You Want to Sell Your Business Someday How to Prepare Today

Every Business Needs an Exit Strategy.  Do you want to Run Your Business Forever?  Do you Want to Sell your business?  Do you want to leave your business to your children?  Do you want to sell your business to Your Employees?  Do you Just want to close your doors and Move on?  How do you want to exit your business ?- And when?

I had a good friend of mine that is a successful business owner contact me about the prospect of selling his business in a few years. He asked me to contact him regarding what he may want to be doing now to prepare his business for sale.  He has a successful growing business, he has grown his number of employees from 10 to 50+ over a 2 year period.  He is effective at gaining new contracts and growing revenue, but like so many  businessmen, he has never attempted to sell his business.  How do you plan to sell your business.

Devising An Exit Strategy For Selling Your Business

Normally during the startup of a new business the thought of an exit strategy is not even a consideration.  Then small business owners get so involved with the day-to day operation of their businesses that again an exit strategy is either not even thought of or possibly just put on the back burner.  Taking some time to put some thought into your exit strategy can go a long way to increasing your odds of exiting your business the way you desire to.

Planning, gaining knowledge, and preparing  may be the 3 most important measures you can take when considering an effective exit strategy.

If your exit strategy involves an interest in trying to successfully sell your business in several years, what sort of measures or actions should a business owner take today make this effort successful:

  1. Make sure your financials are in order. Clean understandable Income Statements and Balance  Sheets will add value to your business.  Unexplained/old accounts, entries, or line items ,  should be addressed and handled.
  2. Systematize and document your operations and procedures.  Well documented policies, procedures and practices are a sign of a well run company and  probably would help your company run better, and add value. If you got hit by a truck tomorrow could someone use your documented practices to help continue run your business?
  3. Move your business towards a business that does not rely on you.  Do your customers do business with your company or do customers do business with you.  When you go to sell your business are you selling a business that is dependent on you the owner or a self-sustaining business based on a solid philosophy, solid customer service and reliable employees and practices. Or when you go away, does your business go away?
  4. Speak to your trusted advisers- let them know your intentions see if  they have any input suggestions that could help move you towards this goal.  Trusted advisers may include your attorney, CPA, financial advisor, business brokers.
  5. Learn by speaking to your trusted advisers what are the most important aspects that affect your business value.  How does one value your business? What is most important to business buyers?-  Your Assets, your cash flow, your sales, your number of customers, your patents, trademarks, your competitive advantage.  Learn what the real driving factors are behind raising the value of your business and work on them. Understand that not all businesses that attempt to sell actually do find a business buyer and sell.
  6. Running your business and concurrently, preparing your business for sale is a viable  approach towards business transition. It is not a” one or the other approach”.  Preparing your business for sale does not need to get in the way of running your business, and most measures improve your business. If you make needed improvements to your business and or operations and decide not to sell your business or exit your business, you still most likely will have a better business on your hands.
Planning to sell your business

For planning purposes try to learn what the potential value of your business may be. Also educate yourself on the business buying or selling marketplace.  It is not always the same.  Selling a business during the 90’s was different than selling a business in 2018 and will be different when selling a business in 2020.

If you think you want to sell your business in 5 years for $1M, attempt to understand what realistically your approximate value may be today.  If your business may realistically only be worth $500,000-  change your expectations,  change your time frame, or maybe more importantly get to work on making necessary changes to your business.

Scott Messinger is a Professional Business Broker working with Business Buyers and Sellers in South Carolina and Florida.  For more information contact Scott at

The Right Time to Sell My Business


The Right Time to Sell My Business?



When is the right time to sell my business.  Timing is Everything.  As a business owner this is a question I faced and as a business broker I realize many business owners have this same very important decision.

The answer on the right  timing is different for most all business owners.  Furthermore the answer may lie more in the question(s).

Do I want to sell my business…. or do I want to transition it to family or just close the doors or other?

Do I sell it when the business is not doing well?

Do I sell it when the business is doing well?

Do I sell my business when the economy is down?  Economy is doing better is now the time?

How do I even begin looking at the process and time involved to sell my business?

Health. life, age, family, money,  are all factors that go into this very important decision. A business sale does not occur within a vacuum .

What is going on in my business , in my industry, in our current economy, in our  economy going forward  all affect value.

What effect does the aging Baby Boomer population have.  Estimates I see are we have approx. 75 Million Baby Boomers in the US which is almost 25% of our population (born between 1946 and 1964 so current age group of  54-70).  Many of those will exit business over the next several years.

Will there be a “glut of available businesses for sale?  Will this drive down the prices?

I don’t know but do believe it could affect values.

While running my business I had interested unsolicited parties come forward with an interest in acquiring my business, discussion were had and we even got to the points of an LOI (Letter of Intent) and Purchase offer being presented.  The offers were reasonable but I was “not ready”.  When consulting with my CPA, his advice to me is “You will know when you are ready”.  I continued to run my business for another 10 years and hit a point  when “I was ready”.

Selling ones business involves a lot of moving parts.  I do believe it is prudent to sell your business under your terms, not based on terms dictated to you.  (health, divorce, legal matters or other negative event forcing a sale)

As a business owner we deal with risk.  We do our best to mitigate risk but the risk of owning a business is carried with us until we know longer own that business.  Mitigating the risk of  having to sell your business under terms not dictated by you should be a priority.  So if you are “not ready”  Is it time to start getting ready ?

  • Gain knowledge about the process
  • Have a realistic view about the “salability” of your business.
  • Know that selling a business when that business  is doing well is significantly more doable than a business  in a lesser state.
  • Know that not all businesses that try to sell DO NOT and or maybe sell for a fraction of perceived value.
  • Have a plan


A lot go into the decision of the “Right Time” to sell a business. And part of my job as a business broker is sharing my experiences with the process.  But being ready psychologically, emotionally, financially is a timing question that only you can answer.    “Are you Ready ?” or are you “Ready to start getting Ready”.

Scott M Messinger is a Business Broker working with Business Sellers and Buyers focused in South Carolina Florida and Southeast USA.  For more information go to