If you’re contemplating exiting your business, 2019 is a great time to do it. A favorable market, numerous well-qualified buyers, and high valuations make this prime selling time. About a third of businesses take a year to sell. Some take even longer. If you want to exit your business by the end of the summer, here’s what you need to do now.

Improve Sales
Buyers want to see a steady trend of improvement, which means that improvements in sales are always a major selling point. If your sales aren’t already at a peak, you must prioritize expanding your customer base. Buyers want to strike when businesses are growing. So your goal should be to display a clear trend of positive growth.

Diversifying your customer base is similarly important. Many businesses get most of their revenue from a small group of loyal clients. If one or two leave, revenues can significantly drop. Expanding into new markets can help reduce risk.

Get a Professional Valuation
Your business is inherently valuable to you, but what is its value to a buyer? This is where a professional valuation can come in very useful. A valuation professional will take into account every relevant factor, not just the emotional weight of your business. The result is a more reasonable price that can expedite the sales process.

As part of the valuation, the advisor should also offer a business summary. This outlines the factors affecting your asking price, and can be a helpful guidepost for increasing value over the coming months.

Partner With a Broker
You’re an expert at running your business. You’re a novice when it comes to selling it. Locating, screening, and negotiating with buyers demands a lot of time, and can distract you from running your business. You may not have the skills necessary to diligently navigate the process. A business broker is an excellent investment in selling your business because they take this exhausting, distracting work off your hands. They can also help with negotiating deal terms and other deal components, and may help even the playing field when the buyer brings in an expert M&A team.