Starting and then nurturing a successful business takes a lot of time and effort, but walking away from a business takes some work, too.Whether it's because it's time to kick back and retire, move on to a new venture or simply cash in, selling a business has its own set of challenges.
Between preparing a business for sale, determining the right sale price or understanding tax ramifications, selling a business requires a good exit plan, even if that includes just keeping the place clean for visits by potential buyers.
"It's about education, education, education. You need to be educated on the sale process," said Emmet Apolinario, president of the Ohio Business Brokers Association. "If a seller decides to sell, the first thing I want them to do is find out information on how to sell the business."
But even before a business owner talks to a broker or attorney he has to figure out whether selling the business, and selling it now, is what he wants to do.
"When I first meet with a customer I try to understand 'Why do they want to sell?'" said Apolinario.
The recent recession has changed the approach many owners who have been considering selling their companies have taken.
"People are realizing they may not want to work more hours for the same money," said Apolinario.
Meanwhile, many Baby Boomer owners are inching closer to retirement or may be wanting to sell to perhaps start a second career or business.
A succession plan is another option. Owners may want to hand off their business to a son or daughter or for an employee buyout.