OK…Now What?: 7 Tips to Consider When You’re Finally Ready To Sell Your Business
Deciding to sell your business is not quite the end of the road. In fact, when you have made the decision that the time is now, it is only the beginning. Just as you may have been privy to the endeavors and efforts that went into getting your business up and running, selling your business will still require significant effort on your part. Do not expect it to be entirely easy, but also remember that you do not have to go at it alone. At Metro Business Advisors, we take pride in being right beside you every step of the way.
What does it feel like?
When you have been at work for any number of years, thinking about selling your business can bring up any number of questions. There can also be a strong emotional response.
Considerations, when you are getting ready to sell, maybe financial in nature, but they won’t always be facts and figures. An emotional landscape of terrain pockmarked with memories and routines and “the way things have always been done” will ultimately crop up, too. Understand that selling a business won’t always be a clean break—even if you get the sum you are hoping for. Keep in mind that some losses won’t show up on paper—they may be felt instead.
Where do I begin?
The work we do at Metro Business Advisors is rooted in helping you navigate the overwhelming aspects of transitioning out of a business. We want to help you achieve the maximum value in your life and your life’s work, which is why we coordinate with you in addition to your attorneys, accountants, bankers and any other members of your team in order to make sure that things are unfolding just as they should.
If you are considering selling your business, keep these tips in mind throughout the process.
1.) Be certain.
First things first. Before even calculating the worth of your business, wondering if it is the “right” season to sell, or considering who interested investors might be, weigh your options. Explore your choices. Are you entirely certain you are ready to sell?
If you are looking to sell your business with the mode of thinking that selling will make your life easier, in the long run, think about this: selling a business requires just as much (if not more) work compared to what efforts you put in while you were getting the business off the ground. Be certain that you are ready to undergo the necessary steps to see this sale, merger, or consolidation through.
In addition to a variety of other factors, explore the current state and health of your business. According to Entrepreneur, many people wait until their business is on the decline to sell. That may not be the best rule of thumb. Some consider the best time to sell a business when sales are at a peak. Why? The worth is already quite high!
No matter the health of your business or where your stance is on the matter, at Metro Business Advisors, we can help determine the ins and outs of your unique business situation, incorporate in aspects of timing, ethics, and help you weigh your options.
2.) Consider the worth of your business.
Now that you are certain of your convictions, it is time to take stock. When you are making plans to sell, you do need to have a clear understanding of just how much your business is actually worth. Not sure where to start? We are standing by to answer the hard-to-figure-out requests many business owners face.
3.) Be patient.
Selling a business does not happen overnight. A simple rule of thumb during this whole process is to remain patient. While there is a variety of moving pieces, it can feel daunting that everything will come together, but trust that it will. When you start to feel yourself feeling aggravated or frustrated, know that you are not the only business owner at the helm of a sale to feel this way. Go at a big decision like selling a business with a certain amount of flexibility.
4.) Work to be proactive, not reactive.
Selling a business will encourage you to use your best-negotiating skills. If you have not used these in quite some time, it is time to get them out and dust them off. When selling a business, you need certain attributes like speed, predictability, and coordination. Time is always of the essence.
Do your best to be as proactive as you can on your end and keep your head on straight. You can only control what you can control. Remember that. Minimize surprises where you can. Keep an open gaze towards the future and consider what issues you may need to address further down the road.
5.) Be flexible.
Staying both on plan and on task is always the ultimate goal, but how many times have things not unfolded according to plan? Do your best to be flexible as things change and shift. When you feel frustrated, tap back into your reasons for selling and focus on the positives at hand.
6.) Know what you want.
Business may mean that there are multiple parties of people working through specific negotiations. If you are in charge and you are the one in charge of selling your business, be certain of what you want. Do not sell for reasons other than your own. When your own actions stem from the motivations of others, you will not adequately be representing your own value and your own vision. Get your best interests on the table and do your best to increase the chances of getting an outcome in your own favor.
7.) Even after the finish line, keep running.
You may think that as soon as your buyer has signed on the dotted line, you are good to go. In fact, this is not the case. There is still more “running” to do. The moment of signing documents is only a “pseudo” finish line. You have a few more laps of the track. Post-closing adjustments, representations, employment issues and other paperwork may still need to be attended to over time.
If you are thinking about selling your business and have questions, we’re are always here to help. Contact Chris Spenner at Metro Business Advisor for advice, opinions, and trusted options.
Metro Business Advisors
1418 Westwind Drive
St. Louis, Mo 63131