A business should do more than provide the owner with a livelihood. In addition to fulfilling the owner’s passion it needs to achieve such value that the owner can sell it at exit time for a price that reflects the time and effort invested. After putting in 20, 30 or 40 years the business should be sold for enough to provide a comfortable retirement for the exiting owner. If not, then all the business did was to provide the owner with a job. Building a business should factor in an exit plan and converting into cash the value built up over the years.

At exit time because of age, lifestyle changes, and financial needs, business owners want to realize the value locked up in their business. Too often the offers they receive do not meet their expectations. This is a situation that could have been avoided.

The investment made in building a business over a generation is frequently several million dollars, and too often it cannot be sold quickly. So, to arrange for a quick sale, and to obtain a fair price much preparation should have […]