“Are you mentally prepared to sell your business?”
I ask this important question because, with nearly every client we work with, the psychology of selling is in many ways the most important part of our deal making skill set.
Because if you take the first steps to sell your business and are not preparing for your eventual exit in your mind, you may waste 9-12 months and expose yourself to loads of potential buyers (some of whom may be competitors), rumors (which could arise), and clients who may get wind of your plans (never a good thing).
We are not saying that at the outset of your exit journey you need to be mentally prepared to sell your business. For many clients, the journey may start with our evaluation, then move onto our roadmap for enhancing value, allowing them to build a much more “buyer ready” business over the next several years. Then, down the road, when the company is ready, you too may be ready.
Most interestingly, nearly every client we have interviewed over the years post deal close have told us the same thing: "At the outset of working with Generational Equity, all I cared about was getting the most money at close (and all in cash)!"
However, over time other concerns begin to bubble to the surface, and often the deal that is closed maybe for a lower valuation, but provides the seller greater peace of mind.
Because part of mentally preparing to sell is recognizing the importance of the legacy the owner has built in the business over the decades. Finding a buyer to preserve and grow that legacy impacts the mental preparation for selling.
Another component to consider when mentally preparing to sell is this: What will I do with the rest of my life? Our clients often tell us that they really don’t start thinking about that until close to closing.
One common theme is that the relief of letting go of the business frees the mind for the first time to contemplate a brand new future! Listen to what a few of our clients talk about their post close new day:
So we go back to the question: Are you mentally prepared to sell your business? And again, I want to reiterate that this decision is a journey.
Today you may not even be considering the sale of your company. You are too young, having too much fun, or making too much money to do it now. However, the reality is you will one day need to do so. Better to start the journey now with the counsel and guidance of an experienced M&A advisory firm like Generational Equity than being forced a few years down the road to exit due to unforeseen circumstances.
A great place to start to learn about being mentally prepared to sell is at a Generational Equity exit planning conference. These complimentary meetings require no obligation from you other than a few hours of your time. But those hours will prove to be your best investment in years, for you will leave the meeting with lots of things to consider and ponder, as well as a new roadmap for success.
To learn more about our meetings please use the following links:
One thing to consider as you contemplate if you are mentally ready to sell your business is this: We are in the midst of one of the strongest seller’s markets in decades. Maybe you should prod yourself forward and become mentally prepared to sell!
Carl Doerksen is the Director of Corporate Development at Generational Equity.
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