In a previous article, we discussed various signs that it’s the right time to sell your company.
What so many people see as ultimately mostly a financial transaction is possibly going to be one of the most emotional things they ever experience.
So, even clicking through to read an article with such a title as “Is it time to sell?” means you’re contemplating it in the near future, or you want to inform yourself on future possibilities.
Whatever the reason, there are three things we want you to think about.
Clearly articulate your why
“Why do you want to sell?” You may think this is a question only your family and friends will pose to you, but we promise that every single potential buyer will ask this question, particularly if your business is doing well.
Often “I’m tired” or “It’s time” is plenty good enough, but that needs to be framed within a position of growth and optimism. Buyers don’t often want something that promises a flatline future.
Whatever your why is, make sure you consider how it sounds to someone who wants to buy your business. If you don’t like how your reason sounds, that’s a good opportunity to step back even further to get a better perspective.
Sometimes you need to look at the really big picture to appreciate the details.
We’ll be honest. We sometimes see complete disasters when it comes to financials and taxes. Taxes haven’t been paid for years and the financials wouldn’t even have passed the smell test at Enron. Don’t wait for an imminent sale to get your business house in order.
A potential buyer is often scared off a “fixer-upper” when it comes to a business, and the very first thing we will ask you when considering listing your business is for the last 3-5 years of financial statements and tax filings.
Even if you don’t end up selling your business, you should want that feeling that comes with any spring cleaning…the relief that it’s done and wondering why you didn’t do it sooner.
Have a conversation
Talk with your family and trusted friends and confidantes. Figure out what’s next for you.
We often see business owners who, after the sale, simply wander figuratively or literally, being cut off from what gave them a purpose for so many years.
By taking that time to think about what’s next, you can go from a passive seller who is ready to move on to an active seller who is moving (or running!) towards what’s next.
That will give a potential deal momentum, and also fuel the narrative for a potential buyer that you’re looking forward to what’s next.
Of course, we welcome conversations with us as well! With centuries (yes, literally) of experience in our office, we’ve got a broker who will suit your needs and help you through this important next phase in your business and stage in your life. Give us a call.