This article is a guest post written by Robert L. Brown and Alan S. Gutterman

Several interesting factors are converging in the U.S. economy. One unfortunate trend has been the escalating rate of long-term unemployment among seasoned workers, including many former senior managers who lost their jobs during the Great Recession and have been unable to find new work in spite of often herculean efforts. Another development has been the steady and impressive growth in the purchase of small businesses in the U.S. While researching for a new book, Buying a Business: What You Need to Know, that was just released by Aspatore, we learned that while U.S. GDP grew 1.7 percent in 2011, the number of small businesses that were purchased grew 3.3 percent over that same period. Maybe the best move for long-term seasoned executives and managers is to stop beating their heads against the wall trying to get others to notice them and start taking a hard look at business ownership as a viable and exciting new path.

Sure, there are good and real reasons for pining for a return to Corporate America. These senior managers used to enjoy great pay and benefits and status in their industry and communities and many of them probably gave little or no thought to giving that up and going out on their own. In fact, they were usually too busy to think about anything other than the project that their bosses had put in front of them. But, all that has changed—probably for good—and now these unemployed senior managers are becoming anxious to get going once again. In most cases they’ve run a small business already, albeit as part of a larger enterprise, and all they need is the confidence to take on the challenge and guidance on how to make the deal happen. In our book, we discuss all aspects of the purchase process; however, we think that the coverage of due diligence and learning how to manage the human assets that will come with the business is particularly valuable and can contribute to an efficient and successful negotiation, purchase and launch process. The timing has never been better as business owners unable to find buyers willing to pay fair value during bad times are now realizing that they can make a sale on terms they can live with as the economy begins to turn up.

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