Welcome back to my weekly articles on business building. If part of your plan is to sell your business, then understanding how long it will typically take to prepare for a maximum value exit will be crucial. Preparing for a sale does not happen overnight. Even if you thought you were prepared, it will likely take 2-4 times longer than you expected. Time is the only ally an owner has when preparing for a sale and the longer you have to complete that work, the better chance you will have for a successful exit.
Most owners get one chance to get it right when they decide to sell, yet most owners cannot sell the business they built (only 1 in 10 are successful) because they did not build a sellable asset. If selling your business to fund your future lifestyle is a must, ask yourself whether you are prepared or not, and then identify what you need to do to get to where you need to be.
With up to 76% of Canadian businesses reporting that they hope to exit in the next 10 years, being unprepared might cost you both your legacy and your retirement. With only 1 in 10 having a plan, the odds against are not in an owner’s favor.