What to consider when selling a business
Selling your business - when, how, to whom and what next?
As a small business owner, your business is a huge part of your life and if you have built it up over many years, it can be hard to say goodbye. This is natural, but it’s important not to let your emotions get in the way. You’ll need to maintain a poker face and stay objective in order to get a good sale – to the right person, at the right time and at the right price.
A handover period is a great way to say goodbye slowly and give the new owner the benefit of your experience. Just take care not to hang on for too long or you could end up stifling the business’s growth. It can actually be quite an exciting time to take a back seat and watch your business grow in a new direction.
WHEN is a good time to sell your business?
Now. Experts are expecting a surge of businesses coming onto the market over the next few years as baby boomers (people born 1946-1964) head towards retirement and sell their businesses to fund it. Getting your business to stand out among them could get increasingly more difficult, so it will pay to get in sooner rather than later.
HOW to sell your business
Selling your business is a process not an event. It starts with preparing yourself and your business for sale, then there’s advertising, negotiating, contract signing, and finally handover (which can also be a process within a process). It’s important to understand that it’s not going to happen straight away and the more you plan, the better the outcome.
WHO will buy your business?
New business owners today come with fresh skills and different expectations. They are more technologically savvy, very driven, and in touch with the market in different ways. They’ll be looking for a business that is performing well but could perform much better. What they are looking for more than anything are growth opportunities – for example, a business that has a strong product or service but could benefit from a different business model or marketing approach.
What comes next?
We don’t have the answer to this question. It’s completely up to you. However, what we can tell you is that you’ll need a plan as to how you are going to fill the hole in your life that your business will leave. Whether you fill it with another business opportunity, volunteering, more time with loved ones, more time for your hobbies or an overseas adventure, you’ll need a plan. It can be quite an adjustment and many people underestimate the impact it can have on their physical and mental health – you’ll still need a reason to get up in the morning.
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