Meet your merchant: VR Business Brokers
How did your business start?
After having traded stocks, bonds and derivatives with institutional investors for 27 years, I decided to turn my efforts to help privately owned businesses in the Roaring Fork Valley and beyond. It bothered me that so many long-standing businesses simply close their doors when their owners are ready to retire or to move on. I recognized that with the help of an experienced business broker, these businesses can live on and grow and can continue to serve the community after their current owners are no longer actively involved.
What do you sell?
We provide professional business valuation and brokerage services to privately held businesses with annual sales of anywhere between $250,000 and $25 million. We take the time to understand each business, their market, their competitive position as well as the financial and non-financial motivations of each business owner.
We also provide professional business buyer brokerage services. Earlier this year, we were retained by a Denver-based company to identify acquisition candidates for them in the Roaring Fork Valley. Moreover, we have a growing and enthusiastic number of clients interested in buying businesses.
What positive lessons did you learn during the recession?
The most important lesson is to avoid excessive leverage in your business dealings when times are good so that you have enough money to make it through lean times and to take advantage of the buying opportunities that inevitably arise when business conditions recover.
What strategy do you use to hire good people?
Honesty and integrity obviously come first, with strong interpersonal skills and a deep desire to help others a close second. After these basic qualities are met, I always like to hire people who are smarter than I am and know more than I do. I am delighted to have longtime resident and mergers and acquisitions attorney Cindy LaMar on our team, as I am to have business transaction attorney Ben Brickweg, who is based in Denver and heads our natural resources and outdoor sports teams.
What is your strategy for growth in the next year?
One business at a time. I would like to help business owners transition out of active ownership and management of their businesses when they’re ready to move on. We encourage business owners to start thinking about their exit strategy between two and three years before they completely leave their business. We invite business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs and anyone with a potential interest in any business to contact us at any time for a confidential initial consultation.
What is the best thing about running a business here?
This is a tough question because many of the people who live and work here are just as wonderful as the incredible mountain paradise that we call home. In my experience, people are truly willing and eager to help one another so long as we have the interest of others and of the community at heart.
Nearly three years after Aspen City Council cleared the founder of Jazz Aspen Snowmass to launch a jazz performance and education center downtown, Jim Horowitz said he expects the project will get rolling before the year is over.
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