This is an excerpt from "Moving On: Getting the Most from the Sale of Your Small Business" by James F. Grebey.
Selling your business isn’t a consideration today… maybe it won’t be tomorrow either, or even next year. What most small business owners know is… the day will eventually come when they will decide to sell their business. And on that day, a day when they’re eager to move on to the next adventure in their life, they will realize they have already lost money because they failed to prepare for that sale. To maximize the return from the sale of your business you need to plan for that day well in advance. The time to start preparing for tomorrow is today. Don’t wait.
You may not be ready to take the leap by paying a business broker or investment banker for their advice yet, but just knowing how to prepare your business for that day and understanding what selling your business will involve, may still be a great unknown. What would really be helpful at this time would be a conversation with someone who can walk you through the positioning and sales process… and who isn’t trying to sell you something.
Let’s face it, when you are ready to sell your business and move on it will be the most important deal of your life. You will rely on the sale of your business to support your next adventure. Maximizing your return from the sale is critical to your future, whether it is to support your retirement to the beach, fund your next business, or even allow you to sell part of your business to a new financial partner.
Selling a business isn’t something you do frequently; you need to get this right. Selling businesses is a game other people play. Now is the time for you to learn the rules of that game. Particularly if it is a game you can’t afford to lose.
Moving On – Getting the Most from the Sale of Your Small Business isn’t a text book. It is a conversation with a friend. A friend who will help you avoid the common mistakes small business owners make once they finally decide it’s time to move on. It’s a conversation with someone who will guide you through the steps needed to position your business by preparing it to be sold, listing your business (including who to talk to and who to avoid), and how to effectively transition away from your business.
It is a conversation about the support services you will need and where to find them, and it provides cautions about the people who will try to take advantage of you.
Jim Grebey is the President of Diligent Inc. He is an operations specialist and business coach who has worked with buyers and sellers and has been on both sides of the deal table. In Moving On he offers a much-needed discussion about the sale of a small business so you can benefit from his shared experiences. He offers real life examples, based on the experiences of the smallest to the largest small businesses from across a wide spectrum of industries.
He guides you through the process following a highly pragmatic approach with useful recommendations that will help you optimize your return when you do decide it’s time to sell. If selling a business isn’t something you do on a regular basis, then this book is where you should begin to do your homework.
Special note to M&A professionals: Moving On is a great tool to hand to your clients who are not yet ready to commit but are thinking about it. Providing a copy of Moving On with your business card attached means they will remember you… and understand why they need your services.