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Sell Your Business for the Max!

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Sell Your Business for the Max!

How to Prepare, Negotiate & Profit -- in Good Times and Bad

Workman Publishing,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Selling a business involves more than just putting out the word on craigslist. Get ready for hardheaded negotiating.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


To sell your company, you must understand business valuation. You must find a qualified buyer. You must present your enterprise in the best possible light. You and anyone who represents you must be good negotiators. Get any of these wrong, and you may not be able to sell your firm for what it is worth. In this well-informed book, Steve Kaplan shows you how to get the best price for the business you’ve invested so many years in building. He expertly explains how to spruce it up to entice potential buyers and how to present it in the most compelling fashion. He provides worksheets and checklists to use during the process. With more than 100 business-sales transactions under his belt, Kaplan has the expertise you need in this specialized field full of pitfalls. If you have a business to sell, getAbstract recommends reading his savvy book.


What Not to Do

Here’s a hypothetical case: Suzanne Baker opens a neighborhood café, Harvest Coffee Company, shortly after her divorce. Working seven days and 60 hours a week, she attracts loyal customers. The annual profit of the business grows to $80,000. Then, a chain coffeehouse decides to move into the neighborhood. Baker anticipates that it will offer her a buyout. She decides she wouldn’t mind selling and sets her price at $240,000, or three years’ profits. She also plans to ask the new owner to hire her to manage the business.

The chain offers her $175,000, or less than “75% of her desired settlement.” Baker panics. If she refuses the offer, she’s afraid the company will lower it or move into the neighborhood and run her out of business. Pressured, she gives in and takes the $175,000. The new owner doesn’t offer her a position. Baker basically throws away $65,000 and the opportunity to work. If Baker had made a counteroffer she would have had a better chance of getting her asking price. She could have offered to stay on as manager as a “concession.”

When Should You Sell?

The perfect time to sell never comes. Make sure you understand why you want...

About the Author

Steve Kaplan is a consultant to businesses. By age 35, Kaplan had built one of his firms into a leading promotion, marketing and database company in the U.S. He currently owns several other organizations, including a venture capital group.

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