As some business owners begin to consider retirement, they just can’t identify a suitable successor. One potential solution is a long-term deal that gradually cedes control to an outside buyer. The process typically begins with the owner selling a minority stake, followed by a tryout period to assess compatibility. If all goes well, the minority stakeholder may offer a takeover bid. Buyers look to long-term deals to manage risk and avoid outside financing. Meanwhile, the seller can feel more comfortable in retirement knowing his or her business is in good hands.