More than likely, the decision to sell your business will be one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make. The process of selling a business is an all-encompassing one. So, it is important for business owners to step back and seriously reflect on whether or not they are truly ready to sell.
The psychological aspects of selling are not trivial and there are other aspects to consider, as well, before initiating the process to sell. Far too many business owners believe they are ready to sell, only to discover (much too late) that an executed sale is not optimal for their plans.
Selling When There is No Other Choice
Selling a business because there is no other choice – such as in situations concerning failing health, personal issues, or problems with a business partner – isn’t a real choice at all. In this situation, the psychology of selling is essentially irrelevant, as you only have one option: to sell.
The Case of Burnout
In other cases, owners eventually hit a brick wall and may believe they have no choice but to consider selling. As burnout sets in, owners may feel the time is right to “hang up their hat” and put their business up for sale. However, as the process evolves, even those experiencing some level of burnout can discover that they are not emotionally or psychologically ready to sell. In many cases, people only make this realization once it is too late.
Is your business exit ready?
If you’re planning to exit your company in the near future, you may find EastWind’s Exit Strategy Playbook helpful in developing your own exit strategy, making your company more sellable.
Take the Time for Self-Reflection
Quite often, a company becomes interwoven into a business owner’s sense of place in the world, and even sense of self-worth and identity. When business owners are unaware of this, it can be something of a shock to their system to begin the sales process. Many people don’t realize the strong hold their business has on them.
Owners need to invest some time in self-reflection and ask four key questions: Do I really want to sell? If the answer is yes, then why do I want to sell? Will I regret selling once my business is sold? What will I do after I have sold my business? Answering these questions involves far more than evaluating your business. It also involves diving into emotional issues that could be central to your future.
Are You Really Ready to Sell?
One of the best ways to determine whether you are ready to sell, and prepare your business for that potential sale, is to work with a merger and acquisition advisor. M&A advisors are experts at helping business owners deal with every aspect of the process of selling a business. They can act as experienced guides who use their experience and expertise to help you determine if you are truly ready to sell.
If it turns out that you are indeed ready to sell, an M&A advisor can help you prepare so you can achieve the best price possible once your business hits the market.