Is It the Right Time to Sell Your Business?

Fri, Sep 14, 2012


Making the decision to sell your business can be one the most difficult things to deal with for any entrepreneur. This is a project that you’ve likely put years of hard work into, built from the ground up, nurtured, and forged into a success–and now it may be time to sell it off. What you’re feeling now is probably similar to the way Da Vinci felt about parting with the Mona Lisa. It may seem almost unthinkable to you. However, if the time is right, you could be making the best decision by choosing to sell your business.

Some owners sell their businesses out of necessity, others by choice. Whatever your situation, there are several things to consider if you are thinking about selling. First and foremost, think about the market and economy both locally and on the national scale. Times of recession are often not ideal for selling your business. People are nervous about incurring losses and it will be more difficult to find a buyer willing to pay a price that satisfies you, the owner. If the market is stagnant, consider waiting a bit for economic situations to improve. This could mean a difference of thousands in your eventual sale.

If you really think that you want to sell your business, then it’s time to start thinking realistically about the state of affairs. Evaluate the condition of your space and equipment. Any significant maintenance tasks left unfinished at the time of sale could make buyers uneasy about negotiations. Get a solid idea of your profits, past sales trends, and the true value of everything you’ve done. You can make your business more appealing to buyers by lowering your own salary and thereby increasing profits, but it is important that you be honest and transparent in all of your book keeping.

Spend a lot of time thinking about whether you’re ready to sell the business or not. Will selling be beneficial to you financially or personally? You’ll want to be comfortable after the sale. Do you think you’ll get enough money from the sale to keep you living comfortably in the future, or will you have to start working again soon. There is also the possibility of maintaining contact with the new owner and maintaining some role in the business by working as a consultant when needed. Or perhaps you intend to return to school to pursue an MBA online executive program. Whatever your plan, be sure that it’s realistic and think about how selling your business will factor into your future.

These are all important considerations if you plan to sell. Make sure that the timing is right if this is a serious option for you. This won’t be an easy decision, but it could be liberating in the end. You’ve put in years of hard work, and you’re free to do anything after this. Always be mindful of what the next step will be, or you could easily find yourself lost in the woods.

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