When Should You Sell Your Business?

Every business owner will sell their business; it’s just a question of when. The time to sell can be driven by several factors like the need for a new challenge or retirement. When the desire to sell becomes evident, it is likely the right time to sell.  There is a risk devaluing your business, if you no longer have the desire to grow your business. A business that is in decline loses value and can possibly become unsalable.

A healthy business is easier to sell and brings more money than a business with problems. Dont worry if your business has problems, all businesses have at least some problems (opportunities). The problems in your business may be problems that a new owner has the unique skills to solve. People want to buy businesses with issues they feel they can solve. This allows buyers to add value to the business and justify its purchase.  If a shoe store had a great line of shoes but poor marketing, a marketing person could buy the company with the same products and add marketing skills. The business would be more valuable for the new owner making your business more attractive to them. Businesses can be sold in any economic environment at any time as long as the business is prepared properly.

Your business must be presented in a way to create an efficient market for your enterprise. This means exposing your business opportunity to a large amount of potential buyers without anyone knowing your business is for sale until you leave the closing table. This will allow you get maximum fair market value upon sale.  Failure to do this could result in the loss of key employees, customers and vendors.

If you are considering selling your business, that in itself is an indicator as the decision. Don’t make the mistake of staying on too long if you no longer have the energy or desire to grow your business. There is no perfect economy to sell a business because there is no way to predict economic cycles. The economy can easily go further down or further up or stay stagnant for years. The decision to sell is an internal decision based on the owner’s desire. If the owner has lost enthusiasm for the business, it’s likely time to do something else or retire. Don’t do harm to the value of your business by sticking around too long.

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