"Take This Exit"

Selling a business can be the single most important decision of an entrepreneur's life. It's an emotionally-charged, often deeply personal matter for the small business owner. The entrepreneur's business is typically the single largest element of his or her asset base and estate, often with both real capital tied up and huge amounts of sweat equity invested. The company has probably been the center of the entrepreneur's life, with relationships that have been built with partners, employees and customers that are nearly family-like. Often, it's not just a company that has been created, but a culture. But with all this at stake, few small business owners ever plan their exit. Typically, they first really begin to think about it when a prospective buyer approaches them. Or worse, when external pressures, like health, family or partner problems force the issue. And even those that actually do some planning for their exit, find it can be an overwhelmingly complicated decision with layers of questions to be answered before beginning to move ahead and still more to consider once you do. Questions and considerations like when is the right time to sell; the difference between valuation and proceeds; how to find the "right" buyer; ensuring your employees are "taken care of;" how to make due diligence work for you: managing expectations and living with the result, and many more. This session will examine the answers to these questions and many more to help the entrepreneur better understand the benefits of being prepared, the sale process, including the pitfalls to avoid and key issues to consider. The session will provide not only useful information to take away, but "war stories" and "real life" examples that support the advice provided.

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