Setting up a business is difficult and challenging and wonderful and exhilarating all at the same time. So, imagine how you will feel when you finalise a business sale?
What if you panic and change your mind the last minute? Are you really motivated to sell?
Even though you want to sell, if you haven’t prepared emotionally and mentally for what that will entail, you might find that you struggle with the process. So how can you avoid seller remorse?
Spend more time away from the business
You have been running the show since the inception of the company. Now that it is time to move on to the next thing, you will probably still feel emotionally attached to the business. Letting go is never easy for anyone.
However, if you take some time out of your business, it will help you detach, and you will feel more at ease handing it over to someone else. You will also be giving yourself time to celebrate your success and start coming to terms with the sale.
Stepping away gives you a chance to see that the company will run smoothly in your absence – one of the best things you can do when preparing your business for sale.
Weigh your reasons for selling
It is easy to be blind-sided by the emotional toll of selling the business. Any lingering doubts can lead to seller's remorse. To be sure of your intentions, make a list of the benefits and downsides of selling.
If selling is beneficial, go ahead and close the deal. However, if you stand to lose a lot by selling, you will need to carefully weigh up whether now really is the right time to sell.
Ultimately, you need to be sure of your reasons for selling when you put your business on the market so that whenever you experience doubt during the process, these reasons will remind you that you’re doing the right thing.
Find the right buyer
You may be worried about your employees and the continuity of the business. If you can find a buyer with grand plans that align with your vision for the business, it will put your mind at ease to know that your legacy will continue.
Plan ahead and focus on your hobbies
The responsibility of running a business can cost you long working hours and zero vacation days. After putting your business up for sale, now is the time to take that holiday and start spending more time with your family.
Begin working on new projects and take up those hobbies you always wanted to. These are the things that will help you decompress and focus your mind for what comes next.
You don’t want to be thinking you’ll have nothing to do when you exit your business. You need to start building a life that you can look forward to having when you are no longer running your business.
During this time, find a careful balance of making sure the business continues to run smoothly and switching your attentions to your life after business ownership. Taking your eye off the ball at this stage could harm the value of your business and the sale.
At this point, your head will be buzzing with amazing ideas and your heart will be full of a range of emotions. Having a concrete plan of what to do post-sale obliterates any second thoughts on finalising the sale.
Seller's remorse is a natural reaction when parting with a significant investment in your life. However, you need to make sure it doesn’t hinder you from reaching your goal by taking over and making you walk away from the deal in a moment of panic.
Be sure of your motivations for selling and start making plans for life after the business, before you put the business on the market.
By Jo Thornley, Head of Brand and Partnerships at Dynamis. Joining in 2005 to co-ordinate PR and communications and produce editorial across all business brands. She earned her spurs managing the communications strategy and now creates and develops partnerships between BusinessesForSale.com, FranchiseSales.com and PropertySales.com and likeminded companies.