When a business owner says it’s time to sell, I ask, “How fast do you want to be out?” The answer I hear most is, “Yesterday.” But sellers underestimate how long the process takes. Once we sign our engagement agreement with the business owner, it takes about 9 to 12 months to sell. After that, expect a six-month to one-year transition.
In an ideal world, you’d be working with an advisor 2-3 years before you put your business on the market. Plan ahead and there are several things you can do to maximize value or better position your company for sale. The more you plan, the more options you will have at the time of your exit.
Figure out what you want and then work the numbers backwards. Start talking with your advisors now, so when you’re ready, you’re ready.
For advice on exit planning or selling a business, contact Al Statz, CEO of Exit Strategies Group, Inc., at firstname.lastname@example.org. Exit Strategies Group is a partner in the Cornerstone International Alliance.