Most people start or buy a business with the intention of selling it someday. However, it is very difficult to determine when is the right time to sell and what is the best way to do it.
If you are thinking about selling your business, we would love to be an objective sounding board for you, helping you explore the pros and cons of all your options. Then you can make a well-informed decision that is in your best interest. We want you to feel confident for years to come that whatever you decided was the best possible outcome for your situation.
What is your motivation for selling your business?
There are many reasons to sell a business. You might be ready to retire. You might feel like you have taken the company as far as you can and are itching for a new adventure. Maybe you are worried about future growth prospects due to competitive pressures, changes in government regulations, or market demographics, and you want to cash out while you’re ahead.
Whatever your reasons for selling, you should be clear about your true motivation. That will help you decide when is the right time to sell.
How will selling your business change your life?
Develop a clear plan for what you will do after you sell your business. After spending hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars preparing for the sale, many small business owners back out at the last minute. They are paralyzed because they have no idea what they will do when their business is gone. So much of their identity is wrapped up in it that they simply cannot let go.
You also need to know what your financial life will look like after you sell your business. How much is your business really worth? How much will you net after taxes and fees? How will you invest the proceeds, and what kind of income will those investments generate?
Assemble an experienced team.
Once you have decided you want to sell your business and you know it is a good financial move, we strongly recommend hiring qualified professionals very early in the process who can help you avoid common fatal mistakes. They can protect you from unscrupulous buyers who seek to take advantage of inexperienced sellers. They can also help prevent nasty legal battles and severe loss of company value which often stem from poorly written agreements. Be sure to consult with a qualified attorney even before accepting a letter of intent from a potential buyer, no matter how casual or vague the letter of intent may seem.
We are not experts in the technical areas of selling your business, but we have access to qualified attorneys, accountants, bankers, and business consultants who specialize in helping people sell their business. We are happy to connect you with the professionals who best fit your situation, and we are here to help you manage the process every step of the way.