Ready to sell? Talk to your spouse and advisors. Beyond that, keep it a secret.
Confidentiality is extremely important in almost any deal. When people begin to think your business is for sale, it creates dangerous uncertainty…and this is even more critical as we are living during a time of uncertainty. Valuable employees start looking for other jobs, vendors tighten credit terms, and competitors use it as an entry point to poach customers.
The average business takes 9 to 12 months to sell. If confidentiality is breached early in the process, the company may endure a downward spiral. Suddenly, you are busy putting out fires in addition to running your business and courting potential buyer. That will discourage potential buyers. A buyer wants a successful, going operation with minimal changes until he/she has an opportunity to implement them on his/her timeline.