If you are a successful entrepreneur who has worked as a business owner, then you are likely accustomed to things happening when you want them to. You work on your own schedule, and you decide what gets done and when.
This entrepreneurial spirit may have made you a successful business owner, but it can be a real hindrance when it comes time to sell you business if you expect the time tables of the sale to revolve around you. The truth is you business will sell when someone else is willing and able to buy it. You need to be prepared for this reality.
On average, it takes around 9 months to a year to get a business from listing to closing. Unfortunately, some business owners wait until they have something that is pressuring them to sell, like needing to move by a specific date to take a job somewhere else, and this can be a big problem.
If you have a timeframe for when you want your business sold, you are going to have to let reality prevail and be flexible. Pushing yourself to sell by a certain date might mean that you feel pressured to take any offer that comes in, whether it’s a good offer or not.
There is a simple solution to this problem, plan your exit strategy ahead of time. Give yourself plenty of time to sell, at least a year, if not more, so you can be sure to get the best return on the investment you’ve made into your business. Have the business ready to sell, if you had to, at all times. Keep things in good shape, keep the business clean, keep your financial records up to date and easy to follow, etc.
This preparation will pay off if you do suddenly have to sell, as the prep work will be done. A bit of preparation and a good dose of patience will mean a successful business sale in the end.
Do you need to sell your business now, in the next 90 days, in the next six months? Do you have questions about a reasonable timeframe for selling your business? Please feel free to leave us a comment or question here so that we may assist you.