One of the greatest aspects of being a small business owner is your business is your own. You’ve made it into what it is today, and for the most part small business owners love what they do. Difficulties can arise, however, when you’ve made the decision to sell your business.
For many it can feel like your business is your whole life, and as such it can be difficult to sever that tie at a closing table. From time to time deals fall apart because a business seller looks at what comes after the closing table and begins to get panic-driven cold feet. The sense of loss of control, coupled with the fact that a seller basically becomes unemployed the day they sell their business, can absolutely get in the way of reaching the closing table.
What can you as a seller do to keep from derailing your own sale?
Take some time to prepare yourself for post-sale life.
The first thing to do is think about the way you describe your business. We sometimes feel like a business is so much a part of our lives that we use the same terminology we would for the people in our lives.
Do you love your business? You may think that you do, but what you actually love is what your business does for your life. If you break it down for yourself you probably love the fact that you are your own boss and the freedom that brings. Think about the time after the sale in the same way. You will still be in control of your day to day life and you will have much more freedom than you do today.
Another common feeling may be the satisfaction you get every day from getting to wake up and do what you love. If the sense of purpose you get from your business is what you will miss the most, find something else to do post-sale that will give you the same level of satisfaction. If you had your own construction business, you could volunteer your time to build homes for veterans, for example.
The key here is to not let your emotional connection to your business keep you from selling. Think about how you can keep the parts of your business life that you love after the sale and you will be better prepared to let go.
Are you a seller who is nervous about selling? Do you have questions about how to better prepare yourself for life post-sale? Ask us! Please feel free to leave us a comment or question here and we will be happy to help.