5 Signs that it Might be Time for You to Sell Your Business

Business Insights

Entrepreneurs often realise that they're not able to run their business until it's too late. They ignore the first signs of burnout, or long for the days when they can take vacations with absolute peace of mind. Others might see changes in their sector that they don't like, or feel like they can't keep up, and some might start thinking about retirement.

Since packing up and leaving is usually not an option, you have to be able to see the signs early and prepare a succession plan. This way, you’ll be able to leave with something and make sure your employees are taken care of. Let’s take a look at some of the signs that it might be time to sell your business.

Life is Getting in the Way of Business and Vice Versa

One of the first signs that it might be time for you to leave is if your life circumstances are affecting your focus. Maybe you just suffered a family tragedy or a tough separation. Or, you might find yourself in a situation where you’re the only caregiver for someone close to you.

Running a business is already tough as it is and you can’t do everything on your own, no matter how much you’d love to. You also can’t sacrifice your family and mental health for your business. This would be the perfect time to think about selling.

You See an Exit Opportunity

Maybe you’re foreseeing trouble brewing in your industry and you want to get out when your business is still worth something. Or, maybe you feel like you’ve reached your objective and want to cash in. In this case, selling could be a very wise decision and one you should consider. However, you first want to get a valuation of your business so you can make sure that it’ll be a good deal for you and the absolute best time to sell.

You also want this valuation to be done professionally. Business valuers like WA Business Valuations will look at the whole picture and market conditions to see how much you can realistically expect to make on your sale. They will look at things like cash flow, market value, and future potential to come up with a reasonable valuation that will work both for you and potential buyers. They could also help you find out what might be affecting your valuation negatively so that you can take steps to correct it.

You Have No One to Take Over

If you feel like you’re getting up there in age and have no one to pass the business over to, then you might want to think about succession. You don’t even need to look outside for a buyer; you can start grooming your successor in-house and have a plan to pass down the business to them when you leave. This will have the benefit of being able to keep the brand alive. You’ll also ensure that most processes remain intact, and allow the transition to go smoothly for the sake of your employees.

You’re Severely Outdated

Technology moves fast and there is a chance that your business is severely behind at this point. In some cases, it’s because business owners have a traditionalist view of their industry or business in general. Maybe you’re still working with paper records, or you need to spend a considerable amount of money on high tech equipment. This could be your case if you’re in the car repair business, for instance.

If you need to invest a lot of money or feel like your knowledge base is lacking, then it might be a good idea to think about selling. Again, this will allow you to sell while your business still has value. Wait too long and you might get wiped out by the competition.

You’ve Gotten a Great Offer

Don’t keep your ears closed to offers - some of them might actually be good. In some cases, a competitor might want to buy your location to gain market shares. Listen to what they have to say. After all, there is nothing to stop you from starting the same kind of business somewhere else.

This is also where getting a valuation would be a good choice. You’ll be able to get an idea of your business’s true value and negotiate. Their offer doesn’t have to match your valuation exactly, but you'll be able to tell if an offer is good enough to consider. And, if the offer is significantly higher than your current valuation, it would be foolish not to accept.

If you notice any of these signs in your business, we strongly suggest that you at least consider selling. It could be what allows you to enjoy life again, or simply a great business move depending on your current situation.