The Messy Marketplace: Selling Your Business in a World of Imperfect Buyers

Brent Beshore (Author)


The marketplace for small and midsize businesses is messy. Having peeked behind the curtain at over 10,000 companies, this book aims to demystify the buyers, the process, and the inevitably emotional journey that is selling a company.

Read it. Reference it. Share it.

Think about what outcomes are important to you and why. Here's a cheat sheet:

  • I want between $__________ and $___________ of cash as a financial result. (You'll have to pay off debt, taxes, and transaction costs. Also, something is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.)
  • I want to work for ___ years in my current position, and am willing to consult with the company for ___ years thereafter. (It's okay to say you want to stick with the company long-term, or leave the day of closing.)
  • I'm looking for a buyer/partner that will take the ________ role in the company. (Example roles include advisory board, passive partner, CEO, and CFO.) The characteristics/values of an ideal buyer would be:
  • My ideal timeline for a transaction would be ______, but I'd be happy to sell in _____ years.
  • My top non-financial goals are:

Product Details

Boring Books
Publish Date
December 03, 2018
5.5 X 0.56 X 8.5 inches | 0.86 pounds
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Investor Brent Beshore is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of, a Midwestern-based private equity firm. His firm takes a long-term approach to lower middle market private equity, investing "permanent equity" in small to midsize, privately held companies throughout North America. Prior to founding the firm, Mr. Beshore was an entrepreneur and operator in service, production, and marketing-oriented ventures. He is an Outside Director of Tandy Leather Factory, Inc. and serves on the Shepard Poverty Program board of directors at his alma mater, Washington and Lee University. He received his BA in Politics, with an emphasis in Poverty Studies, from Washington and Lee University and attended the J.D./M.B.A. program at the University of Missouri. Mr. Beshore lives in Columbia, Missouri, with his wife and daughters.


"Brent Beshore has two unique skills: He understands the nuance of private markets better than anyone I know, and he can communicate the complexity of private markets in a way that is understandable. There are many experts. There are many great communicators. There are few of both, and Brent's work is invaluable." - Morgan Housel, Collaborative Fund

"Brent Beshore has spent years honing the art of buying businesses and this hands-on book is what you need to know in order to sell your business." - Shane Parrish, Farnam Street & Syrus Partners

"It's simply not possible to find the knowledge you'll gain reading this book anywhere else. It's an insider's guide to the acquisition process. Insightful and straightforward, this book will have you prepared for the day you decide to take outside capital, or exit." - John Garrett, Community Impact Newspapers

"I've learned more about business from Brent than I have from anyone else alive. He has reviewed thousands of small companies up for sale, so his perspective is invaluable to business owners. The Messy Marketplace is easy to read, detailed, and written entirely with sellers in mind--but buyers should read it, too." - Patrick O'Shaughnessy, OSAM