Business brokerage can be a difficult industry to break into. The investment of time and effort it takes to build a solid base of connections with business owners can seem overwhelming.
But Melissa Gaddy, a broker with Sunbelt of Charleston, finds her career rewarding and engaging. “I love seeing how different people earn a living. Every day, I see a variety of businesses where owners have created an income for themselves and their families doing something they are passionate about.”
Understanding the varied ways people earn a living is one of Gaddy’s favorite parts of the job. “Work and career don’t have to be filled with drudgery. Entrepreneurs and business owners can create a career and an income by finding that space in the economy where their needs and interests intersect. I love helping connect these people. Business owners have spent years cultivating and growing their business, and selling that business can be an emotional, difficult decision. I strive to recognize the value they have built and help them maximize their return, all while protecting confidentiality,” she explained.
Gaddy noted that women in business brokerage can achieve success financially, as well as from a satisfaction perspective. “We tend to understand the financial as well as the emotional side of selling a business. It can be a numbers game — business owners want to sell for top dollar, but they also want a consultant who can guide them successfully through the process. I can be an intermediary who will negotiate, compromise and communicate stability and confidence to the major life transition of selling their business and entrusting its future to a new owner.”
Gaddy spent more than a decade with Wachovia Bank (now Wells Fargo) in the commercial division doing risk management, financial analysis and underwriting. She took a break to raise three children in Mount Pleasant — at the same time running two businesses: a fitness franchise and a commercial embroidery business. She joined Sunbelt Business Brokers in February 2019.
Explaining her decision, Gaddy recalled that every Monday morning in the business section of the Post and Courier, she would notice an advertisement for Sunbelt Business Brokers that included a photo of only men.
“I knew there were many women entrepreneurs, and womenowned businesses continue to be one of the fast growing demographics of business ownership,” she said. “My experience could be a needed and welcomed addition. Using my background in finance and risk management — along with a desire to help small businesses in transition — was the perfect fit for me.”
By John Torsiello