After slowly building your business from the ground up, you’re finally ready to cash out on your investment. Or are you? Whether it’s because you want more time off or need capital to invest in a new venture, selling your company is the toughest business decision you’ll likely ever make.
For starters, how do you even put a price tag on years of hard work and sacrifice?
Well, ultimately that depends on why you’re selling your business. But whatever the reason, figuring out if you’re ready to move forward means looking long and hard at yourself in the mirror. As a quick temperature gauge, ask yourself if any of the following applies to you:
You feel like you’ve lost your edge
Sometimes, running a business is what helps you actualize yourself. Other times, maybe in the form of feeling unchallenged or bored with a company, or maybe in the form of pure, inescapable, stress-induced burnout, entrepreneurship can take the best out of you.
In the fast-paced financial market, for example, companies either grow or die. If you don’t have the drive, energy, or money to push your business forward, it may be better to get out while you can and move on to something more manageable.
Plus, changing environments might help you find your passion and energy again. Maybe you’d like to learn how to fly a helicopter, travel the world, or focus on philanthropy. Wherever life takes you, don’t be surprised if you find your business mojo right around the corner — and that’s reason enough to silence any worries about the regret you might have.
You found a niche which is more worthy of your time and money
Industries, like people, have their own life cycle of birth, maturity, and death. Whether you built your current company from scratch, or it’s just another asset in your huge portfolio, the fact is that the window for growth is always closing — even if no one can say exactly how quickly that’s happening.
Maybe you can already sense that it’s time to find greener pastures somewhere else. If you’re interested in switching industries, selling your business has many advantages.
For starters, it will give you the liquidity you need to invest or buy another company in its entirety. But more importantly, by clearing off what’s on your plate now, you’ll be free to focus 100% of your energy to your new business.
Life has rearranged your priorities
Running a business demands sacrifice; not just from you, but from your entire family. After years of tirelessly toiling away in the office, you might feel it’s time to rethink your goals and make loved ones your number one priority.
Whether you have kids, grandkids, a spouse, an ailing parent, or just a best friend you want to spend more time around, these people are often a source of the closeness and appreciation that no amount of money in the world can buy. If return on investment is really what you’re after, people beat businesses every time.
So if you’re just starting another long day at the office but can’t take your eyes off the family photo on your desk, perhaps it’s time to think about putting your tie and briefcase away for good.
The bottom line
While there are lots of reasons to sell a business, ultimately it’s a personal life decision that only you have the authority and insight to undertake. If you’re lucky, your financial advisors, business partners, or others with a vested interest in what you’ve built will be there to guide you toward the best possible outcome.
On the other hand, the reality of what you really want, and what you feel you ought to do about it, is more likely to hit you in the shower than while you’re sitting around a boardroom table.