Most people do not like change. Instead, they want things to be steady and uneventful, and they delude themselves into thinking that nothing will change – that everything will stay the same and everyone will live happily ever after.

The truth is that most people will have significant life-impacting events such as a death in the family, a divorce, someone getting ill, additional debt that impacts business and your life, a split in the business partnership . . . the list goes on. It is generally no one’s fault. It is just part of the journey of life, and you should be somewhat prepared for it.

So be prepared when planning to sell your company, and have a plan B for unforeseen events. Be prepared so you don’t end up with the possibility of losing everything, when with a little planning it could have been prevented. Use your team. Update the market value of your business. Use your accountant to make sure all the taxes are paid and there are not any taxes outstanding. Work with your attorney to have a succession plan in place to keep the cash flowing in case you aren’t around.

Without fail, I will get a call from a seller who is frantic, because they either had some kind of medical issue, or something changed in the business – like a strong competitor coming into the market. Even though they knew about it, they waited too long, clinging to the hope that something would change and the issue would disappear. But it never does. It only gets worse and by delaying and procrastinating, business owners generally cost themselves and their families a considerable amount of lost money, and grief, that could have been avoided.

It is better to adhere to the actions of the Boy Scouts and their motto, “Be prepared,” than to get caught unprepared.

This extract is adapted from Selling With Certainty: Straightforward Advice for Cashing In on the Full Value of Your Business by Terry Monroe ©2018 Clayton Investments, LLC and reproduced with permission from the author.