The decision to sell your business is a big one. Is the timing right? Is the market in a place where I’m going to get the best possible return on all of my investment? Am I ready to sell?
Once you’ve crossed all of those mental hurdles and actually listed your business for sale it can be tempting to enter the same mode one does when you’ve put in a two-week-notice. It’s time to coast and then move on, right?
Not really. It can take a long time to sell a business. Typically something like 9-12 months. Longer if your business is something in a niche market.
We get that ideally you’d like your business to sell right away. Some businesses do sell on an accelerated timetable. Most don’t. If it takes a long time to find the right buyer, you’re in good company. Most sellers have to wait.
It can be frustrating when your business doesn’t immediately sell and it can be tempting to pull your business back off the market because of that frustration. Don’t do that. It takes the right buyer and the right moment – so you need patience.
Even if you’ve found a decent buyer the process itself can seem to drag on. Conference calls, meetings and sight visits scheduled and then rescheduled. Lists of questions to be answered. Due diligence periods. Extensions. Issues with commercial lease negotiations. Issues with licensing. It can seem never-ending – but it’s not. If you stay the course you will eventually reach that closing table.
If you feel like your frustration with the length of time it’s going to take to get you to a closing table is making you rethink selling at all – remember what the alternative is. Working at your business until you’re dead or locking the doors and walking away with nothing. If all that stands between you and a return on all the investment of time, energy and money you’ve put into your business is a process that can feel a little long – is it worth it to pull out? Definitely not.
Are you thinking about listing your business for sale and want to know the average time from listing to closing for your industry? Do you have questions about the length of time each phase of the process typically takes? Ask us! Leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.
5111 Ocean Boulevard, Suite E
Siesta Key, FL 34242
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