Is It Time to Sell Your Business?

Darryl Ohrt in an article for Advertising Age shared the steps of his transformation from a business owner to an employee.  He decided to sell his business when day-to-day operations brought boredom instead of new challenges for him.  He advises business owners to let go of their business when there is no more fun or enjoyment in the workplace, when you want to move on to other things, when you want to seek new challenges or when you want to grow personally.  When you decide to sell, inform your employees about your plans as this will affect them.  He also said you have to be sure, emotionally and financially for this jump.

It’s time to sell if you’re not having fun.
Selling isn’t always a financial decision. People sell for a variety of reasons: cashing out, survival, moving to the next level. For me, selling was a chance to have more fun. Selling would allow me to take on new challenges, experience things that I hadn’t done before and grow personally.

Ownership isn’t as important as you think.
I learned that ownership wasn’t a primary motivator in my career. I cared more about creative challenges, personal growth and culture — things that don’t necessarily require ownership.

If you are ready, here are some things to keep in mind:

There are no secrets in business.
We live in a social world. Companies share financial and other information with employees. Open information, social sharing and transparency have lead to a new climate where it’s difficult to keep things undercover.

While you don’t have to tweet “Meeting with company X about an acquisition,” you do owe at least your senior management team the respect of knowing what’s about to go down. Advance communication with your team will settle their anxieties, help them understand your motivations, goals and vision, and very likely give you some new insights.

It’s complicated.
Deal structures can vary wildly, depending on your motivations and the acquirers’ goals. What’s important to you financially? What do you need to get, and when and how?

If you haven’t gone through the process, consider hiring a consultant who can help you navigate it. And don’t go into the sale thinking that it ends when someone hands you a giant check.

Don’t sell if you aren’t ready to walk away from it all.
There will be good things, there will be awesome things, and there will be things that frustrate you to your core. Don’t go into a purchase deal assuming anything other than this, and most important, be prepared for the worst. …

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