When change is good: Finding the best time to sell your business

Starting a business is a fun and exciting time: you think of all of the potential that you and your ideas have, all of the customers you will be able to help and, hopefully, of all the money you will make. At some point in the future, however, there’s a good possibility that you will want to — or need to — sell that business.

selling a businessThere can be many factors that go into why you are selling your business, and that’s not always a bad thing. Selling means that you may be able to make a decent amount of cash or that you will be freed up to pursue other ideas you may have. While it’s probably bittersweet no matter how you look at, sometimes it’s just right to sell your business: here are some of the reason why you should.

The enjoyment is gone

If you find yourself constantly saying, “I want to sell my pharmacy” or “I’ve got to get out of this business,” then it’s quite possible that you’ve lost the enthusiasm and enjoyment that came along with opening the business in the first place.

Many entrepreneurs find themselves lacking the motivation to continue after years of running a business: there’s nothing wrong with admitting that you’ve lost the enthusiasm. If this is the case, the absolute worst thing you can do is to try to hang on. It won’t work. Once you feel like it’s no longer fun, if you try to keep going, your feelings will impact the business negatively. Even if you sell, you’d like to see the thing you created still open years from now, right?

When it’s time to let go because you aren’t enjoying it anymore, you’ll know. Listen to your feelings and start looking for a buyer. It’s better to leave now than to wallow for a few more years.

Your business has grown too large

This sounds like a great problem to have, doesn’t it? This can be the case with very successful companies, though: you see all of your wildest dreams come true, but then you look around and realise you can’t handle everything that comes with a larger business.

Once you start expanding, franchising or any number of other reasons why your business should grow, you may find that it starts to grow out of control. What you used to be able to handle on a weekly basis has now become a daily occurrence. Again, this is a good thing, but you may have to admit to yourself that not only do you need help, but you don’t want to be a part of something so big.

This is a great time to sell because you stand to make a lot of money selling a growing company.

Your personal life is suffering

Look, it’s a fact that owning a business is going to take a lot of time and effort if you want to be successful: that’s just the nature of business. But when you find yourself stressed out to the point that your personal life is suffering, it may be time for a change.

If you can’t enjoy a night out with friends and family, or if you find yourself lying awake at night and exhausted nearly every day, you may want to rethink things. You should be able to run a business and enjoy your life as well: after all, why even own a business if you can’t enjoy the rewards? If you look at your life and see that it’s not nearly as good as you want it to be, you may want to think about getting out. Your friends and family will thank you, and you will have a much more enjoyable life.

You just want a change

Maybe you want to sell the business because you just want a life change. Maybe you want to move to a new city, or you just want more time that you can spend with your family. These are all valid reasons to sell.

Change can be good for you, and if you find yourself thinking about doing something different, then by all means follow that line of thinking. Besides, who knows what that change could lead to? Maybe you’ll find yourself starting yet another business in a couple of years, enthused and energised at the possibilities that lay before you.

Whether you want to sell your business for positive or negative reasons, oftentimes the change will be for the best.

Sean Black is a business broker. He writes about how and when you should sell your business, his articles appearing on a growing number of online resources.