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Intend to Sell Your Business? Here’s How (Part 3)

This is the final piece in a series on what you need to do if you’re the owner of a smaller company (arbitrary defined here as approximately $10MM or less in annual revenue) that you intend to sell at some point. The first article covered the most substantial and common problem, which is that you can’t expect to sell a business that has been built to depend upon you. The second article was about more specific operational concerns like those involving accounting or HR. As this series concludes, we’re going to cover the execution question: how can you actually go

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Intend to Sell Your Business? Make Sure You Do These Things NOW (Part 2)

In the previous article, we talked about the most important factor in determining your ability to sell your company on the private market: has it been built to depend upon you? Hopefully the answer is ‘no.’ If you don’t solve that problem, doing the things below won’t matter. But assuming you have built your business to not need you, or you’re in the process of making that transition, then there are a number of other things you’ll want to do in order to maximize your company’s saleability. A buyer wants to know what they’re getting into. It’s impossible to convey

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Intend to Sell Your Business? Make Sure You Do These Things NOW (Part 1)

After a recent project, I’ve been thinking a lot about the subject of preparing a smaller company for a successful founder’s exit. In larger firms there is a robust process and standard options for how this typically goes down (IPO or mainline M&A activity), complete with an entire multitrillion-dollar industry — investment banking — largely dedicated to it. But what about smaller founder-run companies (say, under $10MM in revenue), particularly those with with decades of tenure? Boomers are squarely in the standard retirement range right now, but sadly most Boomer-owned companies probably won’t sell. What will happen to them? If

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