There’s a lot to consider before selling your business but the first three things you’ll want to tackle all involve your decision to sell in the first place. Selling a business is a huge step. You’ve invested time, money, resources, and emotion into starting your own business. Don’t make the mistake of selling a business without fully reflecting on your reasons for it. If you’re considering selling your business, read on for three things you’ll want to think about before you make that final call.
1. Understanding Your Reasons
The decision to sell a small business is a big one. As a business owner, you’ve put your heart and finances into becoming an entrepreneur. If you’ve asked yourself multiple times “Why am I considering selling my business?” and know what the answer is, you’ll be in a better position to move confidently into the next step. There are no wrong reasons to sell your business. People, circumstances, and times change. So, it’s okay to decide that you’re done. If you’re confident about your reasons, your next step is finding a buyer to carry on your vision without looking back.
2. Considering All Options First
Once you understand why you hope to sell your business and have made peace with it, think about any other options you might have to keep your business. While you may feel sure now, regret could come back later if you don’t go through this process. If the Covid-19 pandemic is your reason, consider how you could pause your business instead of putting it on the market. If you’re in the U.S., check into grant and funding options to pull you through the pandemic.
Maybe increasing electrical costs, the lure of retirement or family obligations are why you need to sell your business. If this is the case for you, think about ways you could downsize your business without selling it entirely off. Whether it’s keeping it in the family or moving out of a location and bringing your business online, you’ll want to explore all options before making your final choice.
3. Making the Final Plan
Once you’re sure you want to sell your business, you’ll want to think about an exit strategy. Consider the value of the business, whether you want to go for a quick sale, and the types of potential buyers you’re hoping to sell to. Consider your desires when it comes to your business’s future. Ask yourself:
- Do I care how the next business owner treats my current customer base?
- Does the long-term success of the business matter to me?
- Am I okay with a first-time business owner taking over my company, or would I rather sell to someone with years of experience?
- Is confidentiality important to me?
- How can I make the sale process run smoothly?
- Is the prospective buyer invested in the same things I was, or does it matter to me?
- Will I still be involved in the daily operations of the business or will the selling process involve me cutting all ties?
- How soon do I need this business sale complete, and how will I achieve this successful business sale?
In the end, the decision to sell your business is yours and yours alone. Never let anyone pressure you into a business decision you aren’t fully comfortable with. Don’t sell until you’ve explored all options or have at least given yourself time to be sure. If you still decide to sell your business after thinking it through, never look back. Having regret will only hurt you more. Instead, focus on the future and come up with a plan for your next adventure. Change can be hard but it can also lead to amazing things ahead.