Selling a business is not like selling a car. It is an ongoing process that can take a few years to complete. Not only must the owner find the right buyer, they must find a buyer at the right price, and someone who is willing to meet his terms. DO you want to remain with the company once the sale is complete? You must find a buyer who will meet your needs.

When Teresa Walsh, Bonnie Kelly, and Jerry Kelly decided to sell Silpada Designs to Avon, they discovered just how long this process could take. Although the company was sold last year, the process really began a few years before, reports USA Today.

They didn’t want to cash out and quit. “We’re all in our mid-50s right now, healthy, young, engaged,” says Kelly. Instead, they hoped to transform into a global jewelry giant.

“This was not about selling the company and making money and retiring,” Walsh says. “This was about making the future.”

They thought about going public or taking on private equity but decided to align with a direct sales company. With its worldwide presence, Avon seemed ideal, Kelly says. It catered to women and would know how to work with Silpada’s more than 30,000 existing sales reps.

There are many reasons an entrepreneur would want to sell: to link with a bigger brand, to retire, to start another firm or to lead a less-stressful life.

Yet, many of those sellers have to deal with similar emotional and financial issues. Among them: determining what a business is worth, getting years of paperwork in order and figuring out what role to play once the firm is sold.

Screenshot from Silpada Designs