Often business owners come to us long after they should have started to prepare to sell their business. They realize, all of a sudden, that it’s time to sell. Just like you want to obtain credit before you need it, you want to prepare to sell your business before you have to. Below are some ways you know you’ve waited too long (and might want to give us a call for help).
If you’ve taken the business as far as your capital, competence, and contacts can take you, you’ve plateaued. There’s nothing wrong with that; in fact, some people love a lifestyle business that they are completely in control of.
But if that’s not you, and you’re looking for more professional challenges or more income, it might be time to acquire within your industry, or to sell.
You Dread Work
As a business owner, there is absolutely no reason you should dread work. It doesn’t mean you need to spring out of bed singing every morning, but it does mean that you should be excited, or at least happy, to go to work.
If this isn’t the case, you need to find out if there are other personal reasons why this is the case, or if it’s related to your business. If it’s the latter, your team will pick up on it, and their morale will decrease accordingly. More than likely, so are your customers and vendors, and they might already be going elsewhere.
Another way of expressing this that we’ve heard from many business owners ready to sell is, “my heart just isn’t in it anymore.”
The Market Is Changing
Many businesses have to go through various changes not just in consumer preferences, not just in legislation, but in technology, both that’s used inside the office (like Slack) and what is facing the customer (like social media).
You may sense another change coming in your industry and don’t want to deal with such changes anymore (like the business owner in this case study) or you’ve prepared for the change but think this might be a great time to hand off to someone with a fresh pair of eyes (and legs!) to carry on.
Other times a major shock happens (think of multiple-property vacation rental owners during worldwide lockdowns/closures) and people reassess and realize they don’t want to go through that again. Those struggles drove many sales in 2021.
You Want to Make a Change
Some people want to make a change to their personal lives, but can’t do so because of their businesses. While the attitude to remote work has entirely shifted in the last two years, perhaps your business won’t allow for it, or perhaps remote work isn’t what you need, but a break.
That break could be just for your own reasons, or it could be to spend more time with family, or to do something you promised yourself you would do years ago, and then seemed to forget that promise. When that’s the case, the business is no longer an enabler of your goals and dreams, but an obstacle. One of the final ways you can thank your business (and follow your dreams) is to change that obstacle into an enabling asset and pass it on to someone else.
If you’ve realized in reading this that it is time to sell, we’ve got a few first items that you should consider, which we are going to ask you about the first time we talk.