Tuesday, 29 May 2012

It's better to sell-out than burnout!

The softening of the local economy in the past few years have caused many business owners to re-evaluate how they conduct business, and the amount of time they have to put in it.  A common statement heard these days has been “Business is ok, but I’ve never had to work as hard as I’m working now.”

While I cannot decide for a business owner when they should consider selling their business, I can provide the following advice… it’s better to sell-out than burnout!

The unfortunate result of postponing the sale of your business can be the decision gets made for you.  Poor health, divorce, excess business demands, etc. are very often symptoms of an owner who should have sold but postponed the decision.

The decision to sell is often times the biggest single decision a business owner will make in their lifetime.  Whether it is to retire, relocate or pursue different dreams the decision to sell is both financial and emotional. 

Regardless of the timing I can provide a brief introduction to some questions buyers are asking as they survey the market for the opportunity the suits them best.  They can be important questions for business owners to consider when deciding the best timing for them:

1.    What are the market opportunities for this business?

2.    What makes the business’ product/service unique compared to its competitors?

3.    Is the business dependent on the owner?  If so, what has been done to mitigate this?
4.    What improvements could be made to the product/service to enhance the business performance?
5.    What would have to change to double the number of existing customers?

Too often, business sellers might have been able to secure more for their business if they had operated it a little bit differently.  To have a good chance of getting what they want, sellers should give themselves plenty of time to lay the groundwork for a sale.  This isn’t done in a matter of weeks, but rather months and in many cases years.

Do you have small business questions you would like answered about this article or others?  Please visit www.VRWindsor.com or call 519-903-7807. 
William Sivell is a sales representative of VR Windsor Inc., Business Brokerage; his blog appears every Tuesday.

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