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Figuring Out the Best Time to Sell

Business owners seeking to get out may consider selling to a competitor or other entrepreneur.

Amid a recovery that just can't seem to get off the ground, CFOs of small start-ups may be wondering if it would be better to simply cut and run. But how do you determine if the time is right to remove the training wheels and put your company out for sale?

Inc. magazine lists several reasons, including the fact that a company may have been ready to sell years ago, only to get sidelined by the financial crisis. If the organization spent the last few years rebuilding what it had lost, has returned to profitability and the leadership still wants to exit, now may be the time to seek out buyers.

Several major companies have backtracked on selling parts of their business. Most recently, Hewlett-Packard decided that it would not sell off its personal computer business, after previously considering the option as a means of doing away with the consumer-facing aspect and refocusing itself on businesses' needs only, according to The Associated Press.

Similarly, Citigroup announced earlier this month that it would not be unloading its private-label credit card business after the unit earned $2.2 billion this year alone, the AP reported in a separate article.