What a "loaded" question you may think, but the reality is that almost no business owner and their business reach the qualifications of "Ready to Sell" without professional assistance from a qualified individual.
Getting your business and yourself, as the business owner "ready to sell", takes quite a bit of work and preparation. You need to know and work with someone whose sole profession is selling businesses. You know your business better than anyone, but do you know how to get it ready and in its best shape to sell? Most probably not and the worst mistake a business owner can make is try to get both themselves and their business ready to sell and then try to sell it themselves.
Experience has shown us that more often than not, the Seller will spend more time and money trying to sell and take less than the business is actually worth because they skipped the professional assistance they needed to insure the best price. In short, leaving money on the table!
It is an unwise decision to put your business up for sale without knowing that you are fully prepared.
Preparation may range from simply sprucing up your business to preparing all financials in their true earnings condition, knowing what your industry is doing, understanding the tax implications of a sale, how you can gather more dollars for your business beyond the closing, knowing who most probably will be your buyer, the best manner in which to market your business and last, but not least, you certainly want to make sure that you know exactly what your business is worth.