For many business owners, selling their business will be a difficult step. They’ve spent years building it up, investing time, money and often sadly, relationships, and it can be emotionally difficult to draw a line under it.
Additionally, selling a business is likely to be the largest and most important financial deal any business owner will ever make. Even with experience to draw on this can be daunting and if you have never sold a business before, you won’t know what to expect.
Like selling a car you will probably be asked about your reasons for selling by potential purchasers, and you will need to be comfortable with your answers for them to believe you are not just offloading an albatross. In considering how you might explain why you are looking to sell, try to see it from a potential purchasers point of view. For instance if they arrive and you look harassed, tired and fed-up you are unlikely to persuade them that buying the business is going to be a good lifestyle choice.
Before the decision to sell in order to identify your thought processes behind the proposed sale, think to yourself . . What are my objectives as owner of this business? For example, you might want to realise historical investment in the business in order to fund retirement. What about as manager of the business? Do you want to retire as soon as possible, or would you prefer to have an ongoing involvement?
It’s probably been your baby for the majority of the time you have been involved so think about your hopes, plans and objectives for the business itself – and who else will be affected and what they will want.
These questions may lead you to question whether to sell part or all of the business and which may be the best way to achieve your objectives. For example you might be sick of the sight of your baby and want to sell your business outright. This would probably leave you with no financial or management involvement.
But a sale may not always be the best solution. And, of course, it may not always be realistic either.
We can advise on other exit routes available, that may suit your needs better.