Sell the business?
When an entrepreneur starts off, they’re often so concerned about whether or not their business will succeed that they don’t know what to do when it actually does succeed. So many authors and motivational business speakers focus solely on starting out and facing challenges and achieving success.
But what happens when you actually achieve that success?
You’re suddenly faced with brand new challenges and options.
How do you keep your business growing? Do you actually want it to grow more? Where do you go from here? Should you sell the company?
To some, that last question might seem crazy. You went through all of this work, you achieved your goals, all just to sell it? For others, that might be why you started the business in the first place.
Whether or not that was part of your original plan, the ability to sell your company for a nice profit is a new option for you to consider. To decide the right choice for you, there are a few things to consider.
Is There an Offer on the Table?
Shopping a business around isn’t easy. Even if it is successful. It takes work. According to studies, 60% of business owners who try to sell their business can’t make the deal happen (you have better odds by employing the services of a merger’s & acquisitions banker/expert).
It’s generally easier if you receive an offer from a party that sought you out. With an actual offer on the table, the question of selling your business becomes much more real (and perhaps more urgent).
Have You Lost Your Passion or Are You Simply Struggling with Motivation?
To get your business going, it’s likely you needed some serious passion and motivation. As the craziness of the startup life dissipates and your business becomes more of a regular job, it’s easy to begin to lose the passion, the motivation, or both.
If you’re just lacking the motivation, that’s an issue that goes beyond your current business. Motivation is needed to succeed in any aspect of life. If you’re missing passion, it might be time to sell your business.
Without passion, your heart isn’t in the business, which can seriously stunt its growth. Letting go of your current business may allow you to find something new that you’re passionate about.
Do You Know What Your Next Step Will Be?
As you might imagine, leaving your business behind is a huge transition. This is the thing you’ve lived and breathed every day for quite some time. With that gone, you can become directionless very quickly.
If you have no idea what you would do without your business, you may want to hold off on selling it.
Unless, of course, you make enough money from the sale that you can retire. Even then, making some plans and goals is a great idea.
Can Your Business Survive without You?
As mentioned in a recent post about Polaroid, many businesses struggle when their founder and key visionary leaves. The founder is often the spark that keeps the business burning. It’s not necessarily healthy to create a business that’s overly reliant on you, but it happens.
Before you consider leaving the business, you need to evaluate how it will go without you there.
Liquidate or Recapitalize?
Once you’ve decided to actually sell the business, you’ll still have some options to figure out. Of course, the buyer will have say in this as well. The most common forms of business sales are liquidation and recapitalization.
If you want to be completely gone from the company, you will liquidate any ownership in it. You may, however, want to stay on in some capacity or keep some shares to profit off future success. In this case, recapitalization is a common path.
Whatever you do….
Don’t Make a Sudden Decision
Selling a business is a very permanent choice. If there’s a hot offer on the table, take as much time as you’re need before you make a choice – even if the potential buyer is pressuring you. And remember these words to the classic Rush song “Freewill” – If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.