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90% of businesses are not ready to sell for maximum price (Wall Street Journal and other sources). Even if they are off by 100% that means 80% of businesses are not ready to sell.

And, less than 1% of owners pay attention to the advice, “You need an exit plan the day you start (or buy) your business.”

Last week I heard of another report predicting that a massive amount of businesses will change hands in the next 8-10 years. What’s an owner to do? Attention must still be paid to maintaining operations and current profitability? Here are six quick tips.

  • Delegate relationships, especially key ones. Let your team be as or more important than you are with top customers, vendors, lenders, etc.
  • Make sure your financial statements don’t require extensive adjusting to get a “true” picture of your profitability.
  • Be able to take a month long vacation.
  • Don’t have any excuses like, “I run the business so it doesn’t grow.” (Buyer’s think it can’t grow.)
  • Have an outside pair of eyes look at your business, like a buyer would look at it.
  • Be mentally there so if a great offer appears you’re not wasting everybody’s time and money.

“History is the sum total of the things that could have been avoided.” Konrad Adenauer

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