Seller Articles

Considering Seller Financing

Considering Seller Financing

Many sellers are surprised to learn that seller financing is very common. In fact, sellers should realize that there is a good chance that in order to sell their business, they will have to consider offering seller financing. 

What is Seller Financing?

Seller financing essentially occurs when the seller provides a loan to cover some part of the purchase price. It is common for the rest of the purchase price to be covered by a combination of a down payment and additional financing sources. 

Benefits of This Approach

At the end of the day, seller financing means that the seller serves as sort of a bank for the buyer. While many sellers may not like this prospect, seller financing can offer many benefits. Two key benefits are that potential difficulties of working with a real bank are bypassed, and sellers often enjoy a higher final sale price.

Most business brokers strongly encourage sellers to consider seller financing. One reason brokerage professionals favor the seller financing option is that it helps stimulate buyer interest. A seller who believes in their business enough to offer seller financing can expect buyers to take notice and respond. Sellers with confidence in their business can expect buyers to be eager to learn more.

Due Diligence is Essential

Sellers who choose to offer seller financing will still have to perform all necessary due diligence. Working with a bank does have its benefits; for example, a bank will check a potential buyer’s financial statements as well as their credit reports and more. 

Without the involvement of a bank, the seller is responsible for performing due diligence and checking that the buyer has a low risk of default. While seller financing opens up many possibilities for sellers, it is important that sellers also realize that this route comes with additional responsibilities.

Safeguards to Utilize

There are a variety of safeguards that sellers can use to help protect themselves when offering seller financing, and once again, brokerage professionals can be invaluable guides in this regard. Contracts often allow for the seller to take back the business within a 30-to-60-day window if financing fails. Another helpful clause for businesses centered on inventory is that the new owners are required to maintain a predetermined level of inventory during the payment period.

Thanks to seller financing, both buyers and sellers can benefit in a range of ways. Sellers who opt for seller financing usually discover that they receive a good deal of attention from buyers. Buyers enjoy greater financing flexibility and have a very clear indicator that the seller has confidence in the business. While seller financing does come with a good deal of paperwork, it is an option that buyers and sellers alike should consider.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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The post Considering Seller Financing appeared first on Deal Studio.

Many sellers are surprised to learn that seller financing is very common. In fact, sellers should realize that there is a good chance that in order to sell their business, they will have to consider offering seller financing.  What is Seller Financing? Seller financing essentially occurs when the seller provides a loan to cover some
The post Considering Seller Financing appeared first on Deal Studio.

Unlocking Business Potential with Strong Recurring Revenue

Unlocking Business Potential with Strong Recurring Revenue

Everyone loves recurring revenue and for good reason. When buyers see recurring revenue, they instantly know that a business is stable, has positive cash flow, and, importantly, has room for potential future growth.

There is no way around the fact that buyers want a business to be predictable. In short, buyers want to see consistency and stability at every level. Recurring revenue means that a prospective buyer can be confident that they will see income from the first day they take over the business. There is a powerful psychological aspect to recurring revenue that sellers should keep in mind, as they put themselves in the buyer’s shoes. 

When a buyer sees that there is recurring revenue, they know that even if they are unable to develop the business as soon as they take over, there will be positive cash flow. Buying a business is a big decision, and recurring revenue can take some of the fear out of the equation.

Recurring revenue also serves to strongly indicate to buyers that your business offers goods and services that are consistently in demand. Any seller that wants to convince a buyer that their business is worth the asking price should focus on cultivating recurring revenue opportunities. There is nothing quite like recurring revenue to calm nerves and convince buyers that a business is worth a serious look.

Sellers should strive to have a business that has strong annual recurring revenue (ARR). ARR is a metric that measures the money coming in annually.  Once your business has a strong ARR, don’t be shy about emphasizing that fact to buyers. A healthy number serves as a truly powerful indicator of your company’s current and future health and potential. 

When your business displays strong recurring revenue, it points to the fact that your business is doing many things correctly. It shows that your business is able to consistently serve its customers well enough that they return again and again. This fact indicates that both your goods and services and your management and team members are performing optimally.

Summed up another way, recurring revenue is a quick and easy way for potential buyers to gain insight into the value of your company. Any seller looking to optimally showcase their ARR, or looking for ways to boost their recurring revenue, should consider working with a business broker or M&A advisor. Brokerage professionals understand all the different variables involved in helping prepare a business to be sold.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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The post Unlocking Business Potential with Strong Recurring Revenue appeared first on Deal Studio.

Everyone loves recurring revenue and for good reason. When buyers see recurring revenue, they instantly know that a business is stable, has positive cash flow, and, importantly, has room for potential future growth. There is no way around the fact that buyers want a business to be predictable. In short, buyers want to see consistency
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Cultivating Success: The Impact of Business Brokers on Closing Rates

Cultivating Success: The Impact of Business Brokers on Closing Rates

Business brokers and M&A advisors consistently improve closing rates. There are many reasons why this is the case and, in this article, we’ll explore some of the top reasons why brokerage professionals get results.

When it comes to selling a business, few variables are as important as how your business is presented. A key area of expertise for business brokers is in presenting businesses. There are many factors to consider when presenting your business in the best possible light. An experienced business broker can help you prepare your business for even the most discerning buyer.

Another key reason that business brokers are a great option for any seller is that they reach not only more buyers, but more qualified buyers. Brokerage professionals have years of experience in buying and selling businesses, and with that experience comes a long list of vetted buyers. When you start working together, they likely already have many qualified buyers in mind that they feel would be a good fit for your business.

A third reason sellers should consider working with a business broker or M&A advisor is that they are invested in your success. When your business is sold, these professionals stand to profit. In this way, the process of selling your business becomes a team effort, one that you can expect them to take seriously. After all, they only get paid if you get paid.

Selling a business is a very complex process, even for those with the most experience. There are rules, regulations, negotiation hurdles, and more that must be navigated. Everything from government regulations to spouses who may have a different opinion can, and do, play a role. An experienced business broker or M&A advisor has the experience to find solutions to almost any negotiation obstacle.

One of the most important reasons sellers should work with a business broker or M&A advisor is to gain focus. As the owner of your business, you have no choice but to stay focused on the day-to-day operation of your business. Far too often, owners place their business for sale and then become preoccupied with the sales process. Sadly, this can lead to a loss of revenue and overall business disruption, which in turn, decreases the value of the business.

Opting to work with a business broker or M&A advisor is an easy, and proven, way to dramatically boost your odds of achieving a successful sale. When all the variables are combined, it is easy to see why sellers who choose to work with a brokerage professional consistently enjoy high closing rates.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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The post Cultivating Success: The Impact of Business Brokers on Closing Rates appeared first on Deal Studio.

Business brokers and M&A advisors consistently improve closing rates. There are many reasons why this is the case and, in this article, we’ll explore some of the top reasons why brokerage professionals get results. When it comes to selling a business, few variables are as important as how your business is presented. A key area
The post Cultivating Success: The Impact of Business Brokers on Closing Rates appeared first on Deal Studio.

Strategies for Maximizing Market Dominance: Key Steps to Boosting Business Value

Strategies for Maximizing Market Dominance: Key Steps to Boosting Business Value

At some point, you will need to sell your business. When the time comes to put your business on the market, it is in your best interest if your business has a dominant position in the market. Potential buyers will be far less excited about your business if you are playing catch-up to one or more competitors. In the end, maintaining a dominant market position will help you receive both maximum interest and top dollar for your business.

Take Steps in Advance

Preparing your business to be sold isn’t something that you do overnight. Instead, preparing your business for sale is a process that can take years of meticulous planning. Operating your business as though you will need to sell it soon is always a smart strategy.

Boost Your Customer Base

A key part of maintaining a dominant position in your market is to have a large number of customers. The logic is simple: if you have a large number of customers, then it only makes sense that your competitors have fewer customers. 

A prospective buyer will find your business more interesting when you have a wide and varied customer base. Conversely, a business that depends on just a few large customers may make buyers nervous. The built-in vulnerability of having a handful of key customers will send many prospective buyers looking for the exit ramp.

Have a Growth Mindset

Achieving a dominant position in the market means that you are always thinking about growth. It is vital that you consider how to expand your business in both the short term and the long term. Additionally, it is important to realize that different strategies are needed for both short-term and long-term growth. You should always have a growth plan ready to implement.

Gain a Realistic Understanding of Your Business

Whether you have achieved a dominant position in your market or are striving to do so, it is essential that you understand your business’s strengths and weaknesses. 

Far too many business owners turn a blind eye to the weaknesses of their business or overplay its strengths. One way to better understand these aspects of your business is to work with a business broker or M&A advisor who can evaluate your business from an outside perspective.

You want prospective buyers to be excited about your business and its potential for the future. Demonstrating that you have a dominant position in your market and that your business has room for potential growth will dramatically increase buyer interest and enthusiasm. Business owners looking to achieve top dollar will want to take the necessary steps to achieve a dominant position in the market.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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At some point, you will need to sell your business. When the time comes to put your business on the market, it is in your best interest if your business has a dominant position in the market. Potential buyers will be far less excited about your business if you are playing catch-up to one or

The Emotional Side of Selling Your Business

The Emotional Side of Selling Your Business

It is easy to get lost in the numbers when it comes to selling your business, but it is important to remember that the numbers only tell one side of the story. Both buying and selling a business come with significant mental and emotional ramifications. 

Why is this so critical to understand? Sellers who are not emotionally ready might subconsciously take steps to interfere with the sales process. Typically, sellers have invested a great deal of time and effort into their business, and as a result, they may simply not be truly ready to sell. Before the day comes to put your business up for sale, pause and reflect on whether you are 100% onboard. 

Let’s take a look at some of the questions to ask yourself so that you can decide if you are truly ready to sell.

Do You Have Future Plans? 

Topping the list of emotional factors that you need to consider when selling are your plans for the future. If you don’t know what your plans are for after selling your business, you may encounter difficulties post-sale. 

Far too often, business owners discover that they don’t know what to do with themselves after a sale has taken place. All the mental and emotional effort put into running a business has to be redirected once the business has been sold. It is crucial that before you sell your business, you have something new and exciting to work on in the future.

Do You Have a Strong Support Network?  

A second emotional factor to consider before you sell your business is whether or not selling it will lead to social isolation and stress. It is very common for business owners to form long-term friendships and bonds with numerous employees. 

Quite often, business owners begin to feel as though their employees are something like extended family. Suddenly not working with that extended family can bring with it a fair degree of social isolation. 

It is not uncommon for business owners to have many of their social needs met at work. Once those friendships are gone, many business owners can feel isolated, and isolation can lead to stress and a sense of regret. It is prudent to make sure your social network is robust enough that selling your business doesn’t lead to unexpected mental and emotional stress.

Selling a business is a massive decision for most business owners. It is a prudent move to be sure that you actually do want to sell. Once your business has been sold, there is no turning back.  

The last thing any business owner wants is to sell their business only to discover that they regret the decision. Don’t simply focus on the profit to be gained when selling your business, but also on the ramifications of that sale on your life and future happiness.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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It is easy to get lost in the numbers when it comes to selling your business, but it is important to remember that the numbers only tell one side of the story. Both buying and selling a business come with significant mental and emotional ramifications.  Why is this so critical to understand? Sellers who are

What Should You Expect from Your Business Intermediary?

What Should You Expect from Your Business Intermediary?

Eventually every business owner needs to sell or think about who will take over their business when they retire. Working with an intermediary is an easy and streamlined way to jumpstart the process and learn what mistakes to avoid. A business broker or M&A advisor can help you to understand what steps to take to achieve optimal results. 

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

First, it is simply critical to understand that selling a business is a team effort. No seller should begin working with an intermediary with the idea that the intermediary will do “all the work.” The reality is that in order to achieve a successful sale, it is necessary for the seller and the intermediary to work closely and engage in a good deal of communication. 

Other key people such as executives and advisors will also have to work closely with your business broker or M&A advisor. Without a doubt, selling a business is a group effort that will need cooperation from many parties. For example, you’ll also need the cooperation of key management and team members when a prospective buyer visits the business.

Prepare for an Extended Process 

Another essential point to remember is that selling a business can take time. It is common for the sales process to take between six months to a year, but it can also take even longer than that. Sellers should enter the sales process realizing that they will be working closely with their chosen intermediary for a considerable period of time. That means that you’ll want to be sure to keep your intermediary well informed regarding any developments with your business for an extended period of time.

Be Open to Ideas 

Third, remember that your intermediary has invaluable experience and that you hired them to guide you through the process. It is not necessary that you blindly follow all their advice; however, it is essential that you be receptive to all their suggestions. 

Your intermediary may have years, if not decades, of proven experience selling businesses just like yours. It only makes sense to take advantage of that experience as much as possible. Your intermediary may have suggestions about what type of buyer you should be targeting or they may even have ideas as to how you can change your business to make it more attractive to prospective buyers. When intermediaries know that they have a receptive audience with a given buyer, they will feel more comfortable providing valuable suggestions.

The time to contact an intermediary about selling your business is now. Getting a business ready to sell takes time, effort and preparation. The sooner you begin working with a business broker or M&A advisor, the sooner you can begin charting a path to eventual success.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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Eventually every business owner needs to sell or think about who will take over their business when they retire. Working with an intermediary is an easy and streamlined way to jumpstart the process and learn what mistakes to avoid. A business broker or M&A advisor can help you to understand what steps to take to

How to Save a Deal

How to Save a Deal

Few business owners truly understand the complex dynamics of making a deal. Having never participated in selling a business before, the majority of business owners are blissfully unaware of what it takes to turn the dream of selling a business into a reality. Having a brokerage professional by their side is an easy way for a business owner to avoid the dangers that can easily torpedo a deal.

Keep Your Eye on the Ball

One of the most common reasons that businesses will fail to sell is that the business owner becomes obsessed with the pending transaction, and in the process, fails to keep up with the day-to-day operations of the business. The sales process can take months, or even years, and that means that the owner needs to pay attention to every aspect of their business or a prospective buyer could become very concerned.

Keep Confidentiality a Top Priority 

Another mistake that business owners can make, one that will quickly kill a deal, is a breach of confidentiality. If the sales process involves too many parties, then confidentiality often falls apart. Often the owner will call off the deal in frustration. A business broker or M&A advisor understands the tremendous importance of maintaining confidentiality and will prevent leaks from occurring. 

Seek Out Another Perspective

Being the boss for years, or even decades, means that a business owner may become rather set in their ways. Commonly, business owners may become rigid where compromises are concerned, especially when it comes to their business. As a result, a business owner may wish to negotiate every single item and detail which can send buyers running for the door. Some fights make sense and others should be avoided. Everyone can benefit from this essential third-party perspective, and this is another of the important ways that business brokers can help sellers.

Prepare Early

It can take years to properly get a business ready for sale. All too often, business owners will not prepare for the sale of their business until the 11th hour. Some business owners may even decide to sell on a whim or because of burnout. Unless a business owner prepares for the sale of their business well in advance, the business is unlikely to be ready to be sold. 

A business broker or M&A advisor knows precisely what it takes to get a business ready. For example, some areas that are particularly important for business owners considering selling a business are buying out minority stockholders, dealing with any pending lawsuits and cleaning up their balance sheet.

Keep Your Pricing Realistic

A fifth deal killer comes in the form of placing too high a price on a business. It is understandable that a business owner wants to receive top dollar as a business usually represents an owner’s life work. However, an unrealistic asking price can quickly destroy any chances a business has of being sold. A business broker can work with or without an appraiser to achieve a fair and realistic price and in the process dramatically increase the chances of a successful deal.

Buying or selling a business can have many twists and turns. Working with a brokerage professional stands as one of the simplest and most effective ways to avoid problems before they arise and, in the process, save the deal.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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Few business owners truly understand the complex dynamics of making a deal. Having never participated in selling a business before, the majority of business owners are blissfully unaware of what it takes to turn the dream of selling a business into a reality. Having a brokerage professional by their side is an easy way for

How to Optimize Your Chances of Selling Your Business

How to Optimize Your Chances of Selling Your Business

The simple fact is that selling your business is likely to be the single most important financial decision you’ll ever make.  With this important fact in mind, it is essential that you prepare far in advance.  Let’s dive in and take a look at some of the key items you’ll want to check off your list before placing your business on the market.

Think About Legalities

When it comes to selling a business, legal issues should be at the forefront of your thoughts; after all, selling your business does involve the creation and execution of a complex and detailed legal agreement.  There are many times in life where it is possible to cut corners, but hiring a good lawyer or law firm is not one of those times.  Moreover, you’ll want to settle all litigation, environmental issues or other issues that could potentially derail a sale.

Deal with Serious Buyers

Working with a good business broker or M&A advisor is an essential part of the selling process, as these professionals will help you to weed out “window shoppers” as well as prospective buyers who are simply not a good fit for your business.  Any serious buyer should be willing to submit a Letter of Intent.  Everyone should be on the same page as far as price and terms as well as what assets and liabilities are to be assumed.  This second point reinforces the first point.  It is essential to have an experienced lawyer helping you through various aspects of the sales process.

Be Flexible on Price

You should also be prepared to accept a lower price than you might ideally want.  There are many reasons that this may occur, ranging from a lack of management depth and a lack of geographical distribution to a dependence on a limited number of clients.  Reliance on a small number of customers and/or clients can give potential buyers pause, as it could raise concerns regarding the stability of your business.  Addressing these issues years before placing your business on the market can help you best achieve the price point you desire.  This is yet another reason to work with a business broker in advance.

Improving Your Chances for Success

In terms of achieving the price that you want for your business, there are other steps you can take.  Increasing the visibility and profile of your business is always a savvy move.  Consider attending trade shows, boost your online profile via stepping up your social media game and explore creating a coherent public relations program.

Finally, selling a business is often a waiting game.  You have to be psychologically prepared to wait a considerable period of time before your business is sold.  The fact is that most businesses do indeed sit on the shelf for a considerable period of time before they are sold.

Preparation, patience and good organization will dramatically increase your chances of selling your business and achieving an appropriate price.  The sooner you begin organizing your business and working with experienced professionals, the greater the chances of success will be.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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The simple fact is that selling your business is likely to be the single most important financial decision you’ll ever make.  With this important fact in mind, it is essential that you prepare far in advance.  Let’s dive in and take a look at some of the key items you’ll want to check off your

How Business Owners Can Leverage AI

How Business Owners Can Leverage AI

Artificial Intelligence has certainly received more than a bit of attention in the last two years. It’s no wonder that many business owners wonder how best to use this tool to gain an edge over the competition.

Currently, the cost of ChatGPT-4 is only $20 per month, which is a very nominal cost considering its capabilities. For that cost, users gain access to a powerful large language model or LLM. ChatGPT-4 allows users to put in a prompt and quickly receive an answer. Since ChatGPT-4 is a neural network, it is possible for you to customize how data is generated. 

An AI Virtual Assistant?

Almost anyone can appreciate the benefits a virtual assistant can bring. With ChatGPT-4, it is possible to use the technology as a digital VA that can simulate the work you might otherwise need to hire people to do. AI tools have become better and better at providing pinpointed information. More and more, business owners are viewing artificial intelligence as a tool that can serve the function of a virtual assistant or in some cases even a trusted business advisor. 

One example of how you could leverage ChatGPT-4 is to help you with your website’s SEO. Instead of hiring an expert, AI can assist you by generating lists of valuable keywords and SEO instructions. 

Other ways business people have used ChatGPT include everything from customer services and support to employee training. Its functionality is incredibly versatile and can serve many niches. 

Creating GPTs

GPT stands for “Generative Pre-Trained Transformer.” This term basically refers to a language model and framework used for artificial intelligence. This type of AI uses neural networks for tasks that involve language. 

Through GPTs, people now have the ability to create assistants or bots. To date, over 20,000 GPTs have been created. These are highly specific programs that have the ability to use internal data in ways that users deem fit. The more refined the prompt you put in, the more precise the information that you will receive. 

Another tool that could be helpful to business owners is Voice Chat GPT, which can transcribe what you are saying in real time. There is also Visual Chat GPT, which can verify visual information, for example, identifying the type of bird in a photograph.

Creating Personas 

In order to get the most out of ChatGPT-4, you can prime it and tell it what you want and need. Through ChatGPT-4, it is possible to create “personas” to bounce ideas around and get different information and feedback. For example, it is possible to create CEO and marketing manager personas, to name just two. The information you receive will differ depending on the persona you turn on. Different information and responses will then be generated via these different personas. This tool allows you to ask and receive responses on a wide variety of business-related questions. 

Protecting Information 

One word of caution in using these tools is to be careful regarding importing confidential information into ChatGPT or other AI tools. While efforts may be made to keep information confidential, it is still possible that other companies will use this information for training purposes. Any sensitive information about your business, employees or customers should be carefully guarded. 

The bottom line is yes, you can use AI to improve and expand your business, and you can start doing this right away. It’s important to note that artificial intelligence is a fast moving and evolving technology. For that reason, the way you can utilize it today may be entirely different in the coming years. 

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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Artificial Intelligence has certainly received more than a bit of attention in the last two years. It’s no wonder that many business owners wonder how best to use this tool to gain an edge over the competition. Currently, the cost of ChatGPT-4 is only $20 per month, which is a very nominal cost considering its

Options for Family Owned Businesses

Options for Family Owned Businesses

If you own a family-owned business, you may feel as though there are more factors to consider when it’s time to sell. In this article, we’ll examine some of the best options that business owners can use. You’ll want to keep in mind that both internal and external strategies are available to you. Let’s take a closer look. 

3 Types of Internal Transactions 

One of the top options for selling a family-owned business is to simply transition the ownership of the business within the family. This is an often-exercised option for many reasons. For example, one of the benefits to this strategy is that selling a family-owned business to a relative will keep the business in the family. Oftentimes this decision best suits the emotional preferences of the owner. A major risk is that the family member will fail to operate the business successfully, and this point underscores the importance of only transferring ownership to a family member that is ready for the task.

A second option is what is known as the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). ESOPs are often utilized in companies when selling to a third party could prove to be problematic or difficult. Architectural, construction and engineering companies are all good examples of businesses that can be difficult to sell to third parties.

Choosing to hire a CEO who manages the owners exit strategy is a third option for business owners to consider when selling. This is a time-tested strategy that many business owners have appreciated. Using this CEO strategy allows the owner to essentially retire and live off of company dividends while at the same time delaying the sale of the company for years.

External Transactions to Consider

The previous three examples specifically focused on internal transactions. Now, we’ll turn our attention to external transactions, as there are several viable external transactions that work for family-owned businesses looking to sell. 

A management buy-out or MBO, is an option that shouldn’t be overlooked. Selling to key employees with the company has many pros, for example, key employees understand the business as well as its current and future challenges and potential.  An MBO does have negative aspects to consider such as the fact that owners typically don’t receive the highest possible asking price as they have to provide financing.

A second external transaction for a family-owned business is an outright sale to a third party. One pro of a third-party sale is that an all-cash closing is possible and after the transaction is settled, the owner is free of the business. A potential downside of a third-party sale is that the sale process could be lengthy.

A third option for family-owned businesses to consider is an initial public offering (IPO). Companies with revenues of $100+ million are seen as a potential candidate for IPOs. An IPO can receive a high valuation; however, it is important to note that management will need to remain with the company.

Business brokers and M&A advisors are experts in helping family-owned businesses chart the best path forward. No two family-owned businesses are the same. An experienced brokerage professional can evaluate your business and help guide you towards the sale option that makes the most sense for your business and your personal situation.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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If you own a family-owned business, you may feel as though there are more factors to consider when it’s time to sell. In this article, we’ll examine some of the best options that business owners can use. You’ll want to keep in mind that both internal and external strategies are available to you. Let’s take

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