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Career & Finance Fridays

Money & Finances

Selling Your Business

Introduction: You have worked hard all your life to build your business and now it is time to retire and sell. Your business was built upon the strengths of your employees. Your employees have become more than just wage earners. They are very loyal and beloved employees who have invested a significant portion of their personal lives to ensure the success of your business. In return, you have taken an active interest in caring for each and every one of your employees and their families. In fact, your employees' families have become an extension of your own family over the years.

Now that you have decided to sell, you are looking forward to enjoying worldly travel, seeing the sights, and spending time with your partner. Your bucket list is defined, and you are ready to start at the top of the list. Now you have financial options that present you with an ethical dilemma.

Take large sums of money and run – leaving your employees futures to the devices of the new owner that you do not trust to look after them and risking the very existence of your business if it is not run properly.


Take significantly less money and sell to a trusted individual who shares your beliefs and will continue to value your employees as integral to the continued success of the business.

Take the money, say goodbye and start ticking off your bucket list, or sell for a portion of the value and decide which parts of your bucket list to delete?

What do you do? How do you decide one way or the other? How do you emotionally prepare yourself to sell? How do you know if the timing is right?

Recommended Book

The Art of War for Small Business

Jun 11, 2014
ISBN: 9780814433829

Interesting Fact #1

Retirement is the number one reason for selling a business


Interesting Fact #2

80% of companies priced in the $1 million to $2 Million range are heading for retirement


Interesting Fact #3

Small business sales in 2018 were up 31% from 2016


Quote of the day

So many people spend their lives chasing money and end up as the richest men in the cemetery. I don’t want to be like that.

- H Ross Perot

Article of the day - Boom Market in Small Businesses Shows Signs of Cooling

The number of small business sales counted by online market fell 6.5% during the first quarter from the same period of 2018, following a 6% fourth quarter drop. reported 2,504 first quarter transactions, down from 2,678 a year earlier.

Sales remain very strong, and the first quarter total is close to the record for a January-March period, according to, which compiled its results from a survey of brokers who arrange small business transactions. But a number of factors is likely contributing to a slight diminishing of owners' desire to sell and potential buyers' interest in acquiring firms, Jeff Snell, chairman of the trade group International Business Broker Association, said in a statement. Among them: Low unemployment, which indicates that many people are satisfied in their jobs and not looking to switch to entrepreneurship. Small companies' profits are up, and that may dissuade owners from letting go of their businesses, Snell says.

Small business sales began surging at the start of 2013 as the stronger economy lifted prices for companies and baby boomer owners decided it was a good time to sell and retire. As companies grew healthier, they became more attractive to buyers. And as the unemployment rate dropped and it became harder for businesses to find talented workers, they began acquiring other companies in order to expand.

But the slowing of sales seen in the past two quarters could continue, said Jessica Fialkovich, president, Transworld Business Advisors of Denver.

"We are seeing signs that the market could become more challenging in the future with interest rates rising and financing becoming both more expensive and harder to acquire," she said in a statement.

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates four times last year and a total of nine times since 2015. The Fed indicated after its most recent meeting on March 21 that it foresaw no more increases this year as the economy is slowing. While that can keep borrowing costs stable going forward, the rate increases through 2018 have made it more expensive to finance purchases. And a weaker economy is likely to make some potential buyers wary about acquiring a business.

- Joyce Rosenberg - Associated Press

Question of the day - How do you determine whether to sell your business to the highest bidder, or to the purchaser that values the loyalty, trust and devotion of your family of employees?

Money & Finances

How do you determine whether to sell your business to the highest bidder, or to the purchaser that values the loyalty, trust and devotion of your family of employees?