LO businessman has goal of helping Pacific Northwest rise as business power

by: REVIEW, TIDINGS PHOTO: CLIFF NEWELL - Lake Oswego's Linn Crader looks like a happy man and he is. It is a joy for him to help small business owners succeed.Nobody likes to see a new business succeed more than Linn Crader, and nobody is better at helping a new business get off the ground.

As president of Business Transition Services Inc., the longtime Lake Oswego resident has built his company into one of the fastest growing and most sustainable programming firms in the country. And he is having fun doing it.

“My clients are more like family,” Crader said. “It’s not work to me.”

Crader is now having more fun than ever since he brought in his own company, Business Transition Services Inc., as an associate of Murphy Business. In his 36-year career of helping business owners purchase, sell and develop their businesses, Crader is now in his best position ever to help the Northwest reach its potential as a business giant.

It was no quick decision for Crader to go with Murphy Business. After he was approached with the offer by company owners Roger Murphy and Tom Miller, Crader took a year to make up his mind and research the proposition. Meanwhile, Murphy established a national footprint, establishing more than 150 offices nationwide. Crader is now full of confidence and optimism about the future.

“The final reason I joined was that it was the best thing I could do for all the small business owners in the Pacific Northwest,” Crader said. “I wanted a organization that would bring the highest level of professional services to small business sellers. I thought I could do wonderful things for the Northwest.”

After suffering through the American economic doldrums of the past five years, the Northwest is on the cusp of tremendous growth.

“The economy was a blow to everyone,” Crader said. “But we (Murphy) were able to improve 72 percent in 2012 over 2011. Now we’re seeing nice growth. The Northwest has lots of territory and unlimited income potential. We’re seeing more and more people who want to own their own businesses and control their own destinies. It is a pleasure to work with them.”

It is easy to see why Murphy Business was so eager to have Crader in the fold. His entire career has been devoted to helping small businesses.

“In 1976 Bob West, a Dallas man, convinced me I knew enough to help others sell their businesses,” Crader said. “In 1980 I opened my own firm, Main Street Business Brokerage, and had it 20 years.”

In the United States, small business is big.

“It’s the backbone of the country,” Crader said. “It makes up 85 percent of the U.S. economy.”

But there has been a huge gap in business people’s knowledge about selling businesses.

“The industry is very fragmented,” Crader said. “There is no formal training program and no process to sell small companies. Now we can bring the best resources in agent training, support and all aspects to the value of a business, structure it for tax impact, and the best selling position. We have a systematic business listing service and 275 brokers, all trained to help a business achieve real stability and real consistency.”

Instead of fragmentation and disorganization, Crader can now call on the digitalized history of hundreds of transactions and experiences.

Crader said, “When entrepreneurs are ready to retire, they’re not used to selling their businesses. There are so many issues. As a franchise owner myself, I know what they’re going through.”

Crader has lived in Lake Oswego since the 1980s and has been active in the community in charitable programs and youth projects.

However, despite his already lengthy business career, Crader seems like he is only getting started.

As the Pacific Northwest economy grows, Crader will keep having fun.

For more information, go to or BTSI corporate headquarters are located at 4000 Kruse Way Place, Suite 2-245.

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