ROCKFORD, Illinois – Last year was a record year in terms of businesses being sold, according to nation’s largest online business brokerage site,

The major reason for the uptick was Baby Boomers finally wanting to move on into retirement. More than 58 percent of the transactions in 2017 involved a Boomer looking to successfully transition. Still, estimates only about 25 percent of businesses put up for sale actually end up selling.

The major reason most businesses don’t sell is a lack of planning. There are a number of steps business owners need to do to prepare their business for sale – including doing a business valuation, cleaning up financials and restructuring contracts and management.

The issue is critical to areas such as Rockford, which relies on manufacturing. Manufacturing is seeing a generational change, being one of the most numerous businesses up for sale. If manufacturing businesses don’t sell, they eventually close with the equipment, sales and jobs usually going to a competitor.

The Rockford Area Economic Development Council is hoping to preserve those jobs and capital by holding the Transition & Succession 2018 Seminar at Rockford Country Club on March 1. The featured speaker is John Brown, author of several business transition books, including “Cash Out Move On: Get Top Dollar – And More.”

The seminar runs from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and costs $25. The cost includes hor d’oeuvres. If you are a business owner thinking of selling or a potential business buyer, come to the seminar where you’ll get:

  • Actionable strategies for planning a successful transition.
  • Building a strong business to maximize your exit.
  • Learn from real-world transition experiences.


Space is limited. To reserve your seat today go to The event is sponsored by Thinker Ventures, Baker Tilly Capital, Rockford Bank & Trust and Wipfli.