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Selling a Business: A Guide for Business Advisors

As you know, most business owners don’t have an exit strategy. They simply choose an M&A advisor when they’re ready to sell. Several studies have tried to determine why owners avoid exit planning. They have led to various theories, such as sellers being too busy to take the time.

I think the real reason is that most owners simply don’t understand that selling a business is very different than selling just about anything else. It’s certainly not like selling a house. You can’t just decide to sell, hand the job off to a broker, and wait for offers.

Selling a business is more like building a house, or maybe even more like building a business, and your clients need a succession plan and exit strategy to do it in a way that will accomplish their goals.

For many business owners, this is the first time they will have gone through the process of selling a business. They don’t understand how complex it is and will likely turn to one or more of their advisors for assistance. This guide will help you help your clients through this long and stressful process. As a trusted advisor, you can make sure your clients are well prepared, understand what’s involved, and positioned for success.

Reading the following will help you help clients prepare for, and participate in, a successful sale:

phase 1 Succession Planning: Helping Your Clients Prepare
  • Preparation & Timing
  • Estimating & Building Value
  • Engaging an M&A Advisor

3 months to several years

phase 2 Executing the Sale: Understanding the M&A Process
  • Buyer Research
  • Marketing
  • Negotiating & Closing
  • Post Closing

6 – 12 months