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  1. Confirm Your Decision to Sell
    a. Why Should You Sell Your Business?
  2. Meet with an M&A Advisor
    a. Contact ASE: edgar@acquirescaleandexit.com.
    b. Or go it alone.
    c. Never use a broker. Why You Should Never Use A Business Broker Post
  3. Set a Timeline
    a. Ideally, you want at least a year to groom your company.
    b. Expect the transaction to take 1-3 months from listing to closing.
  4. Define your exit plan and buyer
    a. A strategic or private equity (PE) buyer will usually guarantee more continuity for your business.
    b. Strategic means that they already own a company or skill that is synergistic to yours or an ecosystem like PE.
    c. Or do you not care who buys it and just need to exit ASAP.
    d. If you would like to still operate or be involved with the company strategics and PE, can give you a second bite of the apple. Meaning that you’ll sell a minority or majority stake, and work with the buyer to grow the company and exit again with economies of scale at a higher multiple.
  5. Groom, your company
    a. Define or create a moat around your company. What makes your company special and difficult to compete with? It could be your track record, SEO, testimonials, secret sauce, or people.
    b. Get your Confidential Information Memorandum (CIM) template, Above the Business Score, and 8 Secrets for Selling your Business Checklist from our newsletter.
  6. Engage accountants
    a. duedilio.com is a due diligence marketplace.
  7. Engage lawyers
    a. duedilio.com is a due diligence marketplace.
  8. Engage tax advisors
    a. duedilio.com is a due diligence marketplace.
  9. List the company online
    a. The top 3 sites are Biz Buy Sell, Deal Stream, and Axial.
  10. LOI and Due Diligence
    a. An LOI means that you like the buyer and are going to assist them in conducting due diligence and auditing your company.
    b. Setting up a secure data bank in DropBox with all the needed files is the easiest option.
    c. Make sure to disclose everything to avoid future reps and warranties (claims).
  11. Negotiation
    a. Make sure that both sides are happy.
  12. Closing
    a. Sign a purchase agreement.
    b. Get paid.
  13. Integration
    a. Buyers will usually ask you to stay on as a part-time consultant.
  14. Now what?
    a. Jordan Peterson has a product called Self Offering that guides you through writing about yourself and making a plan; this will help you process the transaction and decide what’s next.
    b. He also has a big 5 personality test that will make sure that you shape the next stage of your life to your personality and make the most out of it. While the test output is detailed, his short course is great if you want to get into the nuts and bolts of your personality.

Get your PDF version of this checklist and workflow here.