How quickly can (or should) I sell my business?

17In a perfect world, every entrepreneur would have ample time to prepare their business for sale. It’s a long, often complex process that demands our full attention — and ideally, assistance from professional brokers.

After all, there are many factors to consider: Why am I selling? Is the market ideal? Do I have my legal and financial ducks in a row? (And more.)

That being said, there are certainly times when a speedy sale is essential — or unavoidable. Life can change in a moment, and when an urgent situation demands your attention, it helps to know that there are business advisors available to help facilitate your business’s sale with haste and precision. This is especially applicable to the fast-moving market that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Why Sell Quickly?

If you find yourself in a situation that calls for a quick sale, you’re not alone. Advisors have helped many clients accelerate the process — and for many different reasons.

  • A sudden change in personal circumstances. An unexpected illness or even a death in the family, divorce, and partnership disputes have compelled many clients to sell quickly.
  • Favorable (or unfavorable) market changes. Whether they affect your vertical as a whole or your business’s individual profitability, market changes frequently kick-start the sales process.
  • New (and potentially profitable) opportunities. Perhaps you’ve found an exciting new venture and need to hand off responsibility — or you need to find more capital quickly.
    Selling quickly is also just plain trendy. reports: “[the] median time to sell dropped 23% from its peak of 200 days in Q2 2012 to just 153 days in Q4 2014.” That’s the lowest sale time recorded since they began tracking in 2007.

Time-Consuming Roadblocks

With any business sale, there are certain steps that need to be taken to protect you and your business. With an expedited business sale, these steps are still essential — but now, with everyone moving twice as quickly, there’s more room for error. That’s where business brokers come in.

  • Brokers find and vet potential buyers. Once your business goes up for sale, you’ll likely receive a flurry of requests for more details. Advisors will field these requests and share only the essentials, all the while keeping your business’s important information confidential.
  • Brokers prepare your business for sale. While you do the important work of keeping your business running and profitable, we gather the information needed to value and list it confidentially — plus important documents regarding your financial obligations, legal obligations and due diligence. We work with your advisors to facilitate a successful transaction.
  • Brokers screen negotiations and paperwork. Don’t be taken in by a seemingly perfect buyer. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Advisors typically have decades of experience and know what’s normal in a deal, when to accept an offer, and when to die on a particular hill.

Ways to Expedite Your Sale

Having a trustworthy business broker at your side to facilitate a quick sale is the best thing you can do when time is of the essence. However, there are also many steps that entrepreneurs can take themselves to make their businesses attractive and speed up the process.

  • Target the most likely buyers. This seems obvious, but many clients forget to look in their own backyards. The best buyers for your business could be the people in your industry, old business connections, and maybe even former rivals and competitors.
  • When looking for buyers, cast a wide net. You never know where your buyer will come from. You may be surprised to find buyers in unlikely places. Keep an open mind and trust your broker’s reach, which usually includes a database of thousands of contacts.
  • Sweeten the deal by adding incentives for potential buyers. We don’t just mean lower prices (though everyone loves a deal). Try throwing in financing options, equipment, and other bonuses to attract interest and show you’re serious about selling your business quickly. Local business advisors have teams of knowledgeable, professional advisors who know how to structure deals to get the transaction completed.


If you need to sell quickly, you absolutely must have an experienced broker to facilitate the process. Errors can slow you down and waste your time and even lose a highly qualified buyer. Remember, a good deal dies when you don’t have the professional guidance needed to navigate the next steps. Don’t get caught without an advisor who knows their way around preparation, negotiation, and closing.

Business advisors can help take the stress out of selling your business so you can focus on your exit — whatever that may look like for you. It’s impossible to put a price on the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re covered — financially and legally — as you see your business off to the next phase of its life.

Editor’s note: Ashley Kelsey is a Business Broker at Transworld Business Advisors of Eastern North Carolina. For more information call 910-302-6447 or visit

C-STEP provides community college students pathway to UNC-Chapel Hill admission

16Fayetteville Technical Community College works diligently to ensure that students receive a top education that will prepare them for their future endeavors. With programs like the Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program, or C-STEP, students can get one-on-one educational support to help with their success on campus and prepare them for their academic journey at UNC-Chapel Hill.

The C-STEP office at UNC-Chapel Hill seeks to admit, identify, enroll and graduate high-achieving, low-to-moderate-income students transferring to Carolina from partnered community colleges, such as FTCC.
C-STEP allows students to be a part of an Ivy League institute without having to go to Harvard or Yale. Loutricia Nelson works in the University Outreach department at FTCC and proudly works with the program and its participants to give academic advising, coaching and college program preparation to ensure the students’ success.

In talking with Nelson, you immediately sense her pride in her job and students.

Even after being accepted to UNC-Chapel Hill, students will continue to meet with Nelson who offers counseling to help keep them successful in their programs.
Part of C-Step is to have students visit the campus to become familiar with building landmarks, their specific program areas, and faculty and staff. Students also participate in a shadow program where they shadow a current UNC student in their program to see the campus, experience college classes, and begin to network and make friends.

Talking with some students in C-STEP at FTCC was enlightening. These students display tremendous confidence in their current studies and future success.
C-STEP students not just work closely with Nelson but also build a community where they can support each other and develop friendships that can be carried with them to UNC-Chapel Hill. When talking with the students, some are in the same programs, so they can find support within themselves and help continue the study habits cultivated at FTCC.

Nelson teaches these students individualized study habits, time management skills, and timesheet mapping so that they can succeed in their programs and eventually apply their skills with a lifetime career.

C-STEP students understand the responsibility and dedication it takes to succeed academically as they transition from FTCC to UNC-Chapel Hill and beyond. C-STEP opens doors and opportunities for students to not just succeed on these campuses but also learn to be resourceful and continue to fuel their drive. C-STEP requires students to earn their associate degrees at a North Carolina Community College and then transfer to a Carolina College to complete their studies.
If you are interested in learning more about C-STEP, please contact Loutricia Nelson at

Congressman supports ‘Commitment to America’ plan

5It is a new year and the 118th Congress has begun. It’s an honor to continue serving you and our community representing North Carolina's new 9th District. This includes all or portions of Chatham, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Moore, Randolph, Richmond and Scotland Counties. I will continue maintaining a district office in Fayetteville, while also operating a new primary district office in Southern Pines. My office locations can be found on my website at

Three counties I represented previously — Cabarrus, Stanly, and Montgomery — are now in North Carolina’s 12th and 8th Districts. It has been an honor to represent these communities throughout my time in Congress.

Cabarrus County has also been home to me and my family for many years, and I am proud of all we have been able to accomplish together. My family and I are getting settled into the new home we purchased in Southern Pines.

I look forward to serving the new 9th District and continuing to work on common sense solutions to challenges facing our entire region, Fort Bragg and our nation.
Solving problems has always been my focus as your Congressman. Due in part to the misguided policies of Washington Democrats and the Biden administration, we have seen our nation weakened on many fronts.

Across the country, families like yours have suffered the highest inflation in 40 years and record prices at the gas pump.
In fact, North Carolina is experiencing some of the highest increases in gas prices in the country.

We have also witnessed an ongoing humanitarian and national security crisis at our southern border, as record numbers of illegal migrants crossed into the country over the course of last year. This border crisis has threatened the safety and security of communities nationwide, including exacerbating the fentanyl epidemic robbing countless Americans of their lives.

President Joe Biden has been in office for more than 700 days, but recently announced his first ever visit to the southern border.
This crisis can no longer be ignored, and House Republicans are ready to pass solutions to secure our border and protect our communities.

Washington Democrats have been largely unable, or unwilling, to address the many issues affecting you and your family.
However, with Republicans now in the majority in the House, we have an obligation to address these issues and set things in the right direction.
Our “Commitment to America” is a plan to do just that by implementing commonsense policies to create an economy that’s strong, a nation that’s safe, a government that’s accountable, and a future built on freedom.

Last week, House Republicans hit the ground running to follow through on that agenda.

I introduced my first bill of this Congress — the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. H.R. 38 is a key piece of legislation that will protect law-abiding citizens’ rights to conceal carry and guarantees the Second Amendment does not disappear when we cross invisible state lines.

It has even been called “the greatest gun rights boost since the ratification of the Second Amendment in 1791.”

I have introduced this bipartisan legislation each Congress and have promised to continue championing this measure until it becomes law.
Additionally, House Republicans voted on legislation to stop the hiring of 87,000 new IRS agents to spy on your bank account, a bill to block the Biden administration from selling oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to communist China, and pro-life bills to protect babies who survive a botched abortion and mothers who rely on crisis pregnancy centers.

We have a lot of work to do and it is an honor to serve as your Congressman.
In this new year, and new Congress, I will never waiver from doing everything I can to fight for you and build a better future for your family.

Deconstructing time through discomfort

6Today class, we shall consider the concept of time. What is time? Can time be slowed down or speeded up? Many mysteries will be revealed by Mr. Science in this particular stain on world literature. Stay tuned for the time and space continuum.

Depending on circumstances, time can indeed be stretched out or compressed. The old saying is “Time flies when you are having fun.” The converse is also true, time drags when you are not having fun. Yin and Yang. Light and Dark. Allow me to explain.

For many years I thought that the longest period of time I had experienced occurred in the late 1970s. In a very hot August, my wife and I drove round trip from Fayetteville, North Carolina to Key West, Florida, in a Chevy Vega station wagon.

Like Tipperary, it is a long, long way from Fayetteville to Key West. It is even longer in a Chevy Vega station wagon. For those of you too young to have experienced Chevy Vegas or too old to be able to remember Chevy Vegas, some background information may be needed.

Vegas were some of the worst cars ever produced by Detroit. They were small, loud, uncomfortable and actually rusted sitting in Chevy show rooms. Naturally we bought one because that is the kind of car dummies we were.

Our two-year-old Vega was a classic. The roof had already rusted leaving holes for rain water to run inside the car to collect in the wheel well where the spare tire lived. The water filled up the wheel well causing the spare tire to float like a large black rubber ball of bilious Ivory soap. When the car would make a turn, the spare would slosh and loudly bump against the side of the wheel well. When brakes were applied, the wheel would slosh and ram the wheel well.

Vegas had very little acceleration. When the gas pedal was depressed the spare would remain quietly stable. The best part of the Vega experience was the exquisite smell of the spare marinating in brackish water redolent of rotting vegetation in the Great Dismal Swamp on a hot day after an oil spill.
Imagine the fun of traveling 18 hours in a Vega to the end of the Sunshine State. We enjoyed multiple hours of interstate time, broken only by stopping at the occasional Stuckey’s for a pecan log and road trinkets.

For decades I believed this was the longest period of any experience I had encountered. It turns out I was wrong. There is a slower period of time, even slower than Vega time. It is called Home Renovation Time.
In the early 1980s while we were in our early 30s, we bought a house. It was a two-story house with the bedroom and bathroom on the second floor. When we bought the house, it never occurred to us that 40 years later we would be in our early 70s.

Stairs are not currently an issue. But as Mr. Calendar marches on, it is inevitable the stairs will morph into mountains as we age.
What to do? Kids are grown. Don’t need all this space. Most normal people enter their fourth quarter by downsizing. We scoff at conventional wisdom. Remember, we once owned a Vega. Let’s add more space.

We decided to enter the wonderful world of home renovation by adding a bedroom and bathroom to the first floor.
Construction began in March 2022, and finished in January 2023. Almost 11 months of rollicking fun times.

Construction requires many decisions, large amounts of money, and a tolerance for chaos.
All important decisions were made by my wife, thus granting me complete deniability. Delays are inevitable. Just say the magic words “Supply Chain Problem” and any delay is excused.

Find an architect, a contractor, brick masons, carpenters, HVAC gurus, electricians, matching bricks, and appropriate fixtures, while learning to live in a black hole of compressed personal effects.
All of the furniture in several rooms had to be jammed into remaining space. Objects piled up everywhere. Not even light could escape. It looked like the “Hoarders” TV show.

A beautiful blue Porta John graced the front yard to the neighbors’ delight while serving as a haven for joggers struck by an urgent call of nature. The sweet smell of Porta John in the depths of summer wafted through the neighborhood.

Giant trucks roamed the narrow street carrying magnificent mounds of bricks and boards. Skip loaders filled with cement crushed the grass and sprinkler system into oblivion. Mud abounded.

Teams of workers wandered through the house at random periods. Each step in the process brought an exciting new fresh Hell.

So, what have we learned today? Renovation Time is slower than Vega Time. The end result of renovation was dandy. As usual, my wife was right. Let the aging begin in earnest. We have built our own nursing home to remain in place as long as possible.

But, if I had it to do all over again, I wouldn’t do it. I would rent a Vega, drive to California, and never come back.

The art, the artists and a civilized society

4aLast Thursday, Gallery 208 launched its 13th year of showcasing the art and the artists of our local community, region and state.

Our opening exhibit, coordinated by Soni Martin, Professor of Art at Fayetteville State University, is titled States of Mind.

It is a collection of paintings by Angela Stout, an extremely talented painter, printmaker and sculptor. Angela perfectly exemplifies how the Fayetteville community values, embraces and nurtures the cultural arts. A military veteran, Angela received her Associate of Visual Arts degree locally at Fayetteville Technical Community College and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Fayetteville State University.4

The exhibit of her works in Gallery 208 is one you do not want to miss. Located at 208 Rowan Street, the Gallery is open and free to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The fine arts are the catalyst for a civilized society. With art comes insight, understanding and tolerance. With appreciation and respect for art and artists, there would be no need ever to mandate Diversity, Equality or Inclusion. Historically and traditionally, that’s what the cultural arts are all about. It is what Angela is all about and what Up & Coming Weekly is all about. Visit Gallery 208 and experience it for yourself.

Thank you for reading Up & Coming Weekly.

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