Keep the wrong people on the bus

Most buyers, particularly private equity groups or other sophisticated buyers, aren’t looking to buy your company so they can get a job—they’re looking for an investment. (This assumes your company is earning more than $500,000 a year.) What these investors are particularly interested in is a strong leadership structure that isn’t totally dependent upon you. In other words, if you can’t take a month-long vacation and return to find the business in good shape, then you have some work to do on your management team. This may require making some very difficult decisions, including replacing long-time loyal employees or even family members. But getting an effective management team in place has to be a top priority if you’re serious about selling your company.

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