Preparing your business and yourself for the transaction process can be tough. It will take a fair amount of work on your part, the right help and the right mindset. Knowing what’s ahead of you can also be a huge help, so this is part three of a series of three articles that will address the three biggest aspects of your business sale that you need to be ready for – hopefully long before you are in the thick of the transaction process. Potential issue #3? Emotional readiness.
This aspect of selling your business usually surprises owners, but selling your business means a very big change in your day-to-day life, and this massive change will come with it’s fair share of emotional upheaval. This typically presents in a few ways.
Think you got cold feet when you got married? Selling your business is as big, if not a bigger life change than walking down the aisle, and you need to be ready for the last minute panic that you may feel as your closing date looms near. Many owners are also apprehensive because selling their business means they will be very much unemployed for the first time in recent memory.
Letting go of control.
Your small business is just that – it’s yours. The type-A, slightly control-freak part of you that made you a very successful entrepreneur will probably have a few issues with handing over the keys to your blood, sweat and tears to someone else. Try to remember that the business is just a business, and when the day comes to hand over the keys you aren’t letting go of a piece of yourself – rethink it as handing over your daily workload so you can focus on future endeavors.
Is this enough money?
It is incredibly difficult to put a monetary value on a business that you’ve invested countless hours, a great deal of money and a big chunk of your life into – but if you want any kind of return on all of that investment, deciding on a number will be very important. The difficulty of this decision can create a number in an owner’s mind that is far greater than what reality can provide, and as such an owner who refuses to budge from this dream number will likely end up not selling. The other issue that arises is after the negotiations have happened and a seller has a few days before the closing table to think about the deal that’s just been made. Some come back suddenly wanting more money, but all this last-minute second guessing does is kill the deal. No buyer is going to be willing to negotiate for more money after both sides have already agreed. If you want your sale to end successfully, make the final decision and then stick to your word.
How should a seller deal with the emotional side of selling their business? First and foremost, you need to accept the reality that you will have to deal with the emotional side. Simply knowing that emotional upheaval is coming can greatly help to mitigate the stress it might otherwise cause. Second, instead of focusing on the negative, plan your post-ownership life. Shift your focus to the future. What are your plans for the proceeds of your sale? Retirement? Reinvestment into another venture? Travel? By keeping yourself busy with thoughts of your new life it will be far easier to let go of the old one.
Are you a seller who hadn’t considered the emotional toll of selling your business? Have you sold a business and would like to share your experience? Would you like to know what kinds of investment opportunities might be available for the next chapter of your life? Feel free to leave us a comment or question here.
Want to read Part 1, Time To Prepare? Click here.
Want to read Part 2, Think Like A Buyer? Click here.
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