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Are you emotionally ready to sell your business?

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As a small business owner, you have likely spent years building your business into something successful and viable, so finally deciding to sell your business is a momentous decision. 

So what’s next for you? Have you got a plan for what you’re going to do when you’re no longer running your business? And what will happen if you get to the point of signing the business over and you decide you’re not actually ready to let go after all? 

Here are a few tips to get you emotionally ready to move on:

Did your sale preparation run smoothly?

Your thoughts should have turned to preparing your business for sale from the very moment you first considered the idea of selling. 

So during the ensuing lead-time, has it actually been more difficult to change and adapt your business to attract potential buyers than you thought it would be? 

One of the best ways to prepare your business for sale is to delegate parts of your personal workflow and responsibilities to competent employees or to a new management team – in other words, by making yourself redundant. Take a long holiday.

How does the business function without you? 

Doing this will not only help you figure out where any holes are, it will also give you some emotional space to step back and make sure you are fully reconciled to the thought of your business continuing to run without you.

A further advantage is that you won’t have the problem of convincing prospective buyers that your company is not a ‘one man band’. They will be able to see the evidence with their own eyes. 

Slowly removing yourself from the day to day running of things will also give you more time to do other things. Which leads on to… 

What do you intend to do next? 

Mapping out your future is just as important as planning and preparing for the sale itself. 

So what are your plans for this new phase of your life? 

Once you have set a clear path for yourself it becomes a whole lot easier to look forward and move on to the joys and challenges in your future.

To make the transition as easy as possible for you – whether you are retiring or wanting to find your next business venture – start today.

Ease yourself into your new life by taking up those hobbies you’ve always wanted to or start browsing for new businesses to get excited about.

Because you’ll have other things in your life to look forward to, the prospect of not running your own business any more won’t seem as daunting.

But what if you have no choice?

Whatever problems you are faced with, knowing that you have been able to pass your business on to a safe pair of hands will make things a lot easier for you. 

If you have no option but to sell, you must still do everything in your power to find the right buyer for your business. 

This means someone who will be willing and able to look after your employees, customers and who really understands what your business is about. 

If you have confidence in the buyer and their future plans for your business, you will feel better about selling up. 

And what if you have a last-minute change of heart?

Selling your business can become overwhelming and you might suddenly decide that you are not quite ready to let go. 

So, is it too late to have a rethink?

The official ruling is that, even though you may have had the confidentiality agreements signed and a detailed offer has been verbally accepted, you can still change your mind as long as the transaction contracts have not been signed. 

You should bear in mind that if you do decide to renege on an agreed sale at the last moment, your business might gain a bad reputation that will have a negative impact on future prospects when you do decide to sell. 

So, ensure you are fully prepared, and not just the paperwork, but also emotionally. Give yourself the mental space and time to prepare for not being a business owner anymore.