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With the election over, and a positive collaboration with business interests expected, we are calling 2017 the Year of Hope. Profits should improve to the extent that owners will want to sell their businesses.

In order to maximize the sale price, many owners need to prepare immediately for buyer due diligence. Numerous aspects of the firm should be scrutinized and "polished" so they positively shine. The most critical areas on which to focus are the following:

1. Management team remaining that can competently handle all but the CEO and CFO tasks.

2. Financial controls and systems in place.

3. At a minimum, hire an accounting review for the prior year.

4. Clearly define the most profitable products/services and markets where the firm excels.

5. Human resources and employment practices should be above reproach.

6. IP ownership is clear, as well as the advantages of using the owned IP.

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