FT.com, June 10th 2006

‘You must know you’re own business inside out because all buyers crave information – know your business well and represent it accurately.’ Marcus Markou of BusinessesForSale.com

‘Most private businesses are not run for profit, they are cash-driven. Businesses are typically sold and valued on multiples of profit. Private businesses may need to be restructured to sell for the best valuation.’ Howard Leigh, director of Cavendish Corporate Finance

‘Recognise that often a trade sell isn’t a clean exit – management may be locked into the company for 6 months to 3 years and some portion of the money isn’t paid until completion. Plan for when you want to sell accordingly.’ Steve Batch of Ventura Business Brokers

‘Must haves: Absolute self-belief, focus, drive and determination.’ Andrew Morris of HSBC Private Bank

‘In creative businesses, where human capital is relativelymore important than in other industries, the crafting of contracts is a core skill for retaining people.’ Professor Chris Higson of London Business School