6 Signs It’s Time to Sell Your Business
If you’d ask serial entrepreneurs what it’s like to build up companies for sale over and over again, they’d tell you it’s rewarding on multiple levels. If you’d ask the same question to an owner of a family business, they’d see the sale as their greatest possible failure. Is it possible to reconcile these opposite views? In the entrepreneurs’ world, the right time to sell your business makes all the difference. It gives even the most emotionally invested owners a reason to celebrate this decision. But how do you know the time has come?
1. You’re not a perfect match anymore
Whether your enterprise is exceeding your ability to develop it and lead it forward or it doesn’t offer a challenge anymore, selling your business may be the next sound decision in your career. You have either hired a great team of visionaries and workers expecting to grow or you have mastered all the challenges your business could provide and are ready for more or something different. Either way, you’ve done well. There’s nothing wrong with having your business outperform you, but it would be wrong to stifle it in any way.
Rely only on detailed and customized market and business analyses.
2. Your company is fully autonomous
Over time, you have done everything in your power to organize and document the way you run your business. The result is a fully autonomous company. Every employee has access to relevant know-how, and every owner can repeat your success without too much effort.
If you’re confident that a solution to every critical decision can be found in your procedures, every tool can be easily accessed, and every system is fully transparent – rest assured it’s time to sell your business. And perhaps, invest in another exciting commercial endeavor afterward.
3. You can’t scale to the market and industry trends
Running a business was never easy. Every period brings a new set of challenges. However, certain entrepreneurs find it much easier to adapt and follow industry trends and market demands. And you just don’t find yourself among them anymore. A solution is to sell your company while there’s still healthy demand for your products or services.
A better-adjusted industry giant will likely find a way to keep your business running, customers coming, and pay you out fairly. To translate fairness into money, discover what your business is worth first, and prepare a selling price founded on market facts.
Set your priorities straight.
4. You want out for personal reasons
Running a business is, or should be, only one of your priorities. When those priorities change in favor of other options, it is fair to assume it’s time to sell your business and focus on other important things in life. Whether the circumstances have changed for the better or worse, it’s wise to have a contingency plan for unforeseen situations. Planning for unexpected events will reward you with a faster and more financially satisfying sale.
Also, keep in mind that the business sale takes a while to conduct. It should provide you with plenty of time to handle private duties and organize your corporate relocation simultaneously. Even so, you can move out in no time if needed, should you rely on relocation specialists. Although the process of moving out comes at the very end, it’s best if you plan it and schedule it when you get a green light from the broker handling your business sale.
5. Your product or service is going out of fashion
Just think about phones. They have come a long way during the last 146 years, from analog corded, over cordless, toward cell phones and multipurpose mini-computers we carry today.
The progress we see today is made by those able to reimagine, rework, and reinvent a product going out of style into something new. If this is not you, it is fine; there is a buyer for your business out there who is. However, if you are contemplating selling your business in the next couple of years, you need to prepare an exit strategy, and you need to start today.
If you can’t reimagine your services, sell, and allow someone else to try.
6. You got an excellent offer to sell
You’re running a successful company offering services or products that slowly grow in demand. All the business analyses you conducted show that many profitable years are ahead of you. At the same time, an observant and experienced buyer has recognized your success and offered you an exceptional deal to sell your enterprise. Should you accept it?
If you were building the business with this intention, it seems to be the right moment to sell. However, only detailed business and market research will tell you for certain. If there’s one interested buyer, more will likely be around. Hiring a broker to safeguard the confidential nature of the deal, creating a competitive atmosphere, and even a bidding war will protect you from birds of prey. On the other hand, if you feel that you have not peaked yet and wish to invest more of your creative energy and ideas in your business, you might pass the great offer now and wait for the outstanding one later.
No need to make the decision alone
Enterprises are constantly being sold; whether it’s time to sell your business or not depends on your desire to invest yourself in it fully. You can overcome all the hurdles of operating a business with the right attitude. It includes constant work on personal improvement, the ability to follow trends, the capacity to meet market demands, and the readiness to consult business advisors. If your passion is gone, your professional aspirations have changed, and your personal goals get in the way of running a successful business – you should sell it. If you have set your mind on the sale, it’s wise to find a commercial broker to represent your interests while you focus on other important duties, like gently closing one set of doors behind you and preparing to open another.
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