Why do Business Owners Sell?

Deciding to sell a business can be agonizing

Recognizing that only about four in ten businesses listed for sale actually sell, we need to understand that a large portion of the seller population may have waited too long to begin the succession process.

There are some owners that simply decide they are ready to move on, but most of the reasons to sell a business center around negative issues. I’m from the camp of “always run your business so you could sell it tomorrow.”

You never know when that offer will come or your situation may change, so be prepared.

The most common reasons owners decide to sell a business:

• Health. Many owners feel forced to sell when faced with a health crisis – either their own or that of a loved one. In addition, if owning your business causes you undue stress and anxiety, it will eventually impact your physical health in addition to your emotional well-being. When choosing how you want/need to live your life, owning a business should certainly not sacrifice your health. As health issues are typically unexpected and sudden, this emphasizes the importance of always been prepared to sell your business.

• Burn out.  At some point in our careers – whatever we may be doing – we ask the question: “Is this all there is?”

Owning a business doesn’t mean that you are somehow immune from asking that question. Owners may reach that point of burn out earlier than a non-businesses owner; 100% responsibility and 100% of the time has a way of causing exhaustion and eventual apathy.

Caution: If you feel yourself spiraling toward burn out, do whatever you must to change your attitude; delegate, hire and train your replacement, do whatever is necessary because attempting to lead your business when your whole heart isn’t in it WILL decrease business value AND limit your transition options.

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As seen in Small Business Monthly
As seen in St. Louis Small Business Monthly

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