So you’re thinking of selling your business. You wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t. It’s a difficult decision, and not one to be taken lightly by any means. There are many considerations to make, whether financial, public or even personal. But if you’re thinking of selling, then you may have already made up your mind – and this guide aims to help you galvanise your thinking. Is there an optimal time to sell your company? If so, when is it? And how do you safely reach that decision without too many sleepless nights?
Deciding to Sell
The best way for you to come down on one side of the fence with regard to the question “should I sell my business?” is to create a list of pros and cons, by topic. For example: what does your business currently earn you monthly, and what could you stand to earn in the short term from selling? Is one sum more important to you than the other? How many employees do you have? Are they reliant on you for the time being, or would their jobs be safe in the event of a transition? How much time do you spend on your business? And how much would you like that time back? Make your list of pros and cons, and be sure to mark the importance of one factor over another. The more important factors on the pro side, the more it seems you should follow your heart and sell.
When is the Optimal Time to Sell?
It can be hard to envisage the safe and profitable sale of your business, especially if your business is one you have built from the ground up. However, with you in complete control of the transitional phase of your eventual sale, you can ensure the longevity of your business in the hands of your new owners. All that leaves is knowing when to pull the trigger.
There are myriad factors to consider when attempting to pinpoint the correct time to sell – the speed at which your business is growing; the state of the market at the time of potential sale; and your personal circumstances. The title of this piece playfully suggests the best time to sell is when everything is going great, but it might just be that there is no right time to sell. You may always wonder “what if?” with regard to some corner of your company – but selling a business is always going to be a bittersweet process. And if your business is going strong, ready to breach new markets or even just in need of new blood, that’s a good time for you to sell.
Selling your business is not an entirely sentimental move – but your emotions and mental state play a huge part in the decision you have to make. It’s important to ensure your needs are being met throughout the sale process, as well as the financial aspect. At it’s simplest, you’ll want to sell your business when the purchase price is at its highest, and the handover process is at its least difficult – but in practice, these things do not often marry. And ultimately, besides the advice of a trusted independent professional, the next best indicator of when to sell your business might just be your gut.