The Messy Marketplace: Selling Your Business in a World of Imperfect Buyers

The Messy Marketplace: Selling Your Business in a World of Imperfect Buyers

by Brent Beshore


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The marketplace for small and midsize businesses is messy. Having peeked behind the curtain at over 10,000 companies, this book aims to demystify the buyers, the process, and the inevitably emotional journey that is selling a company.

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Think about what outcomes are important to you and why. Here’s a cheat sheet:

  • I want between $__________ and $___________ of cash as a financial result. (You’ll have to pay off debt, taxes, and transaction costs. Also, something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.)
  • I want to work for ___ years in my current position, and am willing to consult with the company for ___ years thereafter. (It’s okay to say you want to stick with the company long-term, or leave the day of closing.)
  • I’m looking for a buyer/partner that will take the ________ role in the company. (Example roles include advisory board, passive partner, CEO, and CFO.) The characteristics/values of an ideal buyer would be:
  • My ideal timeline for a transaction would be ______, but I’d be happy to sell in _____ years.
  • My top non-financial goals are:

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780998030005
Publisher: Boring Books
Publication date: 12/03/2018
Pages: 154
Sales rank: 249,992
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.56(d)

About the Author

Investor Brent Beshore is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of, a Midwestern-based private equity firm. His firm takes a long-term approach to lower middle market private equity, investing "permanent equity" in small to midsize, privately held companies throughout North America. Prior to founding the firm, Mr. Beshore was an entrepreneur and operator in service, production, and marketing-oriented ventures. He is an Outside Director of Tandy Leather Factory, Inc. and serves on the Shepard Poverty Program board of directors at his alma mater, Washington and Lee University. He received his BA in Politics, with an emphasis in Poverty Studies, from Washington and Lee University and attended the J.D./M.B.A. program at the University of Missouri. Mr. Beshore lives in Columbia, Missouri, with his wife and daughters.

Table of Contents

  • A Note From the Author
  • The Situation
  • PREP: Considerations Around Selling
    • Setting the Goal
    • Emotional Encounters
    • Rumor Has It
    • Deal Killers
    • It's All Confidential
    • Big News

  • DOING A DEAL: Selling Your Business
    • Types of Sales
    • Types of Buyers
    • Role of Advisors
    • Financial Structures
    • The Negotiation
    • Paperwork
    • Fees & Costs
    • The Process

  • A NEW NORMAL: Post-Close Expectations
    • Telling Your People, Then Telling The Town
    • Conflict Resolution
    • Seller's Remorse

  • Behind the Curtain
    • Appendix A: Jargon Glossary & Shorthand Abbreviation Reference
    • Appendix B: A Professional Colonoscopy: Due Diligence Details

  • A Big Thank You

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