This is a common question among business owners, and the answer may be this year.

Several months ago our managing partner, Mark Kincannon, wrote an article about an experience he had with a business owner who was selling his business. Mark helped the seller find a buyer and all parties agreed to the terms of the sale. The deal was almost done until the appearance of a last minute demand by the seller that the buyer could not satisfy. The deal fell through; shortly thereafter that same business owner had a health crisis and had to shut down his business without selling. The seller had missed his opportunity.

Here’s another similar story from a different article: John owned a successful business. A buyer offered millions to purchase his company, but John turned this offer down because he wasn’t quite ready to sell. When John was finally ready to sell, he could no longer find a buyer. Two years later his company declared bankruptcy. John had missed his opportunity.

These two stories are not uncommon occurrences, both for the Main Street small business owner as well as the larger M & A market. Entrepreneurship, while rewarding, offers no guarantees. Business owners must consider both their company’s future and their personal future when it comes to making plans to sell:

“Businesses that are in a position to do so may want to consider accelerating the timing for the sale of the business. At a minimum, each business ought to proactively prepare for its eventual sale–starting today.”

“Those who fail to plan accordingly may be forced to sell for a value lower than expected, take on unnecessary taxes, or even suffer an inability to sell the business.”

According to the same article where we found John’s story and the above quote, 2018 looks to be a continuation of a seller’s market. Let us know how we can help you prepare your business for sale this year. It is always a good time have a plan in place.