The Pre-Sale Business Tune-Up
Selling a business is not what most owners think about at the time of prosperity. When asked if they think they will ever sell their business, the answers vary anywhere from “when I can get my price” to “I don’t really know.” There is nothing wrong with conducting business as usual, however, business owners should have the following proverb in mind: “it is a good idea to sell your horse before it dies.”
Four Ways to Leave Your Business
While some owners come to the decision to sell their business by themselves, there are owners who are forced into it by some event. Regardless of motivation, owners have generally four ways to dispose of their business:
- Transfer ownership to a family member
- Sell the business to an employee
- Sell the business to an outsider
- Liquidate the business
First and second options can be quite tricky as not all off-springs/family members or employees have interest in/skills required to running the business. As far as money is concerned, best option is option 3 and worst is option 4.
When to Start Working on Your Exit Plan
The short answer it as soon as you start your business. It is never a bad thing to plan for the future and given that reasons 1, 2, and 4 are unrealistic scenarios for most business owners, it leaves attempting to find an outsider to purchase the business as the exit plan.
It is better to think ahead and avoid being trapped by sudden burnout or other misfortune that may happen down the road. If you value your time and the effort you put into your business, it is perhaps time to start thinking about your exit strategy and thus to make sure that you get the most out of the sale.