How to Build a Business Transition Plan with Laurie Barkman

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Published Jul 27, 2022, 8:00 AM

The Small BizChat

Melinda F. Emerson, SmallBizLady, is America’s #1 Small Business Expert. She has been a thriving entrepreneur for nearly 20 years and is an internatio 
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Laurie Barkman is the founder and CEO of SmallDotBig LLC, a strategy advisory firm for business owners to maximize the value of their company anticipating a future ownership transition. Additionally, she is a Partner with Stony Hill Advisors, an M&A​ ​firm representing companies on the buy-side or sell-side of transactions. During her 25+ year career, Laurie has created value through digital transformation at companies ranging from large enterprises to startups, including American Eagle Outfitters, Ingersoll-Rand, Topanga Partners, MediaSite, JazzHR, Burns White, and The Art Institutes. As host of the Succession Stories Podcast, Laurie curates conversations with next-generation entrepreneurs. You can find her show wherever you listen to podcasts.

Laurie has joined me to discuss the idea of business acquisitions from both the seller’s and the buyer’s perspectives. She tells us how you can identify the risks in your business that potential buyers might see and how emotions can impact the ability to sell your business. She talks about the importance of not having your business revolve around yourself but building it in such a way that it can exist independently, and the nuance between being a business owner and owning a business. We also touch on ways in which you can build an attractive business from the start, growing organically vs growing through acquisitions, and the information and factors behind getting an accurate value estimation for your business.


“If you want to build a business that one day will thrive without you, then you will set the course now.” - Laurie Barkman


This week on SmallBizChat Podcast:

  • Why are some businesses seemingly unsellable?
  • Where are the risks in your business?
  • How to prepare for a business transition
  • The best way to transition your business to your family or children
  • How to keep emotion out of the selling process
  • Figuring out what your business is worth
  • Strategies for growing value in your business
  • Common pitfalls of mergers and acquisitions


Relevant Resources:

Connect with Laurie Barkman:


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The SmallBizChat Podcast

Melinda F. Emerson, “SmallBizLady” is America’s #1 Small Business Expert. She is an internationally  
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