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The recession has caused many small business owners to postpone the sale of their businesses. Buyers cannot get credit. Valuations are down.
Barbara Taylor of The New York Times gives this word of caution:
Joan Donofrio of Concord, Calif. — posted the following comment about her experience as the owner of four Curves franchise locations: “I made my biggest mistake by not selling my first two clubs when they were raking in the money. I could have made a profit of $700,000. Instead I ended up broke and in bankruptcy court. Not knowing when to get out of a business is the biggest hurdle people make. … Not having an exit plan is the biggest peril of all.”
It can be difficult to let go of your business in good times, as well as bad. No business owner plans to fail, but many — like Ms. Donofrio — fail to plan an exit strategy.
Taylor asks if owners at least have a contingency plan for their exit strategy. Or else...