Selling your business is the most important transaction you will ever make. It would be a shame to spend 20 years building your business like a pro, only to exit like an amateur. By avoiding these eight common novice mistakes you’ll have a more profitable and satisfying experience.

1. Selling Because of an Unsolicited Offer To Buy

Got an offer from a competitor? Or, perhaps a Chinese company looking to buy a customer base in the U.S. These are not unusual occurrences these days. There are countless stories about a competitor coming in with a spontaneous, unexpected offer and after a little light negotiating the owner sells. Another common story is the owner tells his banker, lawyer, or accountant that he is considering selling. His well-meaning professional says, “I have another client that is interested your business. I will introduce you.” The next thing you know the business is sold. Believe me, these folks are buying your business at a big discount. If you previously were not considering this business sale, you probably have not taken some important steps to improve business value and optimize your exit. You may not have prepared for an identity and lifestyle to replace the void that will be left by the separation from your company. Wouldn't you rather be prepared and exit on your own terms….better terms.

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