Exit Planning

Book Review: Finish Big by Bo Burlingham

PHOTO Finish Big 650

If you’ve ever perused Amazon.com or your local bookstore looking for information on how to exit your business, you’ve probably come up with a short list of resources. While there are countless titles about starting and running a business, there are precious few that tackle the work of how to successfully leave one. Fortunately, Bo […]

7 things to do before signing a Letter of Intent


If you have ever promised your child a treat in return for good behavior, you know all about negotiating leverage. When selling an attractive business, you also have leverage — but only up to the point where you sign a letter of intent (LOI). Here are seven things you can do — before you even put your business up for sale, and before signing an LOI — to minimize the chances of your deal dragging on for months and becoming watered down.

Selling Your Business Is Like Thanksgiving Dinner


It’s not often that I’m able to weave grandmothers, due diligence and airborne mashed potatoes into one post, but last year I managed to do it in a New York Times piece titled 5 Reasons Selling Your Business Is Like Thanksgiving Dinner. I had a ball writing it, and I hope you’ll have fun reading it. Following is an excerpt that includes reasons number one and two.

Tough Love For Family Business Transfers

Tough Love in Business

My recent post in the New York Times deals with the thorny issue of transferring ownership of a family business from one generation to the next, or more accurately the decision not to. While family-owned businesses have impressive results, outperforming public companies in areas like stock price and return on equity, the statistics associated with ownership transfer are sobering. Following is the uncut version of my recent Email interview with author and third-generation business owner, Tom Deans.