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Prepping Your Business For Sale

You are looking to sell your small business, and you expect the best possible outcome for both you and your company. In order to get exactly what you desire out of the impending sale, you must be forward-thinking enough to define your goals before even thinking of getting your business on the market.

Building the business is about a lot of things. First and foremost, there is that pesky reality of getting out there and doing things: getting to market, cornering the market and, eventually, turning a profit. Little surprise, then, selling the business takes a lot of doing too. After all, you are actually planning for yourself, the lives of your loved ones, and your loyal employees.

Done right, a business succession or sale requires the ability to ask the right questions, let alone have the right answers. And there is no shortage of good questions to ask of yourself, your company, your family, and of course, the potential buyer.

Fortunately, a recent article in The Business Journals titled "Key questions to ask when planning to sell your business" will give you a head start on the questions, but you must supply the answers.

While you can tailor the questions to fit your unique circumstances, here are the four questions the author of the article thinks you need to ponder:

  1. Is seller financing feasible in accomplishing my future endeavors?
  2. How involved do I really plan on being post-sale?
  3. How should I mitigate the emotional connection to my business and my employees?
  4. Should I sign that non-compete?

Obviously, these four questions are not all-inclusive. However, they are a good start.

In the end, the most prudent course of action may be to gather counsel from all of those who have a stake in what may be one of the most significant life event they and you may ever face. Consider soliciting the input of your loved ones, your leadership team, and your employees. Then, once you have determined the best outcome for all concerned, meet with your professional advisors to help you get there.

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