Unfortunately, selling a business isn’t quite as easy as selling a home. Here are the most common obstacles and how to overcome them. Choosing to sell a business is a monumental decision. Whether you were successful or not, you’re ending a chapter in your life. There’s a lot wrapped up in the process and there are certainly challenges to selling a business that you must understand and prepare for when it’s time to put your business on the market.
Keeping the Business Running
One overlooked issue when you choose to sell a business is the impact of the decision on your personal motivation. The truth is putting your business on the market can take a huge weight off of your shoulders, but you aren’t done yet. You simply cannot afford to let things slide when you still want to portray your business as valuable.
A good way to deal with this problem is to set up a timeline for removing yourself from the day-to-day operations of your business. This will give you a roadmap to follow and will help to keep you on task while the sale finalizes. This will also make for a much easier transition process for those who aren’t following you on to your next venture.
Being Fair to Employees
You’re selling your business, and that can be scary for employees. After all, they aren’t always kept in the loop and some can become fearful about their futures. Not only can this be very problematic from a purely human standpoint, but it can wreak havoc on your business’ profitability in the time leading up to the sale.
If you want to avoid this problem, you need to be as transparent as possible when the time is right. Confidentiality should be a top priority until closing is imminent. Let your employees know whatever information is relevant to their positions and provide a transition game plan as early as possible. While you may not be able to share everything, giving your employees actual facts will cut down on rumors and keep productivity up.
How Much Is My Business Worth?
In the end, selling your business is a sales process, not an event. This means that you’re going to put something very valuable to you up on the market and that people are going to make offers as to its worth. It can be very difficult to tell the difference between a good offer and a demoralizing low-ball offer, something that can hurt your ability to get the value you need from your business.
The way to deal with this issue is to get a business valuation of your business before it goes on the market. Once you have the numbers, you can look at offers as they come in. It can be tough to feel excited about numbers that are lower than your expectations but having a solid idea of your business’ value will make it easier to figure out which offers to accept.
These are only three of the many challenges to selling a business, but they can all impact your success in moving on to the next stage in your life. Make sure to pay attention, to plan well in advance, and to stay motivated as best you can.
By Cal Heseman, Senior Business Broker & Exit Stage Left Trusted Advisor