Selling your business will be one of the most significant decisions you make; it isn’t easy, and that’s why emotional preparation is critical. Many entrepreneurs overlook this aspect, but as with all steps in the sales process, proper preparation makes everything manageable.
Emotional hurdles are universal – they have stumped many business owners as they prepare to sell. That’s right, you’re not alone. Your fears, doubts and reservations have rippled out of the most stoic entrepreneurs. If you’re thinking about selling, chances are, the time is right. Despite this, emotions will stir. Preparing yourself for the process of letting go is crucial.
It’s not uncommon that a business owner’s identity and that of their company, are interweaved. So, what happens to this identity when the two are no longer connected?
An outgoing owner has many post-sale options. Some will continue to work in the business. Some will become shareholders, while others will make a clean exit taking on another opportunity or retirement. If you’ve built your company from the ground up or invested your blood, sweat and tears, to make it a saleable proposition, stepping away from the top job can be a tough process and the idea of giving up control unappealing. However, with a clear vision of your position, once the sale is final, your identity won’t be left without a home.
How a new owner will structure a company post-sale is unknown. Decisions to cut costs or create opportunities for friends and family members can see long-term and loyal staff members left without a job. The notion of which can be a stressful realisation for an outgoing owner. External business relationships, such as lawyers and accountants, may also be at risk. To decrease the impact of decisions that are beyond your control, attempt to anticipate possible changes and prepare your employees and colleagues ahead of time. Seek advice from your professional support crew on how best to handle this sensitive matter.
Finality is a sure way to stir the emotional pot! If you’ve been travelling a sensitive line in the lead up to the sale, then the day you complete the transaction may be the most emotional of all. Yet perversely, it may feel anticlimactic! Despite this being the big payday that you’ve worked for, you’re now no longer in charge, and you may experience a sense of loss. Whether you’re engaging in a different role within the company or settling into retirement, there will be a significant period of adjustment. Taking the time to contemplate this new path ahead of time will help you to prepare for the transition.
Building a team of dependable and experienced advisors – lawyer, accountant, business broker – will ensure that you receive the sound advice and necessary support to navigate your final phase in business steadily. If you can include a personal support person in your team, perhaps someone who has journeyed the experience of selling a business, you’ll be further strengthened and ready to face the process.
All LINK brokers receive rigorous, industry-leading training so that you get sound, smart advice, supported by real-world experience and the highest professional standards.
Contact your nearest LINK office to have a confidential discussion with our experienced team.