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Q & A with Playbook Advisory Founder Jim Peddle - May, 2017

An Interview with Jim Peddle

1. How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

I entered the industry in 2011 not knowing it was absolutely the worst time to enter this profession. The great recession of 2008-2009 was incredibly damaging to small business owners across the United States. The person who hired me was inexperienced and painted in my opinion, an inaccurate picture of the opportunity of the business brokerage field at the time of my hiring. Even though I felt like I asked the right questions prior to accepting the job, it was apparent right away the commission structure, lack of leads and having someone learning along with all his new professionals, was a major hurdle to any sustainable success. In retrospect, one positive is that the poor business climate reduced the number of business brokers in the industry, as well as at the firm here in Chicago. In the two offices alone, within 3 years of starting, we went from over 20+ brokers to only 5 or 6. 

After five years at this national franchise broker, I established myself as their top producing Business Broker and my transactions were responsible for the firm having a record year in 2015. In early 2016, after speaking with some of the top producing business brokers across the country, I decided that what was best for Jim Peddle was to go ahead and start up a new firm to capitalize on my sales & marketing experience. It was great advice and I'm proud of what we have accomplished in our first year at Playbook Advisory.

2. What services or products do you offer?

Playbook Advisory is a full service firm - We Offer:

  • Business Brokerage Advisory Services
  • Represent Business Owners/Sellers in need of a professional advisory firm
  • Represent Prospective Buyers - Including targeted & dedicated M&A searches
  • Valuation Services (Free & Paid) -Contact us for a quote
  • Evaluate the business to prepare it for sale in one to two years

3. How do you advertise your business?

Branding and Identity are very important but as business owners know the number one way to grow is to do solid work and give great service. Referrals from other professionals and positive references are a critical component to new business.

However, today with all of the changes in marketing, we've changed from the old "push" marketing to "pull" marketing. People get so many messages daily, so you have to give business owners & buyers a compelling reason to tune in and listen to your message. You have to provide useful and interesting content that is relevant so people want to listen. You have to be willing to give away some advice and information for free. You have to establish your company as The Experts and you have to be able to back it up in word and deed.

4. To what do you attribute your success?

First, although I consider myself an experienced, knowledgeable and established Business Broker, I recognize there is a tremendous opportunity to continue to learn and grow in order to better serve my clients. We strive to put our clients first and to recognize when we don't have the answer to a problem. As a generalist, we are often engaged to sell businesses in industries we may know little about. However, the key is that we apply the same process to the sale of all of our businesses. Whether it's marketing, buyer screening & vetting and due diligence, the same successful methodology is applied over and over, it's the reason we are able to achieve the results we have had over the past six years.

Second, as Warren Buffet likes to say, I strive to do business with those I think I'm going to like and get along with during this process, which often times can take up to 1-2 years. I'd recommend business owners interview different firms in order to gain an understanding of the broker and their process. Experience is critical so work with the firm and Business Broker you have confidence can do the best for you and your situation.

5. Do you refer business to other professionals? Bankers, Accountants or Attorneys?

Absolutely! Almost every day, I refer a client to a professional to help them with some aspect of their business. I'm always looking for new sources to assist those with banking, legal and accounting needs. I also look for SEO experts, tax accountants, marketing & sales experts and finally I'm always looking for new talent to hire at our firm. I encourage interested prospective brokers to call Jim Peddle direct to discuss current business broker opportunities in Chicago and other markets.

6. What do you look for in an employee?

  • We look people who are self-motivated & are client focused
  • We look for those who have faced some adversity & understand the ups and downs of business
  • Have the ability of showing up and starting fresh everyday to tackle new opportunities 

7. What made you choose your current location for the Corporate Office?

  • Location. We are in a great North Side Chicago office inside the Bradley Business Center
  • Close to major highways (90/94)
  • Opportunity to grow our business
  • Near Wrigley Field (However, I'm a Sox fan)

8. What’s your company’s goals?

  • Hire great people who are interested in growing
  • Sell some great businesses
  • Earning an INC. 5000 designation in 2022
  • Open new offices in 2018-2019

9.What are Jim Peddle's responsibilities as the business owner?

Everything! In the first year I made it a point to do almost everything myself. I incorporated the business, built two websites, studied current marketing trends for SEO optimization, hired our first employee, budgeted and created banking reports...It's amazing all of the moving pieces that a business owner must focus on to run their business. 

10. Have you ever turned down a client?

Yes, as I mentioned earlier, our engagements can go on a long time so it's important to work with people you like or think you might like.
Business owners are used to getting their way and although they know their business they don't know my world of M&A. I look for clients who will allow me to do my job in order to achieve the ultimate goal of selling or exiting their business.   There needs to be a mutual respect. If that respect is not there you do not have a good business relationship. 


Author: Jim Peddle,
Tags: Business Broker, Playbook Advisory, Sell a Business, Jim Peddle

Playbook Advisory

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