As a business owner, you will have lived and breathed your business for some time and it will have brought you great joy and anguish in equal measure. It will have kept you awake at night, but brought you great rewards.
But, there comes a time when the need to sell, move on or retire becomes very much apparent… or does it? When you are so emotionally attached to a business, product or service, it can be difficult to know when to cut the ties and sell your business.
The first rule of selling a business is that there are no hard and fast rules as to when or why to sell. It will vary from one person to another, and from one business to another. In other words, when the time is right for one business owner, it may be the wrong time or ‘not’ yet’ for another.
But, if you’ve worked hard building a business to last, you don’t want to throw that away by selling at the wrong time. Hopefully, if you are in a quandary, wondering when or if to sell, these four points to consider may help;
Running a business takes time and nervous energy. It takes relentless drive to power it on to bigger and better things. The rewards are great but, there is a downside – your health.
Many business owners will know the feeling of both the mind, body and soul failing when it comes to running and driving a business. It is a far heavier and more substantial burden than turning up at a five day a week, 9 to 5 job.
If your health is suffering, it may be time to call it quits and seriously think about selling.
The Business Has Outgrown You
Initially, the challenge of the business may have been in setting up and marketing it, making it a successful enterprise that did more than just pay your mortgage – it paid for employees too.
As the business grew, you may have taken on specialist people to do the things that you either had no time to do, or do not have the right skill set to complete.
Or, you may have soldiered on more or less alone and this is great in many ways; you kept control and the lion’s share of the profits but, it also presented a serious issue – the business had effectively outgrown you and your skill set.
Recognising this is the first important step, the next is to do something about it. You can take the necessary steps to securing the specialist people you need or, you can opt to sell the business. In good shape, with plenty of potential, there could be an investor or two out there ready to take it on.
The Market Is Moving Away Or Against You
Businesses start in response to a need from the buying masses. A bitter pill to swallow – much like the business outgrowing you – is that the market is also moving away or moving against you.
Having your eye on the market and understanding where the next big thing is coming from is important. You and your business can then effectively rise to this challenge, morphing in to another state. Or, if you can see the writing on the wall, plan your exit whilst your business still has value.
Opportunity Comes Knocking
Some people sell their business because they are made an offer that is too good to turn down. This doesn’t happen every day and, when it does, not every business owner takes it. This is an entirely personal decision that just might present itself at the right time for you.