There are a number of reasons that an owner may be ready to pass the baton. It’s not always all about the money. “Start with the why,” recommends Chuck Andrews, a Vistage Chair in Chicago. “Why are you doing it? What are you going to do afterwards?”

“When things are going well for an organization is the best time to look for an exit. Unfortunately, most business owners aren’t looking to exit because that’s the time they’re having fun,” says Berk. In some cases, the current ownership may have pressing personal reasons to exit such as irreconcilable differences between the co-owners, lack of an heir, or health problems.

Other times, owners simply need to pull liquidity out of a business to invest in an emerging opportunity. Owners may decide that the risk associated with that business is too great. Investment criteria can also play a role if the business isn’t performing in line with the owner’s desired rate of return.