When is it Time to Sell?

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Posted by Jennifer Smith on

How do you know when it’s time to sell your business? To some it might seem like a silly question, but for a business owner (and particularly for a family-owned business), the decision can cause some sleepless nights. Since we work with a lot of sellers, here is a list of some of the tell-tale signs that you might be ready:

  1. You’re perpetually tired. And we’re not talking about the “I need a vacation” tired…this is when the working on or in the business provides you with very little joy and you’d rather be doing something else with your time. Once work is draining instead of invigorating, it might be time to move on.
  2. You no longer get excited about growth and innovation. Perhaps you see opportunities for your business, but you no longer want to go after them yourself. Just remember, buyers won’t buy a business without potential, but they won’t pay for ideas that you haven’t capitalized on yet.
  3. Your health is holding you back. Health concerns can be really scary and can consume more time and energy than we realize. While it’s understandable to be distracted short-term, if it becomes a more long-term problem, it might be time to step back and focus on yourself.
  4. The business is ready to go to the next level and you’re not. This requires some serious self-awareness. The skills and abilities that got the business to where it is today may not be what is needed to get the business where it needs to go.
  5. You are undercapitalized to do what needs to be done. Sometimes taking on more debt isn’t the best answer, and an equity injection is more appropriate. This can be taking on an equity partner or selling and continuing to run the company (or not).
  6. You are simply ready to retire. It’s OK. You’ve earned it. Your loved ones are right: You’ve worked hard and given it your blood, sweat, and tears. It might just be time to travel, hang out with the grandkids, or check off some other bucket list items.

Whether you’ve made up your mind or are still on the fence and just need to talk it through, reach out to us for a free confidential conversation.