Selling a business can be an emotional process, especially after years, maybe decades, of hard work. You have poured your life into making your business what it is today, and it is completely normal to have a lot of questions as you approach the selling process. A few questions you might have are, How do I find the best buyer? Are they going to value my legacy and vision? Are they going to take care of my employees? How do I get the most money out of this sale so that I have what is needed for me and for my family?
Throughout the selling process, it is important to focus on closing the sale on terms you are happy with. In our experience working with hundreds of business owners, we have identified a few ways to help prevent the sinking feeling of sellers’ remorse. Take these into consideration as you approach your exit.
How to Avoid Sellers’ Remorse
1. Do not rush into anything.
Never feel pressured to rush into a deal. It took a long time to build your business, and it may take some time to identify and achieve the most desirable outcome for your exit. Sellers with the smoothest transitions take valuable time to transition from one life phase to the next, intentionally thinking through the next season and the goals they want to achieve. It might take some time to reimagine your life without your business and to have a clear direction on where you are headed.
2. Get a professional business valuation.
A clear step in selling your business is knowing what your business is worth. Your business might be worth far more than you realize, or there may be a gap between its value and what you need for a successful exit. Getting a business valuation is a very important step toward understanding the value of your business, creating an exit timeline and plan, and being informed to make a better and more confident decision throughout the selling process. This is essential to preventing seller’s remorse. Viking offers a no-cost business valuation that is completely confidential and obligation-free.
3. Screen potential types of buyers.
Depending on your business, you may feel very strongly about the different types of buyers you may come across. You might want to sell to someone who will help maintain and grow the business within a similar structure. For small businesses, your employees might feel like your family, and selling your business could come with a lot of questions for them as well. Identify your goals and desires for how your business will function after your exit. Compare that to the different types of buyers you may encounter, and within those types of buyers, screen individual buyers to ensure that their goals line up with yours.
4. Hire a business broker.
An extremely helpful way to avoid sellers’ remorse is to get the help of professionals who can advise you through this process – and, the earlier in the process, the better! Selling a business can be a long process, but we know the road. At Viking, we are proud of our track record in business sales and have sold more businesses for more dollars than any similarly-sized firm in the Southeast. We can help you every step of the way – from identifying a buyer that is a good match for your business, negotiating with the buyer, understanding the financial terrain of selling, and getting you the most for your business.
Let’s start a conversation here. Bring us into the process to help keep seller’s remorse far from your horizon. We will work with you, in your timing, to help achieve the sale that is best for you, your business, and where you are headed.