You’ve been all the way through the business transaction process, and you’ve just left the closing table, now what?
The time you’ve spent getting your business from the listing to the close of the sale has probably been very hectic and stressful, so the good news is that particular weight has been lifted from your shoulders. There will be no more late nights getting together financial documents, no more balancing running your company while trying to make time for all that selling your business requires.
Now that the business is sold, it is in the hands of a new owner, and this can be a troubling experience for some sellers. In most sale arrangements, the old owner agrees to stay on for a time for training and/or consulting work, or even as an employee for a while. No one is going to run what used to be your business exactly like you did, so the key to maintaining a friendly relationship with the new owner is to not be too upset with any changes they choose to make. This is especially true if you offered to finance part of the sale, as you want to be sure that you eventually get paid in full. Be optimistic about changes, and try to see them as a new direction for the company brought on by the creativity of the new owner.
Even if you have agreed to stay on for a period of time, it is likely that your role in the business will be substantially less than it recently was, so enjoy the break from responsibility. Your involvement should decrease fairly quickly to a point where you are no longer needed.
The next step for you will be deciding what to do with the proceeds of your business sale. If you are entering retirement, then the services of a financial planner are probably in order. If you still have many working years ahead of you, you might consider business investments that will keep you active and earning. Many ex-entrepreneurs find it hard to let go of the business owner life, and many decide to invest in or buy another business. Ask your business broker about the options you may have to either purchase outright or invest in (without having a heavily active role) another business venture.
As a business owner, you have worked night and day on your business, so perhaps the best thing to do after leaving the closing table is go on a well-deserved vacation! Whatever you decide, be sure to seek the advice of professionals like financial planners and business brokers to end up at the best decision for you.
Have you just sold your business and are looking for a new business venture? Leave us a question or comment here, and we will be happy to assist you on this next stage of your life!
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