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Small Business Minute: Deciding when to sell

By Brian Leaf

The economy is getting better and it may be time to cash out of the business you spent years building.

But donít be impulsive if itís time to sell it.

News reports quote business brokers saying buyers have stepped into the market, with service and distribution businesses in demand.

They also say selling a company takes time and care. Donít be in a rush to get out.

If you are considering Here are some tips from Business Town dot com.

Consider a broker. Many brokers specialize and may have ready buyers in your niche. They donít work for free, so youíll have to decide if it is worth the added expense.

Hire a lawyer for your protection.

Tell employees you may sell before they hear it elsewhere.

Get your financials in order. A buyer will want to see profit and loss statements from the last five years.

Be realistic about price. Many sellers pull companies off the market, insulted by offers. But if a buyer canít make a return on investment, they wonít be interested. Find out what similar businesses have sold for in your market. Look for corporate buyers. Corporations may pay more than individuals if they like the market youíre in.

Some buyers may want you to manage the company. Make sure you get along with the buyer or it will be may be more trouble than itís worth.

You didnít build your company overnight. And youíll be disappointed if you expect to sell it overnight. Be patient and smart when you sell and youíll be rewarded for years of hard work.

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