The preparation to sell the company is not only about preparing the financials and finding a buyer. It’s an emotional process. Your emotional preparation to sell the company is as important as any operational or financial preparation.
There are few experiences in life that compare to being an entrepreneur. It’s a lifestyle and an identity. But for all the great things one can experience as an entrepreneur, all good things come to an end.
There are 4 emotional preparation to sell the company, that you shall think through:
- Why do you aim to sell the company?
- What will you do once you have sold the company?
- Emotional preparation to sell the company if strategy is shifting.
- Stakeholder opinions are important.
Most advises about selling a company is about financial preparation, information memorandum and finding the right buyer. But what about you? Your own emotions and your thoughts if selling the company is the right thing to do?
Why do you aim to sell the company?
There are many reasons why a good story comes to an end. Retirement, life-situation changes, declining interest or value exit could be a reason to sell the company.
Maybe the founder has been outgrown by the business. At some point most business fail to grow because the founder himself does not change at the same speed as the company. A very operational person that like to be best friend with their partners may find it challenging to lead through middle managers.
It’s important that you really know why you decided to sell the company. You will be asked by potential buyers and by family and friends. Most of all, you may regret your decision unless you’re really sure why you like to exit your company.
What will you do once you have sold the company?
Being an entrepreneur is a lifestyle. In most cases the identity of the business owner and that of their company is intertwined.
If you’re still young and consider early retirement you should know that many active people get restless after a couple of months “vacation”. On the other hand, if your have really come to terms with retirement, now its time for your hobbies.
Selling the business to a private equity investor can sometimes give the possibility to work as a senior advisor or a board member in other companies. Selling parts of the business or selling to another entrepreneur may also give chance to continue work as an advisor.
Such a simple question as what to do once the company is sold can be hard to answer. Think it through and avoid getting frustrated once you have sold your business.
Your preparation to sell the company if strategy is shifting
There may come a time for strategy shift, or next level expansion, that you as an owner hesitate for. To many, this is a moment when exiting the company come to mind.
Most people are great under certain circumstances. To some, founding a business a get it going is what entice them and give them energy. To others it’s the sales growth, landing new contracts and helping customers to succeed. Other evolve as a leader and get energized by building their organization, expanding overseas.
What ever the reason, many consider their exit options when a company grow into the next phase. If this is the case for you, you can start to make your preparation to sell the company. Whether you actually sell it may be another story but asking yourself these emotional questions is important.
Stakeholder opinions are important
You should consider your stakeholders opinion when you make your preparation to sell the company. They can be key executives within the business, co-owners or investors.
You will most likely leave the company when you sell it. Hopefully, your key executives will remain with the company also after you have sold it. Not losing important staff members in the sales process will be super-important to a potential buyer.
In most cases you will not have to involve your key executives in the actual sales process, unless they are also substantial minority owners. You should consider their interest thought when you decided upon you preferred exit solution.
Retaining your key staff, your suppliers and key customers is important when you make your preparation to sell the company. Spend some time in your exit preparation to consider what’s important to your stakeholders. Try to make as much considerations as possible to facilitate a smooth exit process.
Concluding thoughts on emotional preparation to sell the company
Selling your business will be one of the most significant decisions you make. Emotional preparation to sell the company is as important as any other preparation. You have built your business with many sleepless nights.
Sooner or later, you come to an exit if you do not have an inheritor ready to take the helm of the company. The same is the case if you simply like to cash out on the value you have built.
Start your preparation to sell the company in time. It’s an emotional roller coaster process. Most sales processes take years to process, in the head of the founder. What you see as an outsider is usually only the transaction process.
Read more about what else to prepare when you decided to sell your company.