At the beginning of a new year, many business owners ask themselves if this is the year to sell. There are three good questions a business owner should consider before selling his or her business.

First, “Do you really want to sell this business?”
If an owner is really serious about selling and has a solid reason (or reasons) to sell, it will most likely happen.

Second, “Do you have reasonable expectations?”
Owners increase their chances of selling if they can answer “yes” to this second question. This can include their expectations about the selling price, the time it will take to sell their business, and the amount of seller financing they are willing to offer.

Third, “What will you do once your business sells?”
The time to consider this is before a business is placed on the market.  This may seem obvious, but many transactions fall through because the business owner did not consider what he or she would do once the business was sold.

A “yes” answer to the first two questions plus having an answer to the third question (other than “I don’t know”) means a business owner is serious about selling.