3 Reasons Entrepreneurs Want to Sell Their Business
In my 18 years in representing business owners, one of the most common questions I hear after listing a business is ‘why do they want to sell’? Owning your own business can be incredibly rewarding and fulfilling, but there comes a time when you will need to consider your exit strategy. Making the decision to sell your business can be very emotional and one of the most important choices you will make in your life. Timing the sale to align with your business’s financial peak would be ideal, but difficult to predict. During my time in this industry, I have concluded that there are three main reasons why business owners decide to sell their company.
The number one reason people sell their business is burnout. Many people dream of owning their own business but once it becomes a reality, the workload can be overwhelming. The burdens of ownership weigh heavily on business owners and most believe that the logical solution to alleviating these burdens is to put more into the business.Whether it be working extra hours or investing in an administrative staff force, owners need to consider what solution is most sustainable for the business. Another way to prevent burnout is to invest in your own mental well-being and relieve stress. Exercising, company events,a glass of wine – all of these can be used as stress relief mechanisms for business owners. While it may seem hard to step away from your business, owners must remember that they too need vacation time.You may even be surprised to see how your employees rise to the occasion in your absence. It is possible that you may have passed the preventative stages and already are feeling burnt-out; if this is the case, you may want to start thinking about selling your business so you can spend more time doing what makes you happy.
Another reason that business owners decide to sell is the desire to do something different. At Viking Mergers & Acquisitions,we meet many business owners who have become bored and disinterested in their business since they have been doing it for so many years. If you find yourself feeling unexcited about your business, you may begin to notice that you are no longer putting in as much effort to sustain the business either. Continuing to try and manage your business when you feel detached can only lead to burnout. During this stage is when many business owners come to us wanting to sell and potentially buy a new business. I have owned 4 businesses in the past 30 years and in my observations, starting a fresh business venture can be incredibly revitalizing. Business owners also learn that you can take your previous skills set and apply it to just about any endeavor you choose. An additional bonus of taking on a new business venture is that with your experience, you can try something completely different and also filter out your dislikes from your previous career.
While most people assume retirement is the main reason business owners sell, it is actually the third. As mentioned before, owning a business can be very rewarding but selling your business and watching it continue to flourish can also be very satisfying. Many business owners have dedicated their life to ensuring the prosperity of their business, and they deserve to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Some business owners sell their business but stay on as a part-time consultant, so that they can still enjoy their hobbies while assisting in the business on a more removed level. The choice is entirely up to the business owner and how they wish to spend their days. I recommend that all entrepreneurs retire while still in good health and enjoy their time away from working.
What Category do you fall into? Whether you are planning for the future or want to sell now, you should definitely know what your business is worth. Our team is Viking is staffed with tenured professionals and together, we boast a combined experience of 90 years. Let us help you plan your exit strategy. Contact us and we will do a valuation for you at no charge and with no obligation expected.
-Brad Offerdahl, President of Viking Mergers & Acquisitions