By Renee O’Brien
“I am sick of this business – I want out NOW!” Ever been there? Maybe you have had a frustrating day, or maybe 40 frustrating days in a row, and you are just fed up and want to sell your business right now! Most business owners get to this point at least one time in their ownership career. And the good news is that it is often a turning point for your business. I have found that many people will not change anything in their life unless there is enough pain, and so your “fed up” feeling is just the energy you need to bring about some change. The question is “do you really want to sell or are your emotions hijacking your brain?” Here is your action plan…
Don’t do anything for at least 72 hours. You can research but do not act on anything. You need time to really think through if selling your business is the best thing for you right now. You may be frustrated at the moment, but you have spent years building a potentially large nest egg (cleaning businesses can sell for 6 or 7 figure price tags), and this is not the time to sabotage your chances at a really great payday.
Often times the feeling to sell is strongest when we have just experienced a problem like an extremely critical customer, a serious financial blow that looks like no way out, a partnership blowup, a financial report that reveals the ugly truth that your hard work has not been paying off, or some other last straw trouble. The mirage is that I’ll sell now and all my troubles will be washed away. And, the reality is that selling may solve a lot of problems, but if you want to get a respectable sum for your business you are going to have to solve the pressing problem that drove you to this point. Find a solution, and then you can tackle selling the business.
8 Critical Questions
Before pulling the trigger on selling your business, ask yourself these critical questions and do some soul searching. This is probably the biggest sale of your life thus far, and you don’t want to blow it.
• Do I really want to leave?
• Can I deal with low-ball offers?
• Am I ready for someone else to be prancing around town in my business name doing things “their way”?
• Do I really want out NOW for Fire Sale Prices, or can I spend a few months fine tuning to get top dollar?
• Buyers are looking for turn-key operations, what will I need to do to get my business to that stage?
• If the last 6 months had gone differently would I still want to leave now?
• If I had different personnel would I still want to sell now?
• If I was released from all of my current obstacles would I want to sell now?
The Tipping Point
After your soul searching, if you are ready to move forward then proceed with gusto. Get informed and take action to get the best money that you can for your business. If you have decided that now is not the time, but maybe sometime in the future, get busy working on your business anyway. If you build your business to sell, you may find yourself with a much better business that delivers the profits and perks that you desire.