It can be a difficult decision to make to sell a business after putting years of work and effort into developing it from an idea into a booming company. Many owners find themselves asking, “If I sell my business, what am I going to do next?”
If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to take the time to consider your options. This is particularly true if you are making the decision to sell the business not for health or other specific reasons but rather just because you may no longer be as motivated to continue to put in the long hours it takes to be a small business owner.
On the other hand, if you have an answer to what to do after I sell my business, you are probably in the right frame of mind to start the process. Remember, this will not be a short-term project. Most experienced business brokers will give a business seller a timeline of six months to a year to get the business ready, market the business and then actually close on the sale.
If you are not sure that this is the right time to sell the business, start by talking to a business broker and having a valuation completed. This is often offered as a complimentary service by a top business brokerage firm.
With the valuation completed, or even by meeting with the broker for a rough estimate of a fair market value of the company you may have a better idea of what you want to do. If you are planning on moving into something new or moving directly into retirement, you will want to ensure the sale value the market will bear is going to provide you with the short and long term funding you need.
Interest in Staying Involved
Some business owners may want to sell the business and get out of the stress and pressure of ownership but still stay involved with the company. This could be during the transition between owners or on a more permanent arrangement.
This is actually very common in small to medium sized businesses that merge to form one larger company. Often both owners stay on in some corporate function. For a small business owner with an interest in the industry and a passion for maintaining the company reputation and vision, this is often a very good alternative to simply walking away.
Talking to a broker about these types of goals can assist in finding a buyer that is willing to negotiation and work with the current owner. Not all business brokers are able to handle these types of business sales so be sure to work with a broker with this specific experience.
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