Knowing when it’s time to bow outcomes differently to every business owner. From gut feelings to life events, there are many reasons to exit entrepreneurship. However, business owners commonly dismiss the signs and end up watching their businesses’ value decrease while they hang on for dear life.
Owning a successful business is an incredibly rewarding experience.
But, like all good things, one day it must come to an end.
Selling your business is, understandably, an emotional experience, but missing your moment may mean letting a golden opportunity pass you by. So, how do you know when to sell your business? If you experience any of these five signs, it’s time to start planning your exit strategy.
Your heart’s not in it anymore
Your passion for your business was once the driving force behind your success. It was the reason your company got off the ground. Therefore, if your passion fades, so too will your business.
While running a business involves many highs and lows, losing excitement for an extended period can be detrimental to its value. If your heart’s not in it, you will struggle to find the motivation to keep your business running at its optimum. You’ll spend more time away from the office. Before you know it, your business is in turmoil, and selling will be more of a knee-jerk reaction than a well-planned strategy.
If you’re losing excitement, it’s a good indication that it’s time to hand over the reins.
The market is moving against your business
The past two decades saw a massive shift in technology, making many industries obsolete.
Remember when we would pay to hire a DVD? DVD stores were once thriving businesses, working around the clock to provide a much-loved service. But, just like video killed the radio star, the internet killed the video star. Business owners who kept tabs on upcoming streaming services had a chance to act. Those who didn’t were left with a business they couldn’t sell.
It’s examples like this that show that no business is truly safe from a moving market. With constant innovations coming to light, any industry could be affected.
Keeping a close eye on how the market is moving within your industry will ensure you stay one step ahead. If it looks like it’s moving too fast for you, take it as a sign. It’s time to plan your exit.
You’ve experienced a significant life event
Business goes on, regardless of what’s happening in your personal life. The problem is, many personal issues can inhibit your ability to run your business effectively.
It might feel like your business is ‘everything’ but, when facing a significant life event, your business will always come in second place. Your health and the health of those closest to you will always take priority.
Sometimes life just gets in the way. When this happens, we have very little control over the outcome. What we do have control over is reducing life’s stressors and focusing on what’s most important.
Has your business become a stressor? If so, it’s a good sign that it’s time to sell and focus your time and energy on rebuilding your personal life.
A lucrative opportunity arises
An opportunity too good to refuse is one of the main reasons for a quick business sale. If you receive a ‘once in a lifetime offer, it means that investors view your company as an established and successful enterprise. It’s something they want to get their hands on.
Snapping up a ‘once in a lifetime offer is easier said than done. While it may seem that there’s nothing in your way, the state of your business could halt the sale from proceeding. Is your accounting up to date and organized? Do you have legal support? Selling your business requires skills that may be out of your realm of expertise.
If you want to be in a position to accept the ‘dream’ price at the drop of a hat, have a business broker prepare your business for sale. As long as your buyer is not a competitor and their offer will set you up financially, this could be the sign to sell that you’ve been looking for.
You’re thinking about retirement
It’s not easy for business owners to make the decision to retire. For so long, their daily life has been shaped by the ins and outs of the business. But, when those around you are enjoying their retirement freedom, it’s a sign that you should be too.
It’s common for entrepreneurs to have their net worth tied up in their business, and selling will grant them a comfortable retirement. Selling your business allows you to completely detach from your work life and treat your golden years like a long, relaxing holiday. When we stop to think about it, retirement is what we work towards our whole life. If retirement is on the cards for you, grab it by the horns and enjoy it.