Prepare a Timeline

Jeff Sheldon. (n.d.) Retrieved from Creative Commons Zero

Jeff Sheldon. (n.d.) Retrieved from Creative Commons Zero

Determine when you would like to be finished the sale and any transition period. This date is important and all parties need to know that date and why it is important to you. Working backwards from that date you will be able to determine other critical dates needed for the acceptance of the offer, the due diligence period, the signing of the final documents and the completion of the closing process. An experienced broker can help develop the timeline. The timeline needs to be able to accommodate one or two delays but should have a sense of urgency to achieve a timely finish. The shorter the timeline, the better the transition will be for employees, customers and suppliers. A short timeline also reduces the opportunity for competitors to poach customers and employees.

While the sale is proceeding, you will need to focus on continuing the business. Be aware that not every deal is completed and the business needs to continue as if nothing has changed because nothing has changed, yet.

The due diligence period can be most chaotic as the buyer scrambles to verify the information you have provided. Managing the due diligence period will require both your and your employees’ attention. A well-planned execution will be appreciated by the buyer.