Do you expect to sell your business as soon as the decision is made to sell? Are you expecting to whisper that your business is for sale and have a bunch of people show up and start making offers? I hope you are right but in my experience this is not likely. Most business owners that I have dealt with are surprised by how long the actual negotiations and closing activities take to complete.
A properly organized succession takes years. You have to plan out who you would like to buy your business and discuss this possibility with them (I have other recommendations if you are considering a sale to your children). Selling to employees is also a process that requires quite a bit of discussion. It is only if you are planning to sell to competitors or customers you will be waiting until you are ready to leave to start that conversation. If you plan to use a broker then you have contacted the broker and worked out a timeline.
Another task that you have completed before you say that you are ready to sell is you have determined how much money you need to get out of your business, particularly if you are retiring. You also have a good idea about the value of your business so that you know if you are likely to get the money you need when you sell.
The longer you have to plan the succession of your business the better the chances that you will be successful in getting your price. If you wait until you are in a hurry, or need to sell quickly, then it is not as likely you will get your price.
Do some planning and get better results.
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