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Last Update: Monday June 21, 2021

Key Idea: Find Experts to Help You Sell

Hattie points out  that experts will smooth the process and help you get a better price.     More...

Key Question:


We small business owners are stubborn and independent. Most of us have been very successful following our gut and solving problems on our own.
But just like you would probably not sell your own home, you should probably not try to sell your business by yourself.

  Why did each of these business owners feel confident during the selling process?

Their numbers told them they had something of value. They had well trained employees and happy customers and these facts played out in black and white. All three could recite, from memory, their key critical ratios. The knew where their profits were coming from. They knew how to paint a picture of the future based upon cold, hard facts.

The first step in preparing to sell is to put your financials in order. No one can help you without proper documentation. The second step is to put together the team who can get a deal done. Jim had a two-person team made up of himself and the business broker. Lorraine had a three person-team made up of herself, her friend the banker, and a broker. Peter had a five-person team.

  What role did Peter's national trade association play? Who else could know as many players in your specific industry?

  Peter had the 72 letters from people who were interested in buying his business. The regional director for his trade association sat down with the letters and eliminated 68 of them! This story speaks volumes about being an active member of your national trade association. And did you notice that Lorraine's primary help came from the president of her local Chamber of Commerce, that she had served on the board, and that the president was a friend and a banker? Memberships are important. Nurture them and they will nurture you.

Think about it

What trade associations or business groups do you belong to that could help you with the sale of your business? What groups should you join now?

Clip from: Selling Your Business

Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, and Bend: Three people -- Lorraine Miller, Jim Schell and Peter Schenck  -- tell us why and how they sold their business.  Each wanted a change. They knew their business could live on and thrive, so they went to work to find buyers who could take the business to the next level.

Here is a rare opportunity to study those who have fully completed all eight steps within the business cycle. 

Go to all the video clips of this episode...
More video on the eight steps to exit...

We all must prepare today for the invevitable tomorrows.

Small Business Owners Everywhere in the world, We all will exit our business someday.

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Find Experts to Help You Sell

HATTIE (In the Studio): Business valuations, equity, liquidity and an exit strategy; all keys that unlock the door to small business.

And you'll notice that not one of these business owners went through the process of selling their business alone.

They all reached out for experts to guide them: bankers, CPAs, attorneys, business brokers, and old friends played a part. When we start our businesses, most of us are a bit headstrong and independent. Yet, the longer we own our business, the more we find that hiring experts saves us time, money and heartache.

When it was time to sell their companies, here Peter, Jim and Lorraine were wise enough to know what they didn't know. They did know that they had created value and they had happy customers and skilled employees. They knew they had played by the rules, And their financials would withstand the toughest scrutiny. Yet, they were not entirely sure how to value their companies or how to find the right buyer, and so they reached out for experts to guide them.

It's not too early to begin thinking about your business valuation, your equity and liquidity models and your exit strategy, and begin finding experts to help you.

(Voiceover) Here at, there are self-help studies for people who want to start a business and for those who want to grow the business they have. From the home page, choose `steps to start' or `steps to grow.' Next, you'll find eight steps for stages of growth. At each step you'll find links to more resources. Also, from the home page, you can choose `Learn Online' for access to streaming video and interactive study guides.

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