We all do it. We all think our kids are the smartest or the cutest. We all think we’re the best drivers on the road. An arrogantly positive view of yourself and your life are just part of human nature.
This arrogance becomes a big problem, however, when the time comes to sell your business. Why? Whether you realize it or not – you don’t have the best business ever. If you really want to sell your business, you will have to consider this reality.
Your business is a huge part of your life. It’s what you do everyday. It’s where you put all of your blood, sweat and tears. You’ve built it and grown it to where it is today, and you likely remember every step and the purchase of every stick of furniture.
Selling your business means you have to take that deep emotional attachment to your business and put it aside so you can make some very rational decisions. Decisions like how much to list the business for. Like whether or not to accept a decent, but not ideal, offer from a buyer. These decisions can be really tough when your heart is still firmly attached to your business baby.
Step one of dealing with this part of selling your business is to realize that it’s coming and that your business is only perfect because it’s yours. Mentally preparing yourself will be crucial to maintaining your rationality during the entire selling process. Here are a few things you should consider:
- Buyers are going to offer less for the business than you think it’s worth and they are going to find things about your business they consider problems.
- You aren’t going to get back every penny you’ve ever invested.
- You are going to have to hand the keys to someone else and walk away.
- You are going to have to relinquish all control.
- The next person might change everything.
- The next person might fire all of your staff.
- The business will no longer be yours.
If merely reading those last few sentences was excruciating for you as a future business seller, it is really important to keep a few things in mind:
- Negotiations are part of the deal. Low offers are starting points for a conversation, not a personal slap in the face. Buyers will use any issues with the business as leverage during a negotiation, but you would too, if you were in their shoes.
- You are going to have to be realistic about your listing price. Your reward for maintaining a realistic outlook on price? Your business will be better poised to sell in a competitive market.
- Handing the keys to a new owner is not a one-sided transaction. They get the keys and you get a very big check that you can use to start a whole new and exciting chapter of your life.
- Relinquishing control is a good thing because it means you relinquish all of the stress too. The business might no longer belong to you, but the stuff that currently keeps you up at night is now someone else’s problem.
- The next person might change everything and fire all of your staff, but more than likely then won’t. They bought a functioning business, it would be foolish to fix what isn’t broken.
The point here is it is very important to take a step back from your emotional attachment and rose colored glasses if you want to be a successful business seller. Your business isn’t perfect and isn’t worth 10 times what you should be asking. Negotiations are going to happen. Mentally preparing yourself ahead of time will help immensely for the road ahead.
Are you someone who has considered selling your business, but think you might have problems with letting go? Would you like to know what businesses like yours are currently selling for? Ask us! Please feel free to leave questions or comments here and we would be happy to help.
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Fort Myers, FL 33907