NOTE: The following insight is for small businesses, those with less than $10 Million in annual revenues.

It takes quite a bit of planning and work to sell a business. If you own a healthy small business, you have done the proper planning to prepare for the sale, the offering is properly positioned, and you are using an effective marketing program, then it is reasonable to expect that you will have a signed Letter of Intent within 3-6 months and then close within 2-3 month after that.

There are two (2) areas that can have a dramatic impact of this timeline (good and bad). The first is the Capacity and Schedules of the people involved. Capacity and Schedules meaning do they have the time to focus on the project given current workload and other events. (ie vacations).  The people involved in the process including but are not limited to: 

  1. Buyer
  2. Seller
  3. Attorneys
  4. Intermediary
  5. Bank Personnel
  6. Landlords
  7. Local/State Government Services
  8. CPAs
  9. Other Service Providers 

The second is the availability and flow of information required for:

  1. Marketing material preparation
  2. Marketing execution
  3. Prospective buyer evaluation
  4. Due diligence
  5. Financing
  6. Legal documentation
  7. Local/state/federal filings
  8. Transition planning and execution

You need to find a knowledgeable and reliable business broker to help you with your sale. Find a company to work with that is honest and experienced. With that company, you can work together to prepare your business and sell your business. Do you have a company like that to work with?