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CEO Advisor® Newsletter
February 2020 
10 Critical Issues When Selling Your Company
It can be very appealing for a CEO or business owner to sell their business on their own to a strategic buyer, especially when the CEO has been approached by the strategic buyer. There are other options to selling your business such as selling to a Private Equity firm, but we are going to focus on strategic buyers only in this article.  
When a buyer approaches a company directly, the business owner may feel they can avoid some of the work and time involved in preparing to put the business on the market. The CEO may be able to maintain the confidentiality of the sale by dealing with only one buyer. The business owner may also feel he/she can save on the fee to an M&A advisor or intermediary. 
 
As with most major issues such as selling a business, there is a real price that a CEO or business owner pays when going down this path solo, including having no competitive bidders resulting in disadvantageous terms that can be extremely costly.  Your business may be your most valuable asset and is a very dynamic, complex thing to sell requiring a lot of knowledge, preparation and experience. If you would not sell your own home, you certainly do not want to go into a 6 to 9 month process to prepare, market and sell your own business.
Here are some critical issues to remember when dealing with a strategic buyer: 
It takes time to sell a business and it takes even more time to deal with multiple buyers. The original Information Request from the strategic buyer coupled with a Letter of Intent may seem manageable by some CEOs, but the subsequent Due Diligence process will be extremely time consuming and taxing at a time when you need to stay focused on your business and continue to drive sales.
Even the prep work of supplying the initial set of information to the prospective buyer and negotiating the Letter of Intent can be overwhelming to a first or second time seller. Hire a professional to sell your business. Don't risk taking time away from it to "do it yourself" and have the sales and profits of your business falter as a result, which could jeopardize the price or completing the sale altogether.
Don't get lured into discussions and believe the strategic buyer. More importantly, don't get your advice from the buyer. The buyer is not looking out for your best interests and there are many issues and questions you want to avoid that will tip your hand on price and terms that you don't want to divulge. Remember that they are pros at buying companies and you will be at a distinct disadvantage if this is your first time experiencing this movie play out.
Check the buyer's credit and get a confidentiality agreement signed before you deal with strategic buyers. Don't give them any information about your business beyond your marketing materials or other publicly available information until an NDA is signed.
Get a team of strong advisors looking out for your interests - an M&A advisor like CEO Advisor, Inc., a seasoned corporate/transaction attorney, and a CPA/tax advisor that regularly handles mergers and acquisitions transactions. This is money well spent and may be one of the best investments you will make.
Have your M&A advisor provide comparable sales information in order to be knowledgeable about your approximate business valuation. A strategic buyer that has bought a number of businesses in your industry in the past doesn't mean that they are paying good prices for them or know the full value of your business. You need a professional opinion of what your business should sell for and professionally prepared information about your business to optimize the value and to increase the probability of an attractive offer.
A purchase price based solely on an Earn Out is not a standard way to sell a business. An Earn Out is where the price is based on how the business performs after the purchase based on how well the seller runs the business. Any aspect of the sale price that includes an Earn Out should be well defined and a specific way to track and get paid on the Earn Out portion of the sale, if any, from a financially strong buyer. Cash is king and you want a substantial amount of your purchase price in cash.
Don't deal with only one buyer. In this situation, the buyer tends to hold the upper hand, particularly after an offer to buy the business is accepted. If an M&A advisor is handling the sale, buyers understand that there are most likely other buyers that will buy the business if they make unreasonable demands.
One of the benefits of selling to a strategic buyer is that the buyer may be willing to pay more for the business than a financial buyer such as a Private Equity firm, because doing so will increase their sales or profits by more than the two businesses do separately. Using an M&A process to sell the business with professionally prepared information in a Data Room and multiple interested buyers from a large list of targeted buyers is the best method to obtain the highest price and get a transaction completed.  
Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. for a no cost initial consultation at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.
It can be very appealing for a CEO or business owner to sell their business on their own to a strategic buyer, especially when the CEO has been approached by the strategic buyer. There are other options to selling your business such as selling to a Private Equity firm, but we are going to focus on strategic buyers only in this article.  
When a buyer approaches a company directly, the business owner may feel they can avoid some of the work and time involved in preparing to put the business on the market. The CEO may be able to maintain the confidentiality of the sale by dealing with only one buyer. The business owner may also feel he/she can save on the fee to an M&A advisor or intermediary. 
 
As with most major issues such as selling a business, there is a real price that a CEO or business owner pays when going down this path solo, including having no competitive bidders resulting in disadvantageous terms that can be extremely costly.  Your business may be your most valuable asset and is a very dynamic, complex thing to sell requiring a lot of knowledge, preparation and experience. If you would not sell your own home, you certainly do not want to go into a 6 to 9 month process to prepare, market and sell your own business.
Here are some critical issues to remember when dealing with a strategic buyer: 
It takes time to sell a business and it takes even more time to deal with multiple buyers. The original Information Request from the strategic buyer coupled with a Letter of Intent may seem manageable by some CEOs, but the subsequent Due Diligence process will be extremely time consuming and taxing at a time when you need to stay focused on your business and continue to drive sales.
Even the prep work of supplying the initial set of information to the prospective buyer and negotiating the Letter of Intent can be overwhelming to a first or second time seller. Hire a professional to sell your business. Don't risk taking time away from it to "do it yourself" and have the sales and profits of your business falter as a result, which could jeopardize the price or completing the sale altogether.
Don't get lured into discussions and believe the strategic buyer. More importantly, don't get your advice from the buyer. The buyer is not looking out for your best interests and there are many issues and questions you want to avoid that will tip your hand on price and terms that you don't want to divulge. Remember that they are pros at buying companies and you will be at a distinct disadvantage if this is your first time experiencing this movie play out.
Check the buyer's credit and get a confidentiality agreement signed before you deal with strategic buyers. Don't give them any information about your business beyond your marketing materials or other publicly available information until an NDA is signed.
Get a team of strong advisors looking out for your interests - an M&A advisor like CEO Advisor, Inc., a seasoned corporate/transaction attorney, and a CPA/tax advisor that regularly handles mergers and acquisitions transactions. This is money well spent and may be one of the best investments you will make.
Have your M&A advisor provide comparable sales information in order to be knowledgeable about your approximate business valuation. A strategic buyer that has bought a number of businesses in your industry in the past doesn't mean that they are paying good prices for them or know the full value of your business. You need a professional opinion of what your business should sell for and professionally prepared information about your business to optimize the value and to increase the probability of an attractive offer.
A purchase price based solely on an Earn Out is not a standard way to sell a business. An Earn Out is where the price is based on how the business performs after the purchase based on how well the seller runs the business. Any aspect of the sale price that includes an Earn Out should be well defined and a specific way to track and get paid on the Earn Out portion of the sale, if any, from a financially strong buyer. Cash is king and you want a substantial amount of your purchase price in cash.
Don't deal with only one buyer. In this situation, the buyer tends to hold the upper hand, particularly after an offer to buy the business is accepted. If an M&A advisor is handling the sale, buyers understand that there are most likely other buyers that will buy the business if they make unreasonable demands.
One of the benefits of selling to a strategic buyer is that the buyer may be willing to pay more for the business than a financial buyer such as a Private Equity firm, because doing so will increase their sales or profits by more than the two businesses do separately. Using an M&A process to sell the business with professionally prepared information in a Data Room and multiple interested buyers from a large list of targeted buyers is the best method to obtain the highest price and get a transaction completed.  
Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. for a no cost initial consultation at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more informationContact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. for a no cost initial consultation at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.
It can be very appealing for a CEO or business owner to sell their business on their own to a strategic buyer, especially when the CEO has been approached by the strategic buyer. There are other options to selling your business such as selling to a Private Equity firm, but we are going to focus on strategic buyers only in this article.  
When a buyer approaches a company directly, the business owner may feel they can avoid some of the work and time involved in preparing to put the business on the market. The CEO may be able to maintain the confidentiality of the sale by dealing with only one buyer. The business owner may also feel he/she can save on the fee to an M&A advisor or intermediary. 
 
As with most major issues such as selling a business, there is a real price that a CEO or business owner pays when going down this path solo, including having no competitive bidders resulting in disadvantageous terms that can be extremely costly.  Your business may be your most valuable asset and is a very dynamic, complex thing to sell requiring a lot of knowledge, preparation and experience. If you would not sell your own home, you certainly do not want to go into a 6 to 9 month process to prepare, market and sell your own business.
Here are some critical issues to remember when dealing with a strategic buyer: 
It takes time to sell a business and it takes even more time to deal with multiple buyers. The original Information Request from the strategic buyer coupled with a Letter of Intent may seem manageable by some CEOs, but the subsequent Due Diligence process will be extremely time consuming and taxing at a time when you need to stay focused on your business and continue to drive sales.
Even the prep work of supplying the initial set of information to the prospective buyer and negotiating the Letter of Intent can be overwhelming to a first or second time seller. Hire a professional to sell your business. Don't risk taking time away from it to "do it yourself" and have the sales and profits of your business falter as a result, which could jeopardize the price or completing the sale altogether.
Don't get lured into discussions and believe the strategic buyer. More importantly, don't get your advice from the buyer. The buyer is not looking out for your best interests and there are many issues and questions you want to avoid that will tip your hand on price and terms that you don't want to divulge. Remember that they are pros at buying companies and you will be at a distinct disadvantage if this is your first time experiencing this movie play out.
Check the buyer's credit and get a confidentiality agreement signed before you deal with strategic buyers. Don't give them any information about your business beyond your marketing materials or other publicly available information until an NDA is signed.
Get a team of strong advisors looking out for your interests - an M&A advisor like CEO Advisor, Inc., a seasoned corporate/transaction attorney, and a CPA/tax advisor that regularly handles mergers and acquisitions transactions. This is money well spent and may be one of the best investments you will make.
Have your M&A advisor provide comparable sales information in order to be knowledgeable about your approximate business valuation. A strategic buyer that has bought a number of businesses in your industry in the past doesn't mean that they are paying good prices for them or know the full value of your business. You need a professional opinion of what your business should sell for and professionally prepared information about your business to optimize the value and to increase the probability of an attractive offer.
A purchase price based solely on an Earn Out is not a standard way to sell a business. An Earn Out is where the price is based on how the business performs after the purchase based on how well the seller runs the business. Any aspect of the sale price that includes an Earn Out should be well defined and a specific way to track and get paid on the Earn Out portion of the sale, if any, from a financially strong buyer. Cash is king and you want a substantial amount of your purchase price in cash.
Don't deal with only one buyer. In this situation, the buyer tends to hold the upper hand, particularly after an offer to buy the business is accepted. If an M&A advisor is handling the sale, buyers understand that there are most likely other buyers that will buy the business if they make unreasonable demands.
One of the benefits of selling to a strategic buyer is that the buyer may be willing to pay more for the business than a financial buyer such as a Private Equity firm, because doing so will increase their sales or profits by more than the two businesses do separately. Using an M&A process to sell the business with professionally prepared information in a Data Room and multiple interested buyers from a large list of targeted buyers is the best method to obtain the highest price and get a transaction completed.  
Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. for a no cost initial consultation at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.
CEOs and business owners are a motivated, driven, self-sufficient group. You have built your business by doing things your way and learning how to save money along the way. You've also developed a lot of self-confidence and feel that you can do almost anything.
But when it comes to selling a business that you've worked so long and hard to build, it's not only prudent, but very cost-effective to hire a professional mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisor.  Invest in a professional who has the expertise and experience to get the sale done and get it done at the optimal price and terms. There is too much at stake to risk making it a sale by owner project. 
Selling your business is extremely complex, requires a tremendous amount of time, preparation and follow through, organization and skill, and is one of those things that requires the experience of a business, finance, and M&A professional all in one.
Here are 10 reasons why you shouldn't attempt to do it yourself:
10. Maintaining Confidentiality. 
Maintaining a certain level of confidentiality across 75 to 100 targeted buyers is essential when selling your business. How do you maintain confidentiality while marketing to your potential buyers? You can't. You need an intermediary between you and the buyer. An M&A professional who is not involved with the business, contacts your targeted buyers, qualifies buyers, provides select amount of information and puts you in a strong, competitive position to sell.
9. You May Not be Dealing with the Optimal Buyers. 
Because of the large task of selling your company, many business owners selling their own business are dealing with buyers who happen to approach them. In many cases, these buyers are savvy business owners, in the same industry, looking to buy a business on the cheap or are very experienced at buying businesses. These types of buyers typically do not make the best offer nor are they financially qualified to buy the business.
8. It Involves an Extensive Amount of Time Better Spent Running Your Business. 
Selling a business takes a tremendous amount of time, organization, and a sale process that generates results. The  preparation alone to launch the process and generate multiple offers takes a lot of time (and expertise). Dealing with multiple potential buyers takes time. Meanwhile, you're trying to run the business and live your life. Do you really have the extra time to spend your precious hours selling your business when an expert should do it for you?
7. You Lack the Expertise and Experience in Selling a Business.  
Selling your business is not as simple as selling a property, and a business requires several types of expertise. You need to prepare information and reporting, and be very knowledgeable about financial statements and how businesses are valued. You need to know how to conduct the Due Diligence process and assist in the many business and tax issues that arise in the legal process when selling a business. You need to know what you can do, what your M&A advisor should do, what your tax advisor should do and what your corporate/transaction attorney should do to keep the buyer engaged and on track to get the deal completed.
You may have a very good attorney and accountant, but they do not have the same expertise as an M&A advisor to prepare the needed information to initiate the sale process, solicit offers from a pool of many selected potential buyers, secure offers from these buyers and conduct the Due Diligence process when it comes to selling a business.
6. Representing and Selling Yourself Typically Backfires. 
If you don't have the time, expertise, experience, great organization and sales skills, you definitely should not be selling your own business. But, even if you are a good salesperson, there is another good reason not to sell your own business. The more you pursue a buyer, the more you are sending a message that you are anxious or desperate to sell, which will tend to make the buyer think that they can pay less for the business. Since it is an M&A advisor's job to pursue buyers, doing so doesn't send the same message.
5. Your Sale Process and Marketing Doesn't Stack Up to an M&A Advisor. 
Sure, you can entertain a single offer from a company that contacts you but they will know that they are the only interested party, which puts you in a very disadvantageous negotiating position. You can also advertise on a few of the Internet business-for-sale websites, but a strong, experienced M&A advisor has a very disciplined, targeted approach with many pre-existing contacts and a staff to research and pinpoint all of the top potential buyers of your business. The result is that an M&A advisor will reach far more buyers resulting in a much higher probability of a completed sale, a faster sale and at a higher price with better terms.
4. An M&A Advisor Acts as a Buffer. 
Buying or selling a business is very stressful, takes hundreds of steps and may be the most valuable asset that you own. During the sale process, the buyer and seller are likely to get upset with each other and things may be said that would kill the deal if they were said directly to the other party. The M&A advisor is a buffer between the parties that prevents these deal-killers by implementing an element of Good Cop (you) and Bad Cop (M&A advisor) to perform the tougher negotiations and keep you in a strong standing with the buyer and your future boss.
3. The Sale Process is Much More Than a Couple of Meetings and Accepting an Offer. 
Accepting an offer to sell your business is only one aspect of the sale process and closing the sale. The sale process includes a plan, researching and documenting the potential buyers, creating and housing all of the preparation materials that will attract and secure a strong offer, negotiating and finalizing the offer, a complete Due Diligence process, overcoming any tax issues, typically negotiating a lease with the landlord, and working through all of the purchase agreement and employment agreement issues.
2. You Need a Trusted Advisor. 
Your attorney and accountant may be very skilled and knowledgeable, but most don't commit the needed time, don't focus on a goal of securing multiple offers, and don't have the knowledge about the marketplace and selling businesses that is needed to be successful.  
Attorneys and accountants react to an offer that is secured. A hands-on M&A advisor will advise you throughout the process and help you avoid making a major mistake that will cost you a ton of money or that will jeopardize the sale altogether. Also, a buyer is more willing to accept what an M&A advisor recommends since the prospective buyer will have developed a relationship with the M&A advisor from the first phone call initiated to the buyer, rather than what your attorney or accountant desire, who are typically pressing on a legal or tax issue.
1. Selling Your Business Faster For the Best Price. 
This reason alone should be enough to move any seller to using an M&A advisor. Selling a business is both tedious and stressful, and the only reason to undertake such an endeavor on your own would be to save money. But when it comes to selling a business, do-it-yourselfers typically get a lower price for their business and most don't get a transaction done at all. Why is that? An M&A advisor will reach a greater number of prospective buyers who know they must compete on price. Because they widen the field, an M&A advisor more than makes up for their fees with a proven sale process, higher sales price and better terms, providing the seller with a higher take-home figure.
Some sellers attempt to sell their own business, only to find the sale process is much more complicated and time consuming than they anticipated. Business deals are complex transactions that require expertise well beyond what the typical CEO or business owner has.
An M&A advisor is an expert and your trusted business advisor, your marketing team, and your expert negotiator all wrapped up in one.
Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. for a no cost initial consultation at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.
CEOs and business owners are a motivated, driven, self-sufficient group. You have built your business by doing things your way and learning how to save money along the way. You've also developed a lot of self-confidence and feel that you can do almost anything.

But when it comes to selling a business that you've worked so long and hard to build, it's not only prudent, but very cost-effective to hire a professional mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisor.  Invest in a professional who has the expertise and experience to get the sale done and get it done at the optimal price and terms. There is too much at stake to risk making it a sale by owner project. 

Selling your business is extremely complex, requires a tremendous amount of time, preparation and follow through, organization and skill, and is one of those things that requires the experience of a business, finance, and M&A professional all in one.

Here are 10 reasons why you shouldn't attempt to do it yourself:

10. Maintaining Confidentiality. 
Maintaining a certain level of confidentiality across 75 to 100 targeted buyers is essential when selling your business. How do you maintain confidentiality while marketing to your potential buyers? You can't. You need an intermediary between you and the buyer. An M&A professional who is not involved with the business, contacts your targeted buyers, qualifies buyers, provides select amount of information and puts you in a strong, competitive position to sell.

9. You May Not be Dealing with the Optimal Buyers. 
Because of the large task of selling your company, many business owners selling their own business are dealing with buyers who happen to approach them. In many cases, these buyers are savvy business owners, in the same industry, looking to buy a business on the cheap or are very experienced at buying businesses. These types of buyers typically do not make the best offer nor are they financially qualified to buy the business.

8. It Involves an Extensive Amount of Time Better Spent Running Your Business. 
Selling a business takes a tremendous amount of time, organization, and a sale process that generates results. The  preparation alone to launch the process and generate multiple offers takes a lot of time (and expertise). Dealing with multiple potential buyers takes time. Meanwhile, you're trying to run the business and live your life. Do you really have the extra time to spend your precious hours selling your business when an expert should do it for you?

7. You Lack the Expertise and Experience in Selling a Business.  
Selling your business is not as simple as selling a property, and a business requires several types of expertise. You need to prepare information and reporting, and be very knowledgeable about financial statements and how businesses are valued. You need to know how to conduct the Due Diligence process and assist in the many business and tax issues that arise in the legal process when selling a business. You need to know what you can do, what your M&A advisor should do, what your tax advisor should do and what your corporate/transaction attorney should do to keep the buyer engaged and on track to get the deal completed.

You may have a very good attorney and accountant, but they do not have the same expertise as an M&A advisor to prepare the needed information to initiate the sale process, solicit offers from a pool of many selected potential buyers, secure offers from these buyers and conduct the Due Diligence process when it comes to selling a business.

6. Representing and Selling Yourself Typically Backfires. 
If you don't have the time, expertise, experience, great organization and sales skills, you definitely should not be selling your own business. But, even if you are a good salesperson, there is another good reason not to sell your own business. The more you pursue a buyer, the more you are sending a message that you are anxious or desperate to sell, which will tend to make the buyer think that they can pay less for the business. Since it is an M&A advisor's job to pursue buyers, doing so doesn't send the same message.

5. Your Sale Process and Marketing Doesn't Stack Up to an M&A Advisor. 
Sure, you can entertain a single offer from a company that contacts you but they will know that they are the only interested party, which puts you in a very disadvantageous negotiating position. You can also advertise on a few of the Internet business-for-sale websites, but a strong, experienced M&A advisor has a very disciplined, targeted approach with many pre-existing contacts and a staff to research and pinpoint all of the top potential buyers of your business. The result is that an M&A advisor will reach far more buyers resulting in a much higher probability of a completed sale, a faster sale and at a higher price with better terms.

4. An M&A Advisor Acts as a Buffer. 
Buying or selling a business is very stressful, takes hundreds of steps and may be the most valuable asset that you own. During the sale process, the buyer and seller are likely to get upset with each other and things may be said that would kill the deal if they were said directly to the other party. The M&A advisor is a buffer between the parties that prevents these deal-killers by implementing an element of Good Cop (you) and Bad Cop (M&A advisor) to perform the tougher negotiations and keep you in a strong standing with the buyer and your future boss.

3. The Sale Process is Much More Than a Couple of Meetings and Accepting an Offer. 
Accepting an offer to sell your business is only one aspect of the sale process and closing the sale. The sale process includes a plan, researching and documenting the potential buyers, creating and housing all of the preparation materials that will attract and secure a strong offer, negotiating and finalizing the offer, a complete Due Diligence process, overcoming any tax issues, typically negotiating a lease with the landlord, and working through all of the purchase agreement and employment agreement issues.

2. You Need a Trusted Advisor. 
Your attorney and accountant may be very skilled and knowledgeable, but most don't commit the needed time, don't focus on a goal of securing multiple offers, and don't have the knowledge about the marketplace and selling businesses that is needed to be successful.  

Attorneys and accountants react to an offer that is secured. A hands-on M&A advisor will advise you throughout the process and help you avoid making a major mistake that will cost you a ton of money or that will jeopardize the sale altogether. Also, a buyer is more willing to accept what an M&A advisor recommends since the prospective buyer will have developed a relationship with the M&A advisor from the first phone call initiated to the buyer, rather than what your attorney or accountant desire, who are typically pressing on a legal or tax issue.

1. Selling Your Business Faster For the Best Price. 
This reason alone should be enough to move any seller to using an M&A advisor. Selling a business is both tedious and stressful, and the only reason to undertake such an endeavor on your own would be to save money. But when it comes to selling a business, do-it-yourselfers typically get a lower price for their business and most don't get a transaction done at all. Why is that? An M&A advisor will reach a greater number of prospective buyers who know they must compete on price. Because they widen the field, an M&A advisor more than makes up for their fees with a proven sale process, higher sales price and better terms, providing the seller with a higher take-home figure.

Some sellers attempt to sell their own business, only to find the sale process is much more complicated and time consuming than they anticipated. Business deals are complex transactions that require expertise well beyond what the typical CEO or business owner has.

An M&A advisor is an expert and your trusted business advisor, your marketing team, and your expert negotiator all wrapped up in one.

Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. for a no cost initial consultation at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.
There are different reasons why business owners choose to sell their business. There will come a time when selling it might be the best decision you can make. Valuations are very high currently so this can be a tremendous opportunity for any business. 
As an industry expert on mergers and acquisitions, CEO Advisor, Inc. can help you identify the optimal time to sell your business.
Below are the 20 common reasons for when to sell your business:
1. Your Business' Value Has Improved Significantly
When your business has grown substantially, it can be the optimal time to sell. Running a business is risky, and the bigger you get, the larger the risks you have to face. The value of your business is not liquid until you go through the transaction of selling your company and realizing the opportunity.
2. You Receive an Offer Too Good to Turn Down
If a buyer presents you with an offer you can't refuse, it can be ample reason to accept and sell your business. Such an offer is usually priced way above the market value of your business. This kind of offer is rare, so you wouldn't want to pass it up because you may not get another one like it in the future. Your optimal method is to prepare for and initiate a sale process to many potential buyers, but you never know when a serious buyer is going to knock on your door.
3. You Don't Have the Energy, Skills, or Capital to Grow the Business
One primary reason to sell a business is that you don't have the energy, time, experience, skills, and capital to take the business to the next level. A business should continually grow, and as business owners, there will come a time when you'll feel you can't generate substantial growth. This is the right time to sell your business and entrust it to those who have the skills and resources to grow it to the next level.
4. You Experience Fatigue or Lack of Alignment
If you got into a business for the wrong reasons or the market opportunity has changed dramatically, you will eventually experience a certain level of exhaustion that will no longer be healthy for you physically, emotionally, and mentally. If you think that there is no quick fix for the burnout you feel, then it's time to sell and realize the opportunity of today's extremely high valuations.
5. Your Business Has Substantial Sales Growth
One reason entrepreneurs choose to sell their business is that it has experienced substantial growth. This is extremely appealing to buyers and you can gain a higher valuation from the sale. Some business owners just want to take a lump sum of money from the sale, and the best time to do this is when you can show substantial and consistent sales growth and earnings.
6. Your Personal Interests Change
After years of running and growing your business, you may conclude it doesn't feel as interesting and exciting as when you started it, and you're losing your passion in your business. This is a sign that you should consider selling it. Over time, it's normal for your interests to change, and you should capitalize on the right opportunity to sell.
7. Your Business Doesn't Have the Capital to Grow or Survive Long-Term in a Highly Competitive Market
Private small and mid-size businesses are highly illiquid and risky assets. Without adequate capital, you can't realize the full potential of your business. If you need more liquidity and are presented with the possibility of selling your business, you should consider this opportunity. This can be more advantageous today given the high valuations.
8. You Want to Have a Fresh Start
Entrepreneurs have other motivations to sell their business and one of these is the desire to start a new one. Some entrepreneurs go into business because they want to start and build something bold and take a risk. This is what drives their spirit. If a business has already reached a certain point of growth and stability, some entrepreneurs just want to move forward, sell the business to cash out their hard work, and start something new and exciting. Although you need to plan on staying a year or two with the buyer in order to get a deal done, starting the sale process now will get you to your goal sooner.
9. You Need More Time for Your Personal Life
At some point, as a business owner you will finally realize that running a business takes too much of your time. When the time comes that you will need more time for your family, to take care of your health and/or your personal life, then selling your business is a good way to do it. 
10. Your Overall Exit Strategy Is to Sell Your Business
There are business owners who invest in building a thriving business to eventually sell later on at an optimal time for a huge sum of money. If this is your purpose for starting the business in the first place, then it's a great reason to sell the business as soon as you have reached your desired growth. Having an exit strategy is critical to every business, and CEO Advisor, Inc. can help you to discuss your options, formulate an exit strategy, prepare for the sale of your business, and execute the sale process at the proper time.
 
11. You Want to Retire
The majority of entrepreneurs plan to sell their business as an exit strategy to provide a comfortable retirement. Most business owners plan to sell their business rather than keep it in the family or hire someone to run it in their place when they retire as this is very risky. The driving force for this stems from the lifestyle many entrepreneurs face and lack of savings for retirement.
12. You've Achieved Long-Term Financial Security
One reason to sell your business is if you have achieved a certain level of financial security from running the business and you want to step down and start a less stressful lifestyle. You don't need to fully retire to do this, as you can take on a temporary lesser role or a consulting role after an acquisition. There are often options such as a majority sale to a Private Equity firm, and CEO Advisor, Inc. has the expertise to manage this for you. At this point, you want to sell all or a majority of your business when valuations are peaking.
13. You Feel Physically & Mentally Exhausted
As a business owner, you are most likely the hub of your business and make most of the decisions. This can be physically and mentally draining, and the time will come when your responsibilities as a CEO or business owner will take its toll on you. If you feel physically and mentally exhausted running the business, then it's time for you to initiate an exit and sale process. Don't wait until an illness or excessive fatigue sets in before you decide to sell, as the buyer will fully expect you to remain with the company for 1 - 2 years.
14. You Want to Take Advantage of Low Capital Gains Taxes
The tax rate on capital gains is at an historically low level. This is one good reason to sell your business and enjoy low tax rates if you can achieve a straight stock purchase. If you are at an age near retirement, or if you have already grown and stabilized your business, then it may be best to sell your business and take advantage of taxes at such relatively low levels.
15. You've Become More Risk-Averse
Risk is essential to your business' continued growth. If you have become risk averse, and you get to the point that new opportunities invoke more fear than excitement, it is a sign that you should sell your business. Becoming too conservative means losing your drive to grow the business, and this alone is a good reason to sell.
16. Your Business Partner Wants to Sell
If your business partner wants to call it quits and move on, you have the option to either buy out his/her shares and own the business entirely, or just sell the business to a third-party. Most of the time, the second option is more prudent because you may not have the capital or want to borrow substantial funds to buyout your partner.
17. A Sudden Lifestyle Change Affects Your Business
CEOs and business owners need to understand that there should be a clear delineation between their personal lives and their business. If a sudden lifestyle change (like getting married, divorce, health issues, going back to school, or giving birth) becomes a conflict with your commitment to your business, then it's time to consider selling.
18. You Struggle with Poor Business Performance
Running a struggling business can be very stressful and demotivating. If you notice that your business' performance doesn't improve, even after you have exerted a lot of effort and invested many resources to grow the business, then perhaps it's time to consider selling it to someone who has the skills and money to revive and grow it. Just don't expect to secure an optimal sale price or terms.
19. Your Business' Industry Is Thriving or You See a Decline Looming
If your business' industry is thriving, it's a good time to sell your business. A business in a thriving industry will likely sell for more than if your business' industry is struggling. You can take this opportunity to sell your business while there are more acquirers interested in buying it at a good price. It's important to pay attention to industry trends, as it will benefit you when you decide to sell.
20. You Have Health Issues or You are in Your Sixties with Previous Health Issues
If you think your business has cost you your health, then it's time to seriously consider selling it. Facing serious health issues is one of the most common reasons why some business owners choose to sell their business. After all, it's best to prioritize your health, and capitalize on today's lofty valuations.
Bottom Line - When to Sell a Business
There will come a time when you will need to sell your company. The right time to sell a business is based on various reasons, such as economic conditions, industry trends, valuations, personal situations, and professional considerations.
Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. for a no cost initial consultation at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.
There are different reasons why business owners choose to sell their business. There will come a time when selling it might be the best decision you can make. Valuations are very high currently so this can be a tremendous opportunity for any business. 
As an industry expert on mergers and acquisitions, CEO Advisor, Inc. can help you identify the optimal time to sell your business.
Below are the 20 common reasons for when to sell your business:
1. Your Business' Value Has Improved Significantly
When your business has grown substantially, it can be the optimal time to sell. Running a business is risky, and the bigger you get, the larger the risks you have to face. The value of your business is not liquid until you go through the transaction of selling your company and realizing the opportunity.
2. You Receive an Offer Too Good to Turn Down
If a buyer presents you with an offer you can't refuse, it can be ample reason to accept and sell your business. Such an offer is usually priced way above the market value of your business. This kind of offer is rare, so you wouldn't want to pass it up because you may not get another one like it in the future. Your optimal method is to prepare for and initiate a sale process to many potential buyers, but you never know when a serious buyer is going to knock on your door.
3. You Don't Have the Energy, Skills, or Capital to Grow the Business
One primary reason to sell a business is that you don't have the energy, time, experience, skills, and capital to take the business to the next level. A business should continually grow, and as business owners, there will come a time when you'll feel you can't generate substantial growth. This is the right time to sell your business and entrust it to those who have the skills and resources to grow it to the next level.
4. You Experience Fatigue or Lack of Alignment
If you got into a business for the wrong reasons or the market opportunity has changed dramatically, you will eventually experience a certain level of exhaustion that will no longer be healthy for you physically, emotionally, and mentally. If you think that there is no quick fix for the burnout you feel, then it's time to sell and realize the opportunity of today's extremely high valuations.
5. Your Business Has Substantial Sales Growth
One reason entrepreneurs choose to sell their business is that it has experienced substantial growth. This is extremely appealing to buyers and you can gain a higher valuation from the sale. Some business owners just want to take a lump sum of money from the sale, and the best time to do this is when you can show substantial and consistent sales growth and earnings.
6. Your Personal Interests Change
After years of running and growing your business, you may conclude it doesn't feel as interesting and exciting as when you started it, and you're losing your passion in your business. This is a sign that you should consider selling it. Over time, it's normal for your interests to change, and you should capitalize on the right opportunity to sell.
7. Your Business Doesn't Have the Capital to Grow or Survive Long-Term in a Highly Competitive Market
Private small and mid-size businesses are highly illiquid and risky assets. Without adequate capital, you can't realize the full potential of your business. If you need more liquidity and are presented with the possibility of selling your business, you should consider this opportunity. This can be more advantageous today given the high valuations.
8. You Want to Have a Fresh Start
Entrepreneurs have other motivations to sell their business and one of these is the desire to start a new one. Some entrepreneurs go into business because they want to start and build something bold and take a risk. This is what drives their spirit. If a business has already reached a certain point of growth and stability, some entrepreneurs just want to move forward, sell the business to cash out their hard work, and start something new and exciting. Although you need to plan on staying a year or two with the buyer in order to get a deal done, starting the sale process now will get you to your goal sooner.
9. You Need More Time for Your Personal Life
At some point, as a business owner you will finally realize that running a business takes too much of your time. When the time comes that you will need more time for your family, to take care of your health and/or your personal life, then selling your business is a good way to do it. 
10. Your Overall Exit Strategy Is to Sell Your Business
There are business owners who invest in building a thriving business to eventually sell later on at an optimal time for a huge sum of money. If this is your purpose for starting the business in the first place, then it's a great reason to sell the business as soon as you have reached your desired growth. Having an exit strategy is critical to every business, and CEO Advisor, Inc. can help you to discuss your options, formulate an exit strategy, prepare for the sale of your business, and execute the sale process at the proper time.
 
11. You Want to Retire
The majority of entrepreneurs plan to sell their business as an exit strategy to provide a comfortable retirement. Most business owners plan to sell their business rather than keep it in the family or hire someone to run it in their place when they retire as this is very risky. The driving force for this stems from the lifestyle many entrepreneurs face and lack of savings for retirement.
12. You've Achieved Long-Term Financial Security
One reason to sell your business is if you have achieved a certain level of financial security from running the business and you want to step down and start a less stressful lifestyle. You don't need to fully retire to do this, as you can take on a temporary lesser role or a consulting role after an acquisition. There are often options such as a majority sale to a Private Equity firm, and CEO Advisor, Inc. has the expertise to manage this for you. At this point, you want to sell all or a majority of your business when valuations are peaking.
13. You Feel Physically & Mentally Exhausted
As a business owner, you are most likely the hub of your business and make most of the decisions. This can be physically and mentally draining, and the time will come when your responsibilities as a CEO or business owner will take its toll on you. If you feel physically and mentally exhausted running the business, then it's time for you to initiate an exit and sale process. Don't wait until an illness or excessive fatigue sets in before you decide to sell, as the buyer will fully expect you to remain with the company for 1 - 2 years.
14. You Want to Take Advantage of Low Capital Gains Taxes
The tax rate on capital gains is at an historically low level. This is one good reason to sell your business and enjoy low tax rates if you can achieve a straight stock purchase. If you are at an age near retirement, or if you have already grown and stabilized your business, then it may be best to sell your business and take advantage of taxes at such relatively low levels.
15. You've Become More Risk-Averse
Risk is essential to your business' continued growth. If you have become risk averse, and you get to the point that new opportunities invoke more fear than excitement, it is a sign that you should sell your business. Becoming too conservative means losing your drive to grow the business, and this alone is a good reason to sell.
16. Your Business Partner Wants to Sell
If your business partner wants to call it quits and move on, you have the option to either buy out his/her shares and own the business entirely, or just sell the business to a third-party. Most of the time, the second option is more prudent because you may not have the capital or want to borrow substantial funds to buyout your partner.
17. A Sudden Lifestyle Change Affects Your Business
CEOs and business owners need to understand that there should be a clear delineation between their personal lives and their business. If a sudden lifestyle change (like getting married, divorce, health issues, going back to school, or giving birth) becomes a conflict with your commitment to your business, then it's time to consider selling.
18. You Struggle with Poor Business Performance
Running a struggling business can be very stressful and demotivating. If you notice that your business' performance doesn't improve, even after you have exerted a lot of effort and invested many resources to grow the business, then perhaps it's time to consider selling it to someone who has the skills and money to revive and grow it. Just don't expect to secure an optimal sale price or terms.
19. Your Business' Industry Is Thriving or You See a Decline Looming
If your business' industry is thriving, it's a good time to sell your business. A business in a thriving industry will likely sell for more than if your business' industry is struggling. You can take this opportunity to sell your business while there are more acquirers interested in buying it at a good price. It's important to pay attention to industry trends, as it will benefit you when you decide to sell.
20. You Have Health Issues or You are in Your Sixties with Previous Health Issues
If you think your business has cost you your health, then it's time to seriously consider selling it. Facing serious health issues is one of the most common reasons why some business owners choose to sell their business. After all, it's best to prioritize your health, and capitalize on today's lofty valuations.
Bottom Line - When to Sell a Business
There will come a time when you will need to sell your company. The right time to sell a business is based on various reasons, such as economic conditions, industry trends, valuations, personal situations, and professional considerations.
Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. for a no cost initial consultation at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.
There are different reasons why business owners choose to sell their business. There will come a time when selling it might be the best decision you can make. Valuations are very high currently so this can be a tremendous opportunity for any business. 
As an industry expert on mergers and acquisitions, CEO Advisor, Inc. can help you identify the optimal time to sell your business.
Below are the 20 common reasons for when to sell your business:
1. Your Business' Value Has Improved Significantly
When your business has grown substantially, it can be the optimal time to sell. Running a business is risky, and the bigger you get, the larger the risks you have to face. The value of your business is not liquid until you go through the transaction of selling your company and realizing the opportunity.
2. You Receive an Offer Too Good to Turn Down
If a buyer presents you with an offer you can't refuse, it can be ample reason to accept and sell your business. Such an offer is usually priced way above the market value of your business. This kind of offer is rare, so you wouldn't want to pass it up because you may not get another one like it in the future. Your optimal method is to prepare for and initiate a sale process to many potential buyers, but you never know when a serious buyer is going to knock on your door.
3. You Don't Have the Energy, Skills, or Capital to Grow the Business
One primary reason to sell a business is that you don't have the energy, time, experience, skills, and capital to take the business to the next level. A business should continually grow, and as business owners, there will come a time when you'll feel you can't generate substantial growth. This is the right time to sell your business and entrust it to those who have the skills and resources to grow it to the next level.
4. You Experience Fatigue or Lack of Alignment
If you got into a business for the wrong reasons or the market opportunity has changed dramatically, you will eventually experience a certain level of exhaustion that will no longer be healthy for you physically, emotionally, and mentally. If you think that there is no quick fix for the burnout you feel, then it's time to sell and realize the opportunity of today's extremely high valuations.
5. Your Business Has Substantial Sales Growth
One reason entrepreneurs choose to sell their business is that it has experienced substantial growth. This is extremely appealing to buyers and you can gain a higher valuation from the sale. Some business owners just want to take a lump sum of money from the sale, and the best time to do this is when you can show substantial and consistent sales growth and earnings.
6. Your Personal Interests Change
After years of running and growing your business, you may conclude it doesn't feel as interesting and exciting as when you started it, and you're losing your passion in your business. This is a sign that you should consider selling it. Over time, it's normal for your interests to change, and you should capitalize on the right opportunity to sell.
7. Your Business Doesn't Have the Capital to Grow or Survive Long-Term in a Highly Competitive Market
Private small and mid-size businesses are highly illiquid and risky assets. Without adequate capital, you can't realize the full potential of your business. If you need more liquidity and are presented with the possibility of selling your business, you should consider this opportunity. This can be more advantageous today given the high valuations.
8. You Want to Have a Fresh Start
Entrepreneurs have other motivations to sell their business and one of these is the desire to start a new one. Some entrepreneurs go into business because they want to start and build something bold and take a risk. This is what drives their spirit. If a business has already reached a certain point of growth and stability, some entrepreneurs just want to move forward, sell the business to cash out their hard work, and start something new and exciting. Although you need to plan on staying a year or two with the buyer in order to get a deal done, starting the sale process now will get you to your goal sooner.
9. You Need More Time for Your Personal Life
At some point, as a business owner you will finally realize that running a business takes too much of your time. When the time comes that you will need more time for your family, to take care of your health and/or your personal life, then selling your business is a good way to do it. 
10. Your Overall Exit Strategy Is to Sell Your Business
There are business owners who invest in building a thriving business to eventually sell later on at an optimal time for a huge sum of money. If this is your purpose for starting the business in the first place, then it's a great reason to sell the business as soon as you have reached your desired growth. Having an exit strategy is critical to every business, and CEO Advisor, Inc. can help you to discuss your options, formulate an exit strategy, prepare for the sale of your business, and execute the sale process at the proper time.
 
11. You Want to Retire
The majority of entrepreneurs plan to sell their business as an exit strategy to provide a comfortable retirement. Most business owners plan to sell their business rather than keep it in the family or hire someone to run it in their place when they retire as this is very risky. The driving force for this stems from the lifestyle many entrepreneurs face and lack of savings for retirement.
12. You've Achieved Long-Term Financial Security
One reason to sell your business is if you have achieved a certain level of financial security from running the business and you want to step down and start a less stressful lifestyle. You don't need to fully retire to do this, as you can take on a temporary lesser role or a consulting role after an acquisition. There are often options such as a majority sale to a Private Equity firm, and CEO Advisor, Inc. has the expertise to manage this for you. At this point, you want to sell all or a majority of your business when valuations are peaking.
13. You Feel Physically & Mentally Exhausted
As a business owner, you are most likely the hub of your business and make most of the decisions. This can be physically and mentally draining, and the time will come when your responsibilities as a CEO or business owner will take its toll on you. If you feel physically and mentally exhausted running the business, then it's time for you to initiate an exit and sale process. Don't wait until an illness or excessive fatigue sets in before you decide to sell, as the buyer will fully expect you to remain with the company for 1 - 2 years.
14. You Want to Take Advantage of Low Capital Gains Taxes
The tax rate on capital gains is at an historically low level. This is one good reason to sell your business and enjoy low tax rates if you can achieve a straight stock purchase. If you are at an age near retirement, or if you have already grown and stabilized your business, then it may be best to sell your business and take advantage of taxes at such relatively low levels.
15. You've Become More Risk-Averse
Risk is essential to your business' continued growth. If you have become risk averse, and you get to the point that new opportunities invoke more fear than excitement, it is a sign that you should sell your business. Becoming too conservative means losing your drive to grow the business, and this alone is a good reason to sell.
16. Your Business Partner Wants to Sell
If your business partner wants to call it quits and move on, you have the option to either buy out his/her shares and own the business entirely, or just sell the business to a third-party. Most of the time, the second option is more prudent because you may not have the capital or want to borrow substantial funds to buyout your partner.
17. A Sudden Lifestyle Change Affects Your Business
CEOs and business owners need to understand that there should be a clear delineation between their personal lives and their business. If a sudden lifestyle change (like getting married, divorce, health issues, going back to school, or giving birth) becomes a conflict with your commitment to your business, then it's time to consider selling.
18. You Struggle with Poor Business Performance
Running a struggling business can be very stressful and demotivating. If you notice that your business' performance doesn't improve, even after you have exerted a lot of effort and invested many resources to grow the business, then perhaps it's time to consider selling it to someone who has the skills and money to revive and grow it. Just don't expect to secure an optimal sale price or terms.
19. Your Business' Industry Is Thriving or You See a Decline Looming
If your business' industry is thriving, it's a good time to sell your business. A business in a thriving industry will likely sell for more than if your business' industry is struggling. You can take this opportunity to sell your business while there are more acquirers interested in buying it at a good price. It's important to pay attention to industry trends, as it will benefit you when you decide to sell.
20. You Have Health Issues or You are in Your Sixties with Previous Health Issues
If you think your business has cost you your health, then it's time to seriously consider selling it. Facing serious health issues is one of the most common reasons why some business owners choose to sell their business. After all, it's best to prioritize your health, and capitalize on today's lofty valuations.
Bottom Line - When to Sell a Business
There will come a time when you will need to sell your company. The right time to sell a business is based on various reasons, such as economic conditions, industry trends, valuations, personal situations, and professional considerations.
Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. for a no cost initial consultation at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.
There are different reasons why business owners choose to sell their business. There will come a time when selling it might be the best decision you can make. Valuations are very high currently so this can be a tremendous opportunity for any business. 

As an industry expert on mergers and acquisitions, CEO Advisor, Inc. can help you identify the optimal time to sell your business.

Below are the 20 common reasons for when to sell your business:

1. Your Business' Value Has Improved Significantly
When your business has grown substantially, it can be the optimal time to sell. Running a business is risky, and the bigger you get, the larger the risks you have to face. The value of your business is not liquid until you go through the transaction of selling your company and realizing the opportunity.

2. You Receive an Offer Too Good to Turn Down
If a buyer presents you with an offer you can't refuse, it can be ample reason to accept and sell your business. Such an offer is usually priced way above the market value of your business. This kind of offer is rare, so you wouldn't want to pass it up because you may not get another one like it in the future. Your optimal method is to prepare for and initiate a sale process to many potential buyers, but you never know when a serious buyer is going to knock on your door.

3. You Don't Have the Energy, Skills, or Capital to Grow the Business
One primary reason to sell a business is that you don't have the energy, time, experience, skills, and capital to take the business to the next level. A business should continually grow, and as business owners, there will come a time when you'll feel you can't generate substantial growth. This is the right time to sell your business and entrust it to those who have the skills and resources to grow it to the next level.

4. You Experience Fatigue or Lack of Alignment
If you got into a business for the wrong reasons or the market opportunity has changed dramatically, you will eventually experience a certain level of exhaustion that will no longer be healthy for you physically, emotionally, and mentally. If you think that there is no quick fix for the burnout you feel, then it's time to sell and realize the opportunity of today's extremely high valuations.

5. Your Business Has Substantial Sales Growth
One reason entrepreneurs choose to sell their business is that it has experienced substantial growth. This is extremely appealing to buyers and you can gain a higher valuation from the sale. Some business owners just want to take a lump sum of money from the sale, and the best time to do this is when you can show substantial and consistent sales growth and earnings.

6. Your Personal Interests Change
After years of running and growing your business, you may conclude it doesn't feel as interesting and exciting as when you started it, and you're losing your passion in your business. This is a sign that you should consider selling it. Over time, it's normal for your interests to change, and you should capitalize on the right opportunity to sell.

7. Your Business Doesn't Have the Capital to Grow or Survive Long-Term in a Highly Competitive Market
Private small and mid-size businesses are highly illiquid and risky assets. Without adequate capital, you can't realize the full potential of your business. If you need more liquidity and are presented with the possibility of selling your business, you should consider this opportunity. This can be more advantageous today given the high valuations.

8. You Want to Have a Fresh Start
Entrepreneurs have other motivations to sell their business and one of these is the desire to start a new one. Some entrepreneurs go into business because they want to start and build something bold and take a risk. This is what drives their spirit. If a business has already reached a certain point of growth and stability, some entrepreneurs just want to move forward, sell the business to cash out their hard work, and start something new and exciting. Although you need to plan on staying a year or two with the buyer in order to get a deal done, starting the sale process now will get you to your goal sooner.

9. You Need More Time for Your Personal Life
At some point, as a business owner you will finally realize that running a business takes too much of your time. When the time comes that you will need more time for your family, to take care of your health and/or your personal life, then selling your business is a good way to do it. 

10. Your Overall Exit Strategy Is to Sell Your Business
There are business owners who invest in building a thriving business to eventually sell later on at an optimal time for a huge sum of money. If this is your purpose for starting the business in the first place, then it's a great reason to sell the business as soon as you have reached your desired growth. Having an exit strategy is critical to every business, and CEO Advisor, Inc. can help you to discuss your options, formulate an exit strategy, prepare for the sale of your business, and execute the sale process at the proper time.
 
11. You Want to Retire
The majority of entrepreneurs plan to sell their business as an exit strategy to provide a comfortable retirement. Most business owners plan to sell their business rather than keep it in the family or hire someone to run it in their place when they retire as this is very risky. The driving force for this stems from the lifestyle many entrepreneurs face and lack of savings for retirement.

12. You've Achieved Long-Term Financial Security
One reason to sell your business is if you have achieved a certain level of financial security from running the business and you want to step down and start a less stressful lifestyle. You don't need to fully retire to do this, as you can take on a temporary lesser role or a consulting role after an acquisition. There are often options such as a majority sale to a Private Equity firm, and CEO Advisor, Inc. has the expertise to manage this for you. At this point, you want to sell all or a majority of your business when valuations are peaking.

13. You Feel Physically & Mentally Exhausted
As a business owner, you are most likely the hub of your business and make most of the decisions. This can be physically and mentally draining, and the time will come when your responsibilities as a CEO or business owner will take its toll on you. If you feel physically and mentally exhausted running the business, then it's time for you to initiate an exit and sale process. Don't wait until an illness or excessive fatigue sets in before you decide to sell, as the buyer will fully expect you to remain with the company for 1 - 2 years.

14. You Want to Take Advantage of Low Capital Gains Taxes
The tax rate on capital gains is at an historically low level. This is one good reason to sell your business and enjoy low tax rates if you can achieve a straight stock purchase. If you are at an age near retirement, or if you have already grown and stabilized your business, then it may be best to sell your business and take advantage of taxes at such relatively low levels.

15. You've Become More Risk-Averse
Risk is essential to your business' continued growth. If you have become risk averse, and you get to the point that new opportunities invoke more fear than excitement, it is a sign that you should sell your business. Becoming too conservative means losing your drive to grow the business, and this alone is a good reason to sell.

16. Your Business Partner Wants to Sell
If your business partner wants to call it quits and move on, you have the option to either buy out his/her shares and own the business entirely, or just sell the business to a third-party. Most of the time, the second option is more prudent because you may not have the capital or want to borrow substantial funds to buyout your partner.

17. A Sudden Lifestyle Change Affects Your Business
CEOs and business owners need to understand that there should be a clear delineation between their personal lives and their business. If a sudden lifestyle change (like getting married, divorce, health issues, going back to school, or giving birth) becomes a conflict with your commitment to your business, then it's time to consider selling.

18. You Struggle with Poor Business Performance
Running a struggling business can be very stressful and demotivating. If you notice that your business' performance doesn't improve, even after you have exerted a lot of effort and invested many resources to grow the business, then perhaps it's time to consider selling it to someone who has the skills and money to revive and grow it. Just don't expect to secure an optimal sale price or terms.

19. Your Business' Industry Is Thriving or You See a Decline Looming
If your business' industry is thriving, it's a good time to sell your business. A business in a thriving industry will likely sell for more than if your business' industry is struggling. You can take this opportunity to sell your business while there are more acquirers interested in buying it at a good price. It's important to pay attention to industry trends, as it will benefit you when you decide to sell.

20. You Have Health Issues or You are in Your Sixties with Previous Health Issues
If you think your business has cost you your health, then it's time to seriously consider selling it. Facing serious health issues is one of the most common reasons why some business owners choose to sell their business. After all, it's best to prioritize your health, and capitalize on today's lofty valuations.

Bottom Line - When to Sell a Business
There will come a time when you will need to sell your company. The right time to sell a business is based on various reasons, such as economic conditions, industry trends, valuations, personal situations, and professional considerations.

Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. for a no cost initial consultation at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.
As I have told our clients for over fifteen years, you never know when a buyer may contact you to make an offer to purchase your company. Below are 10 critical issues to help you become better prepared to realize the greatest wealth in your lifetime by selling your company.

At any time a company may contact you to meet the next time they are in your city. They're vague about the reason why, but it's a credible CEO who runs a large company, so you agree to meet. Two weeks later he or she is in your office discussing your thoughts on selling your company. This may be a once in a lifetime opportunity so it pays to be ready at all times.

Would you be ready?

Here are 10 issues to help you be better prepared to sell your company:

Get a Signed Confidentiality and Non-solicitation Agreement in Place First.
All information needs to remain confidential! And you don't want your prospective buyer poaching customers or team members. A well drafted non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with a clear provision for non-solicitation of your staff and customers is a key protection you must have before you engage in early conversations of selling your business.

Have a Team of Advisors Ready.
Your M&A advisory team should be made up of a corporate/transaction attorney, CPA/tax advisor and a seasoned M&A advisor that will manage the entire process. CEO Advisor, Inc. acts as an M&A advisor for both buy-side and sell-side transactions and will manage and coordinate the entire sale process.  In order to maximize your sale price, run a proactive sale process to multiple prospective buyers.

Maintain Preparedness so You Are Ready for the Opportunity to Sell.
Run your company in a manner that promotes preparedness. Preparation by your M&A advisor is critical and will optimize your sale price and your ability to get a transaction completed. "Normalizing" your financials is a key part of this process. The more you have to "explain away" some part of your financials, the more your prospective buyer will start to question their accuracy. Your M&A advisor will help you with all of your preparation.

Not All Buyers are Created Equally.
Sometimes the best offer isn't the highest dollar offer. Factor in the certainty that they will in fact close - this is key. This means gauging your prospective buyer's commitment level, capacity to close, and track record with you and with other business dealings. Don't be shy about qualifying your prospective buyers carefully. If you're working with a seasoned M&A advisor or investment banker, this is something they will do for you.

Focus on Running the Business and Let Your Advisors Manage the Sale Process.
Selling your business is a strange dynamic. Emotionally, you need to remain focused and calm. Keep running the business through the closing, because if sales decline, and the trend line drops down, it could literally cost you millions of dollars of enterprise value. This is the primary reason why you want a seasoned M&A Advisor like CEO Advisor, Inc. representing you and running the sale process leaving you to focus on running your company to a great degree.

A Transaction is a Marathon Not a Sprint.
A sale process takes 6 to 9 months to occur. It can take longer depending on your level of preparation. In summary, you need to accomplish A) Preparation, B) Secure an LOI, C) Complete Due Diligence D) Complete the legal documents and E) Close. This takes a tremendous amount of experience and expertise and a seasoned team of advisors to accomplish.

Minimize Client Concentration Risk with One or Two Very Large Clients.
If you have too much concentration in a single customer, a prospective buyer may pause or ding your valuation. By focusing on mid-size and large prospects, many of your customers will tend to be larger thus avoiding client concentration risk to a buyer.

Set up a Confidential Team for the Due Diligence Process.
Working with an M&A advisor or investment banker will be critical to get the Due Diligence done. They will set up an online data room that will house the many documents on all aspects of your business. This will require your help with a high level of focus, and may require an additional team member in confidence.

Be Very Disciplined About When You Tell Your Team.
Your advisory team will carry the bulk of the load through the sale process, but you may need to solicit help from one or two members of your management team in complete confidence. Most buyers will require employment contracts with incentives to keep your key staff onboard well past the sale date. Only tell your whole company after the deal is closed - this is critical.

It's Normal to Emotionally Detach From the Business as you Go Through the Sale Process.
Make sure you correct for that tendency to detach emotionally by keeping your focus on running the business. Again, the sale process is a marathon and not a sprint, and deal fatigue will set in. But stay focused, listen to your advisors and keep your eye on the prize.

These are 10 issues to help you more effectively navigate the sale of your company. Whether the sale occurs in the coming 6 months or 3 years, you're now more prepared with 10 common threads to help persevere the sale process efficiently and effectively.

Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. for a no cost initial consultation at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.


Here are 10 reasons why you shouldn't attempt to do it yourself:
10. Maintaining Confidentiality. 
Maintaining a certain level of confidentiality across 75 to 100 targeted buyers is essential when selling your business. How do you maintain confidentiality while marketing to your potential buyers? You can't. You need an intermediary between you and the buyer. An M&A professional who is not involved with the business, contacts your targeted buyers, qualifies buyers, provides select amount of information and puts you in a strong, competitive position to sell.
Here are 10 reasons why you shouldn't attempt to do it yourself:
Here are 10 reasons why you shouldn't attempt to do it yourself:
10. Maintaining Confidentiality. 
Maintaining a certain level of confidentiality across 75 to 100 targeted buyers is essential when selling your business. How do you maintain confidentiality while marketing to your potential buyers? You can't. You need an intermediary between you and the buyer. An M&A professional who is not involved with the business, contacts your targeted buyers, qualifies buyers, provides select amount of information and puts you in a strong, competitive position to sell.
Selling your business is extremely complex, requires a tremendous amount of time, preparation and follow through, organization and skill, and is one of those things that requires the experience of a business, finance, and M&A professional all in one.
Here are 10 reasons why you shouldn't attempt to do it yourself:
10. Maintaining Confidentiality. 
Maintaining a certain level of confidentiality across 75 to 100 targeted buyers is essential when selling your business. How do you maintain confidentiality while marketing to your potential buyers? You can't. You need an intermediary between you and the buyer. An M&A professional who is not involved with the business, contacts your targeted buyers, qualifies buyers, provides select amount of information and puts you in a strong, competitive position to sell.
9. You May Not be Dealing with the Optimal Buyers. 
Because of the large task of selling your company, many business owners selling their own business are dealing with buyers who happen to approach them. In many cases, these buyers are savvy business owners, in the same industry, looking to buy a business on the cheap or are very experienced at buying businesses. These types of buyers typically do not make the best offer nor are they financially qualified to buy the business.
8. It Involves an Extensive Amount of Time Better Spent Running Your Business. 
Selling a business takes a tremendous amount of time, organization, and a sale process that generates results. The  preparation alone to launch the process and generate multiple offers takes a lot of time (and expertise). Dealing with multiple potential buyers takes time. Meanwhile, you're trying to run the business and live your life. Do you really have the extra time to spend your precious hours selling your business when an expert should do it for you?
7. You Lack the Expertise and Experience in Selling a Business.  
Selling your business is not as simple as selling a property, and a business requires several types of expertise. You need to prepare information and reporting, and be very knowledgeable about financial statements and how businesses are valued. You need to know how to conduct the Due Diligence process and assist in the many business and tax issues that arise in the legal process when selling a business. You need to know what you can do, what your M&A advisor should do, what your tax advisor should do and what your corporate/transaction attorney should do to keep the buyer engaged and on track to get the deal completed.
You may have a very good attorney and accountant, but they do not have the same expertise as an M&A advisor to prepare the needed information to initiate the sale process, solicit offers from a pool of many selected potential buyers, secure offers from these buyers and conduct the Due Diligence process when it comes to selling a business.
6. Representing and Selling Yourself Typically Backfires. 
If you don't have the time, expertise, experience, great organization and sales skills, you definitely should not be selling your own business. But, even if you are a good salesperson, there is another good reason not to sell your own business. The more you pursue a buyer, the more you are sending a message that you are anxious or desperate to sell, which will tend to make the buyer think that they can pay less for the business. Since it is an M&A advisor's job to pursue buyers, doing so doesn't send the same message.
5. Your Sale Process and Marketing Doesn't Stack Up to an M&A Advisor. 
Sure, you can entertain a single offer from a company that contacts you but they will know that they are the only interested party, which puts you in a very disadvantageous negotiating position. You can also advertise on a few of the Internet business-for-sale websites, but a strong, experienced M&A advisor has a very disciplined, targeted approach with many pre-existing contacts and a staff to research and pinpoint all of the top potential buyers of your business. The result is that an M&A advisor will reach far more buyers resulting in a much higher probability of a completed sale, a faster sale and at a higher price with better terms.
4. An M&A Advisor Acts as a Buffer. 
Buying or selling a business is very stressful, takes hundreds of steps and may be the most valuable asset that you own. During the sale process, the buyer and seller are likely to get upset with each other and things may be said that would kill the deal if they were said directly to the other party. The M&A advisor is a buffer between the parties that prevents these deal-killers by implementing an element of Good Cop (you) and Bad Cop (M&A advisor) to perform the tougher negotiations and keep you in a strong standing with the buyer and your future boss.
3. The Sale Process is Much More Than a Couple of Meetings and Accepting an Offer. 
Accepting an offer to sell your business is only one aspect of the sale process and closing the sale. The sale process includes a plan, researching and documenting the potential buyers, creating and housing all of the preparation materials that will attract and secure a strong offer, negotiating and finalizing the offer, a complete Due Diligence process, overcoming any tax issues, typically negotiating a lease with the landlord, and working through all of the purchase agreement and employment agreement issues.
2. You Need a Trusted Advisor. 
Your attorney and accountant may be very skilled and knowledgeable, but most don't commit the needed time, don't focus on a goal of securing multiple offers, and don't have the knowledge about the marketplace and selling businesses that is needed to be successful.  
Attorneys and accountants react to an offer that is secured. A hands-on M&A advisor will advise you throughout the process and help you avoid making a major mistake that will cost you a ton of money or that will jeopardize the sale altogether. Also, a buyer is more willing to accept what an M&A advisor recommends since the prospective buyer will have developed a relationship with the M&A advisor from the first phone call initiated to the buyer, rather than what your attorney or accountant desire, who are typically pressing on a legal or tax issue.
1. Selling Your Business Faster For the Best Price. 
This reason alone should be enough to move any seller to using an M&A advisor. Selling a business is both tedious and stressful, and the only reason to undertake such an endeavor on your own would be to save money. But when it comes to selling a business, do-it-yourselfers typically get a lower price for their business and most don't get a transaction done at all. Why is that? An M&A advisor will reach a greater number of prospective buyers who know they must compete on price. Because they widen the field, an M&A advisor more than makes up for their fees with a proven sale process, higher sales price and better terms, providing the seller with a higher take-home figure.
Some sellers attempt to sell their own business, only to find the sale process is much more complicated and time consuming than they anticipated. Business deals are complex transactions that require expertise well beyond what the typical CEO or business owner has.
An M&A advisor is an expert and your trusted business advisor, your marketing team, and your expert negotiator all wrapped up in one.
Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. for a no cost initial consultation at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.
Selling your business is extremely complex, requires a tremendous amount of time, preparation and follow through, organization and skill, and is one of those things that requires the experience of a business, finance, and M&A professional all in one.
Here are 10 reasons why you shouldn't attempt to do it yourself:
10. Maintaining Confidentiality. 
Maintaining a certain level of confidentiality across 75 to 100 targeted buyers is essential when selling your business. How do you maintain confidentiality while marketing to your potential buyers? You can't. You need an intermediary between you and the buyer. An M&A professional who is not involved with the business, contacts your targeted buyers, qualifies buyers, provides select amount of information and puts you in a strong, competitive position to sell.
9. You May Not be Dealing with the Optimal Buyers. 
Because of the large task of selling your company, many business owners selling their own business are dealing with buyers who happen to approach them. In many cases, these buyers are savvy business owners, in the same industry, looking to buy a business on the cheap or are very experienced at buying businesses. These types of buyers typically do not make the best offer nor are they financially qualified to buy the business.
8. It Involves an Extensive Amount of Time Better Spent Running Your Business. 
Selling a business takes a tremendous amount of time, organization, and a sale process that generates results. The  preparation alone to launch the process and generate multiple offers takes a lot of time (and expertise). Dealing with multiple potential buyers takes time. Meanwhile, you're trying to run the business and live your life. Do you really have the extra time to spend your precious hours selling your business when an expert should do it for you?
7. You Lack the Expertise and Experience in Selling a Business.  
Selling your business is not as simple as selling a property, and a business requires several types of expertise. You need to prepare information and reporting, and be very knowledgeable about financial statements and how businesses are valued. You need to know how to conduct the Due Diligence process and assist in the many business and tax issues that arise in the legal process when selling a business. You need to know what you can do, what your M&A advisor should do, what your tax advisor should do and what your corporate/transaction attorney should do to keep the buyer engaged and on track to get the deal completed.
You may have a very good attorney and accountant, but they do not have the same expertise as an M&A advisor to prepare the needed information to initiate the sale process, solicit offers from a pool of many selected potential buyers, secure offers from these buyers and conduct the Due Diligence process when it comes to selling a business.
6. Representing and Selling Yourself Typically Backfires. 
If you don't have the time, expertise, experience, great organization and sales skills, you definitely should not be selling your own business. But, even if you are a good salesperson, there is another good reason not to sell your own business. The more you pursue a buyer, the more you are sending a message that you are anxious or desperate to sell, which will tend to make the buyer think that they can pay less for the business. Since it is an M&A advisor's job to pursue buyers, doing so doesn't send the same message.
5. Your Sale Process and Marketing Doesn't Stack Up to an M&A Advisor. 
Sure, you can entertain a single offer from a company that contacts you but they will know that they are the only interested party, which puts you in a very disadvantageous negotiating position. You can also advertise on a few of the Internet business-for-sale websites, but a strong, experienced M&A advisor has a very disciplined, targeted approach with many pre-existing contacts and a staff to research and pinpoint all of the top potential buyers of your business. The result is that an M&A advisor will reach far more buyers resulting in a much higher probability of a completed sale, a faster sale and at a higher price with better terms.
4. An M&A Advisor Acts as a Buffer. 
Buying or selling a business is very stressful, takes hundreds of steps and may be the most valuable asset that you own. During the sale process, the buyer and seller are likely to get upset with each other and things may be said that would kill the deal if they were said directly to the other party. The M&A advisor is a buffer between the parties that prevents these deal-killers by implementing an element of Good Cop (you) and Bad Cop (M&A advisor) to perform the tougher negotiations and keep you in a strong standing with the buyer and your future boss.
3. The Sale Process is Much More Than a Couple of Meetings and Accepting an Offer. 
Accepting an offer to sell your business is only one aspect of the sale process and closing the sale. The sale process includes a plan, researching and documenting the potential buyers, creating and housing all of the preparation materials that will attract and secure a strong offer, negotiating and finalizing the offer, a complete Due Diligence process, overcoming any tax issues, typically negotiating a lease with the landlord, and working through all of the purchase agreement and employment agreement issues.
2. You Need a Trusted Advisor. 
Your attorney and accountant may be very skilled and knowledgeable, but most don't commit the needed time, don't focus on a goal of securing multiple offers, and don't have the knowledge about the marketplace and selling businesses that is needed to be successful.  
Attorneys and accountants react to an offer that is secured. A hands-on M&A advisor will advise you throughout the process and help you avoid making a major mistake that will cost you a ton of money or that will jeopardize the sale altogether. Also, a buyer is more willing to accept what an M&A advisor recommends since the prospective buyer will have developed a relationship with the M&A advisor from the first phone call initiated to the buyer, rather than what your attorney or accountant desire, who are typically pressing on a legal or tax issue.
1. Selling Your Business Faster For the Best Price. 
This reason alone should be enough to move any seller to using an M&A advisor. Selling a business is both tedious and stressful, and the only reason to undertake such an endeavor on your own would be to save money. But when it comes to selling a business, do-it-yourselfers typically get a lower price for their business and most don't get a transaction done at all. Why is that? An M&A advisor will reach a greater number of prospective buyers who know they must compete on price. Because they widen the field, an M&A advisor more than makes up for their fees with a proven sale process, higher sales price and better terms, providing the seller with a higher take-home figure.
Some sellers attempt to sell their own business, only to find the sale process is much more complicated and time consuming than they anticipated. Business deals are complex transactions that require expertise well beyond what the typical CEO or business owner has.
An M&A advisor is an expert and your trusted business advisor, your marketing team, and your expert negotiator all wrapped up in one.
Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. for a no cost initial consultation at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.
Plan Ahead to Maximize Profits in 2020
Most CEOs perform annual planning to grow their business and increase sales and profits, as well as, the value of their business. However, there are certain methods companies must use for implementing a growth strategy. 

The method a company uses to expand its business is largely contingent upon its financial situation, the competition and specific goals of the CEO. 

Some common growth strategies in business include Market Penetration, Market Expansion, Product Expansion, Diversification and Acquisition.

Market Penetration
One growth strategy in business is Market Penetration. A small to mid-size business uses a Market Penetration strategy when it decides to market existing products and services within the same market. The only way to grow using existing products and markets is to increase market share. Market share is the percent of unit and dollar sales a company holds within a certain market vs. all other competitors. This requires a strong sales strategy and effective marketing.

Market Expansion
A Market Expansion growth strategy involves selling current products and services in new markets either in new industries or new geographic markets - or both. There are several reasons why companies consider a Market Expansion strategy. First, the competition may be such that there is little room for growth within the current market. If a business does not find new markets for its products, it cannot grow or increase sales or profits - in fact, profits will decline over time. A business may also use a Market Expansion strategy if it finds new uses for its product and services.

Product Expansion
A business may also expand its product line or add new features to increase its sales and profits. When companies employ a Product Expansion strategy they continue selling within the existing market. A Product Expansion growth strategy often works well when technology starts to change. A business may also be forced to add new products as older ones become obsolete.

Diversification
Growth strategies in business also include Diversification, where a company will sell new products to new markets. This type of strategy can be risky and companies will need to plan carefully when using a Diversification growth strategy. Market research is essential because a company will need to determine if customers in the new market will potentially like, need and purchase the new products.

Acquisition
The above strategies focus on organic growth, and most CEOs and business owners focus solely on this strategy. Growth strategies in business can also include Mergers and Acquisitions. With Acquisitions, a company purchases another company, or purchases the assets of a company without taking on the liabilities to expand and grow. A business may also use this type of strategy to expand its product line and enter new markets, as well as, acquire needed talent and deeper management.

An Acquisition growth strategy can be risky, but not as risky as a Diversification strategy. One reason is that the products and market are already established. A company must know exactly what it wants to achieve when using an Acquisition strategy, mainly because of the investment required to implement it.

CEO Advisor, Inc. specializes in advising and implementing growth strategies to grow small and mid-size businesses to the next level. Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. today at (949) 629-2950 or email MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com for a free initial consultation.
When you evaluate the management practices of hundreds of technology companies, here are the primary reasons they fail. 
Evaluate your own management decisions and practices and seek help from a business consultant or business advisor to address your
specific needs.
1. Lack of Market Focus
Emerging technology companies often do anything possible to generate revenue and in the process try to be all things to all people. Worried about losing business they avoid segmenting the market and refuse to focus on one to three key vertical markets. As a result, the company is unable to effectively serve any market segments effectively and management is suddenly swamped with support problems and competitors.
2. Undifferentiated Products
Most technology products and services that fail do so because of a lack of differentiation. Successful companies differentiate their product from all other products on the market. Differentiation is possible on the bases of five fundamental factors: function, time utility, problem solved, price and positioning. These five elements are critical to uniquely positioning your products and services to achieve success and profits.
3. Poor Market Research
Many companies routinely perform the wrong type of market research. Statistical surveys of customers alone do not provide the qualitative information that is needed. Because your target audience often relies as much on perceptions as on facts, qualitative research intended to identify existing needs has equal or greater value in assessing, planning and executing a company's marketing strategy.
4. Excessive Product Improvement
Technology products and services are generally used over an extended period of time, are integrated with complementary products and impose learning costs on customers. Customers require time to implement and recover their investment in high-tech products. The rapid introduction of new and improved versions can make a customer regret a previous purchase, delay all new purchases, and agonize over similar purchases in the future. Additionally, the time and costs related to excessive product development can delay product launches and delay sales opportunities and revenues.
5. Incomplete Products
Customers view products very differently than the technology companies that create or supply them. Technology companies tend to try to sell products on the basis of price, special features and technical specifications. These technical factors are often favored by the engineers who typically run technology companies. The problem is that most customers consider factors such as product support and company reputation to be more important. 
6. Failure to Establish the Right Competitive Barriers
Traditional barriers to competition are of little value in the technology industry. Patents can be effective but are very expensive, divulge trade secrets and take years to come to fruition. Conventional techniques are mostly designed to prevent market entry and tend not to work in technology-based businesses. The most effective competitive barriers in high-tech are the perceptions held by customers and prospects of product differentiation and first to market with a specialization in a market segment.
7. Using Price Alone to Drive Market Transformation
It is easy to misinterpret the role price plays in the market. And it is a mistake to believe that a technology product or service would be widely used and purchased if its cost was low enough. Price is a function of value and utility, and products and services should be positioned and marketed accordingly.
8. Improper Marketing
Marketing is both an art and a science. Positioning, pricing, sales strategy, target vertical markets and other factors contribute to the success or failure of your products and services and the corresponding sales. A well-crafted marketing plan is critical to success. Improper marketing or lack of marketing can be a product killer or cripple your company as a whole.
9. Sales Mismanagement
There's more to sales management than most companies realize. Specific skills are required to effectively manage each type of sales channel and those skills must be developed internally starting with an effective direct sales force. Unique management challenges exist for each primary type of sales channel: direct selling, online sales, dealers, OEMs, alliance partners and value-added resellers (VARs). Seek a business consultant or business advisor to assist you in optimizing your sales strategy as a critical factor in your success.
10. Misinterpretation of the Technology Adoption Lifecycle Model
The primary technology adoption lifecycle model describes the market acceptance of new products in terms of Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, and Laggards. The process of adoption over time is illustrated as a classic normal distribution or "bell curve".
Because the technology adoption model is expressed in terms of a standard bell curve, it means statistically, a random sample of any given market or population must contain: 2.5% Innovators, 13.5% Early Adopters, 34% Early Majority, 34% Late Majority, and 16.0% Laggards. So no matter what industry you tend to be in, there will always be a sequence of adoption by different types of buyers.
When you evaluate the management practices of hundreds of technology companies, here are the primary reasons they fail. 
Evaluate your own management decisions and practices and seek help from a business consultant or business advisor to address your
specific needs.
1. Lack of Market Focus
Emerging technology companies often do anything possible to generate revenue and in the process try to be all things to all people. Worried about losing business they avoid segmenting the market and refuse to focus on one to three key vertical markets. As a result, the company is unable to effectively serve any market segments effectively and management is suddenly swamped with support problems and competitors.
2. Undifferentiated Products
Most technology products and services that fail do so because of a lack of differentiation. Successful companies differentiate their product from all other products on the market. Differentiation is possible on the bases of five fundamental factors: function, time utility, problem solved, price and positioning. These five elements are critical to uniquely positioning your products and services to achieve success and profits.
3. Poor Market Research
Many companies routinely perform the wrong type of market research. Statistical surveys of customers alone do not provide the qualitative information that is needed. Because your target audience often relies as much on perceptions as on facts, qualitative research intended to identify existing needs has equal or greater value in assessing, planning and executing a company's marketing strategy.
4. Excessive Product Improvement
Technology products and services are generally used over an extended period of time, are integrated with complementary products and impose learning costs on customers. Customers require time to implement and recover their investment in high-tech products. The rapid introduction of new and improved versions can make a customer regret a previous purchase, delay all new purchases, and agonize over similar purchases in the future. Additionally, the time and costs related to excessive product development can delay product launches and delay sales opportunities and revenues.
5. Incomplete Products
Customers view products very differently than the technology companies that create or supply them. Technology companies tend to try to sell products on the basis of price, special features and technical specifications. These technical factors are often favored by the engineers who typically run technology companies. The problem is that most customers consider factors such as product support and company reputation to be more important. 
6. Failure to Establish the Right Competitive Barriers
Traditional barriers to competition are of little value in the technology industry. Patents can be effective but are very expensive, divulge trade secrets and take years to come to fruition. Conventional techniques are mostly designed to prevent market entry and tend not to work in technology-based businesses. The most effective competitive barriers in high-tech are the perceptions held by customers and prospects of product differentiation and first to market with a specialization in a market segment.
7. Using Price Alone to Drive Market Transformation
It is easy to misinterpret the role price plays in the market. And it is a mistake to believe that a technology product or service would be widely used and purchased if its cost was low enough. Price is a function of value and utility, and products and services should be positioned and marketed accordingly.
8. Improper Marketing
Marketing is both an art and a science. Positioning, pricing, sales strategy, target vertical markets and other factors contribute to the success or failure of your products and services and the corresponding sales. A well-crafted marketing plan is critical to success. Improper marketing or lack of marketing can be a product killer or cripple your company as a whole.
9. Sales Mismanagement
There's more to sales management than most companies realize. Specific skills are required to effectively manage each type of sales channel and those skills must be developed internally starting with an effective direct sales force. Unique management challenges exist for each primary type of sales channel: direct selling, online sales, dealers, OEMs, alliance partners and value-added resellers (VARs). Seek a business consultant or business advisor to assist you in optimizing your sales strategy as a critical factor in your success.
10. Misinterpretation of the Technology Adoption Lifecycle Model
The primary technology adoption lifecycle model describes the market acceptance of new products in terms of Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, and Laggards. The process of adoption over time is illustrated as a classic normal distribution or "bell curve".
Because the technology adoption model is expressed in terms of a standard bell curve, it means statistically, a random sample of any given market or population must contain: 2.5% Innovators, 13.5% Early Adopters, 34% Early Majority, 34% Late Majority, and 16.0% Laggards. So no matter what industry you tend to be in, there will always be a sequence of adoption by different types of buyers.

Most CEOs perform annual planning to grow their business and increase sales and profits, as well as, the value of their business. However, there are certain methods companies must use for implementing a growth strategy. 

The method a company uses to expand its business is largely contingent upon its financial situation, the competition and specific goals of the CEO. 

Some common growth strategies in business include Market Penetration, Market Expansion, Product Expansion, Diversification and Acquisition.

Market Penetration
One growth strategy in business is Market Penetration. A small to mid-size business uses a Market Penetration strategy when it decides to market existing products and services within the same market. The only way to grow using existing products and markets is to increase market share. Market share is the percent of unit and dollar sales a company holds within a certain market vs. all other competitors. This requires a strong sales strategy and effective marketing.

Market Expansion
A Market Expansion growth strategy involves selling current products and services in new markets either in new industries or new geographic markets - or both. There are several reasons why companies consider a Market Expansion strategy. First, the competition may be such that there is little room for growth within the current market. If a business does not find new markets for its products, it cannot grow or increase sales or profits - in fact, profits will decline over time. A business may also use a Market Expansion strategy if it finds new uses for its product and services.

Product Expansion
A business may also expand its product line or add new features to increase its sales and profits. When companies employ a Product Expansion strategy they continue selling within the existing market. A Product Expansion growth strategy often works well when technology starts to change. A business may also be forced to add new products as older ones become obsolete.

Diversification
Growth strategies in business also include Diversification, where a company will sell new products to new markets. This type of strategy can be risky and companies will need to plan carefully when using a Diversification growth strategy. Market research is essential because a company will need to determine if customers in the new market will potentially like, need and purchase the new products.

Acquisition
The above strategies focus on organic growth, and most CEOs and business owners focus solely on this strategy. Growth strategies in business can also include Mergers and Acquisitions. With Acquisitions, a company purchases another company, or purchases the assets of a company without taking on the liabilities to expand and grow. A business may also use this type of strategy to expand its product line and enter new markets, as well as, acquire needed talent and deeper management.

An Acquisition growth strategy can be risky, but not as risky as a Diversification strategy. One reason is that the products and market are already established. A company must know exactly what it wants to achieve when using an Acquisition strategy, mainly because of the investment required to implement it.

CEO Advisor, Inc. specializes in advising and implementing growth strategies to grow small and mid-size businesses to the next level. Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. today at (949) 629-2950 or email MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com for a free initial consultation.

Testimonial  


"Mark Hartsell and CEO Advisor provided amazing hands-on guidance from the start of the sale process through to the closing. Not having sold a company before I was not aware of the complexity, and tremendous amount of time and expertise required by someone like Mark to prepare for the sale, locate a qualified buyer, negotiate a strong offer, perform the extensive due diligence process, and drive the process through to legal contracts and closing. CEO Advisor, Inc. was the catalyst in achieving a highly successful sale."

CEO
Professional Services Company (After Their Successful Sale)

CEO/President, Engineering Services/Manufacturing Company


Whether it is growing a business to the next level, turning a distressed company around or preparing a company for an exit, Mark's firm, CEO Advisor, Inc, provides a broad range of services and Mark is there for the CEO every step of the way."

 


Partner

Haynes & Boone, LLP

Words of Wisdom


"You must be very patient, very persistent. The world isn't going to shower gold coins on you just because you have a good idea. You're going to have to work like crazy to bring that idea to the attention of people. They're not going to buy it unless they know about it."

 

 

Herb Kelleher

Former CEO of Southwest Airlines