Emotions of Selling Your Business

Emotions of Selling Your Business

Posted on December 18, 2017
This time of year, it’s almost mandatory to reflect on the past, take stock of where we are today, and plan where we want to be a year from now.  Most business owners are great at recognizing marketing opportunities and putting plans in place to capitalize on them.  Unfortunately, there is one area that business owners sometime struggle with – knowing when it’s time to say goodbye.

Tell me if any of this sounds familiar.  You’ve invested a couple of decades building a business, you’ve made a nice living, and you’ve developed friendships with your employees, vendors and customers.  Thinking about selling the business seems like losing a member of the family.  Business owners go through a wide variety of emotions when contemplating a sale.  Uncertainty, sorrow, and loss, are common during the process.  

 How am I going to spend my time?  Will I miss the people? Will we find the right buyer?  Is the timing right?  These and many other questions swirl around in most owner’s minds before a sale.  Although it's natural to feel sentimental or even a little sad, you can't let emotions like anger and uncertainty dictate the terms of the sale. As much as possible, you need to find ways to remain objective and approach this decision like any other business decision.  Because that’s what it is.

The bottom line is that you are going to exit your business.  You can choose when and how…but not if.

Emotions can jeopardize the profitable and timely sale of your business.  If you have given serious thought about selling, chances are it’s the right time.  If you wait and the business starts to dip – you’ve waited too long.  

Do I still have the same passion for the business as when I started?  Am I still willing to invest that extra time and energy to grow?  Am I still physically capable for the demands of owning a business?  Those are questions that only you can answer.  But rest assured, you’re not alone.  Almost all business owners struggle with the same questions and emotional issues.  But don’t make this decision in a vacuum.  Talk to your family and trusted advisors.  Find out exactly what is driving your desire to sell.  

Make a list of the things you would like to do if you had more free time.  Consult with someone that’s gone through the process before.  Selling your business will be one of the most emotionally charged periods of your life. There will be times of euphoria and sorrow.  Don’t let your emotions paralyze you.