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Brian appears in the Top 100 

Innovators & Entrepreneurs Magazine

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Brian Canavan


Brian Canavan is a seasoned director of acquisitions at Premier Business Brokerage in Saint Louis, Missouri. With a career spanning over three decades, Brian has emerged as a serial entrepreneur and accomplished business broker, known for his unwavering commitment to delivering results. The mission of Premier is to cultivate client satisfaction resulting in the form of successful business transactions. All the while, remaining steadfast to our core values of Respect, Integrity, Education, Fortitude, and Patience.


Having navigated the complex world of entrepreneurship for more than 30 years, 15 of them as a business broker, Brian has developed an innate understanding of the intricacies involved in buying and selling mid- to large-size businesses across the country. His prior experience as an accredited investor in real estate further enriches his perspective on the complexities of the business world.


Brian believes that the essence of a successful business brokerage lies in the outcomes it achieves. With this principle at the core of his approach, he places a strong emphasis on meticulous attention to detail, recognizing that every aspect of a deal can significantly impact its ultimate result. Bearing witness to the efficacy of his methods are 200 individuals who sold their businesses through Brian.


Whether assisting buyers or sellers, Brian and Premier Business Brokerage remain steadfast in generating the highest levels of market exposure without compromising confidentiality. They recognize the importance of addressing financial, emotional, and legal nuances in the sale or transfer of a company, including considerations of business worth, objectives, and contracts. Their valuation approach is not one-size-fits-all, offering three tiers of assessment services tailored to meet the immediate and future needs of their clients.


In the world of business brokerage, Brian Canavan and Premier Business Brokerage represent a dynamic partnership committed to delivering exceptional results, driven by expertise, and fueled by a deep understanding of the complexities of the business world. We asked Brian to share his insights into what sets them apart and what inspired him to help business owners.


Brian, what distinguishes Premier Business Brokerage from its competitors?


Every business I've personally assisted is a unique puzzle. In our line of work, we're not concerned with whether a business is "good" or "bad." Instead, our focus is on whether it's sellable. We leave no stone unturned when it comes to selling someone's company. Even when business owners express doubts about their businesses, saying, "My business is not great, I'm not making much money," we believe there's at least one person out there willing to consider any company. It's our responsibility to find that needle in the haystack, the one person willing to buy, whether it's a manufacturing company making specific parts for the F18, or a distribution company distributing bottles for Anheuser Busch, or any other business. While some in the industry chase after "unicorn" businesses with hefty commissions, I find that smaller businesses are the unsung heroes that have truly made America great. They're not always glamorous, and they don't always attract hordes of buyers, but we excel at finding buyers for them.


Were your experiences as a successful serial entrepreneur the inspiration behind your desire to assist smaller businesses?


Absolutely. My journey as an entrepreneur began when my brother (Edward) and I started an auto detailing business to fund our college educations. We began with virtually no capital, cleaning cars and providing exceptional customer service. Over time, we grew the business into a million-dollar enterprise. We expanded into a body shop, wheel repair, dent removal, and more, but we also learned firsthand how challenging it can be to grow a business, find dependable employees, and navigate the complexities of entrepreneurship. My love for small businesses grew from those experiences, as did my desire to help others facing similar challenges. I've been doing this for over 15 years now, and I genuinely love assisting small business owners.


Has your personal experience given you a deeper appreciation for the challenges that small business owners face daily and when they want to exit their business?


Yes. Very much so. I'm a straightforward person, and when I sit down with a small business owner, I can empathize with their challenges because I've walked in their shoes. Many people are unaware of the existence of business brokers and the critical role we play in helping business owners successfully exit their companies. My parents instilled in me the values of hard work, integrity, and earning an honest day's pay for an honest day's work. I promise my clients that I will live by those principles, and I make sure to outwork anyone else.


What do you find most enjoyable about your work?


The most enjoyable aspect of my work is the opportunity to assist people in transitioning through different stages of their lives and careers. People exit their businesses for various reasons, whether it's retirement, spending more time with family or grandchildren, or realizing that their current path isn't aligned with their career goals. For me, it's all about helping them navigate these life transitions. After 15 years in this industry, I still learn something new every day.


Can you tell us about the most unique business you’ve sold?


One of the most unique businesses I had the privilege of helping to sell was a manufacturing and distribution company that supplied beer bottles to Anheuser-Busch. This St. Louis-based company had been in operation for over six decades and had a rich history. The owner had fascinating stories about his interactions with the Busch family, including receiving Anheuser-Busch stock as part of their partnership. What made this sale particularly special was that it was a St. Louis company, and I'm born and raised in St. Louis. The owner had founded the company from the ground up, and it was incredible to hear about his experiences, even from before my time. It was a truly unique and meaningful transaction.



Brian Canavan

Director of Acquisitions Premier Business Brokerage Website:


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