It can be stressful selling your business; letting go and ceding control to a new owner can be an emotional experience. During the sale process, things can be intense with you and your team having to answer difficult questions and provide lots of information.
On more than one occasion in the last few weeks, I have had to take the heat out of the situation to ensure a smooth handover. So, how do you prepare, firstly accept that it could well be emotional selling your business and try not to take things buyers and their representatives personally; they are just doing their job, and buying your business could represent a significant risk for them and the pressure to make the right acquisition could be very stressful to them.
Recently I started keeping bees and having bees buzzing around my face when I am inspecting the hive could be a bit daunting, but I wear a beekeeper’s suit and am very careful not to harm any bees, so what could be stressful, is actually very rewarding because I prepare appropriately. The same could be true for selling your business. I am just advocating that those who embark on the journey do so with their eyes open and prepare for your sale and a journey that may be a bit of an emotional rollercoaster.
Some of the steps you can take to make your journey to selling your business smoother:
– Plan well ahead, make sure your business is fit to sell
* Is profitable with good cashflow
* Demonstrates growth and has a good level of recurring sales
* Has a strong management structure and workforce
* All contracts and legal paperwork are up to date
* All accounts and documentation are up to date
– Ensure all shareholders are in agreement that they want to sell
– Choose good advisors (commercial lawyer, accountant, and broker)and ensure your focus remains on the business
– Make sure you have a strong personal support network around you to help you de-stress and maintain your sense of humour.