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For middle-market company owners and executives, the last thing they might be thinking about during the growth phase of their businesses is planning for an eventual sale. However, a successful “exit” takes years of preparation, and only those owners who take the right steps along the way will get the price they want.

The goal of early preparation is to minimize potential purchase price adjustments in the due diligence phase. In all my years of working on deals, I have only seen the purchase price go down — never up.

Here then are seven steps you can take to make a deal process as painless and streamlined as possible:

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