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High on Santa Fe:

How Sam Goldenberg & Associates Became the City Different’s Best Small Business of 2015


t the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce’s Gala Awards in June, Sam Goldenberg & Associates took top honors as the City of Santa Fe’s Best Small Business of 2015. The 32-year-old business brokerage is the name behind many of Santa Fe’s best-known brands: HäagenDazs on the Plaza, Señor Murphy, Capitol Computer, Eden MediSpa and Greenberg Fine Art just to name a few. How Sam Goldenberg & Associates became New Mexico’s most successful business brokerage and New Mexico’s

sole affiliate of the SUNBELT® Network is the story of delivering results that satisfy both business buyers and sellers. “Unlike a real estate broker, we work with both sides,” says Michael Greene, president of the brokerage. “We facilitate creating that neutral space where business sellers and buyers can come together to share information, build trust and identify where their interests intersect. The buyer secures an income that allows them to thrive in Santa Fe; the seller walks away with money to fund their next chapter. Dreams come true at

our closing table.” THE DREAM-WEAVER COLLECTIVE  Greene has worked with business owners most of his 30-year career. The Harvard Law grad headed a Southern California M&A law firm, helmed a network of New Mexico commercial real estate brokerages, and co-founded a strategic business consultancy. His vision powers Sam Goldenberg & Associates, but he doesn’t do it alone. A collaborative approach differentiates it from the competition.

ABOVE Tourists flock to Santa Fe during the summer and fall, and local businesses reap the benefits.

“The 40 to 50 businesses we are working with at any time and 50 buyer inquiries a month mandate a team to handle the volume,” he explains. “Juliette Sweet guides our clients through the process, Erika Munde develops the marketing packages, and Jules Hoffmann analyzes the finances. She delivers on our commitment to provide as accurate and transparent data as possible.”

STRIKE UP THE BRAND But owner’s income isn’t the only factor. More so than other places, things get personal in Santa Fe. Acquiring an established business taps into word-of-mouth referrals and community goodwill. These intangibles often make the difference between business success and business mediocrity.

NUMBERS TALK Numbers tell a story. “Bookkeeping is more than a taxtime chore,” Greene says. “It’s a tool to determine if you’re meeting goals. It also evaluates performance and identifies growth opportunities. Good books strengthen a seller’s position.”

In return, the Santa Fe brand attracts buyers from around the country. Growing consumer confidence and improving small business fundamentals are beginning to create a sense of urgency. “The bottom line is improving for many local businesses, and this effects the value,” says Greene. “There’s a feeling that the train is leaving the station and buyers don’t want to be left behind.”

The attraction of buying an established business is it’s a proven model with immediate cash flow. The current owner’s earnings, after personal expenses run through the company are added back, help determine a business’ value.

Greene considers the Small Business of the Year award to be Sam Goldenberg & Associates’ top achievement to date. His

only regret is it may have been premature. “We are 33 percent ahead in business sales compared to this time last year, and we’ve got an exciting new initiative to announce. I firmly believe that, just like Santa Fe, our best years are ahead.”  Sam Goldenberg & Associates 505.820.0163 844.GO.NM.BIZ

Above TOP LEFT Sam Goldenberg & Associates facilitated the sale of Underpinnings, TOP RIGHT Barton’s Flowers, BOTTOM LEFT Häagen-Dazs on the Plaza and RIGHT Capitol Computer & Network Solutions

High on Santa Fe  

Fine Lifestyles Santa Fe catches up with Michael Greene and talks to him about being this year's best small business in Santa Fe.

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