves of a financial reward, thwarting a potential buyer and costing BrandSource a valued member.

But going forward, AVB will offer a simple solution for the dilemma: a secure portal within the BrandSource Backroom called Business Baton, where sellers and potential buyers can connect. As AVB COO Dave Meekings explained in announcing the initiative at Summit, dealers can list their companies on the platform anonymously and follow up with fellow members who are interested.

“The number one reason a member leaves the group is that they’re closing their business,” Meekings said from the Main Stage on Monday. “But here’s the kicker: The vast majority of those businesses aren’t failing; in fact, they’re extremely healthy. The owner is simply ready to retire and can’t find a way to pass it along.” 

It’s also problematic for members who are looking to expand their operations but don’t know where to find acquisition opportunities, he said.

To utilize AVB Business Baton, sellers anonymously enter some basic company datapoints into the portal, while those looking to make a purchase can sign up as a potential buyer. Both are then assigned to a geographic region. The buyer can only see general information about a business, such as product categories, sales volumes and on-hand inventory, and can submit a request for further details if interested. The request is then forwarded to the seller for consideration.

“Linking an interested seller and an interested buyer is a critical initial part in the process of passing the baton to a new generation to manage and grow that business,” Meekings said.   “By doing this, AVB can help all members, from those looking to grow their business to those who’ve spent a career building a successful one. It’s truly a win.”

YSN publisher AVB BrandSource is the nation’s largest merchandising and marketing co-op for independent appliance, mattress, furniture and CE dealers.

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