Selling a business can be a long, drawn out process. The due diligence process can last weeks, as prospective buyers lock themselves up in corporate conference rooms, or data rooms, to pour over hundreds of documents to help them make the final decision. But today, virtual data rooms are helping eager sellers close the deal more quickly.

By scanning and uploading documents to online service providers, as an article in today's Boston Globe (free registration required) notes, companies can securely share their documentation with multiple buyers simultaneously. Sellers can keep tabs on the documents prospective buyers are looking at, and for how long, and without teams of suits walking through the office, employers can keep the sale of a company under wraps more easily from their employees.

The average cost of a virtual data room is $15,000 to $20,000, but when you're trying to hit the market just right, and you're entertaining multiple bidders, the cost can be well worth the time and money it takes to set up.