You built it from the ground up, but now you’re considering cashing in and selling your small business. There is no doubt there is an emotional component attached to letting go. However, let’s face the facts that as a small business owner, your goal has been to ultimately end up with a nice profit to show for your time and effort put into building and running a company. Selling your company should never be a spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment decision. Here are three signs to watch for that indicate it’s time to sell your small business.
Business is booming
As the old saying goes, “Strike when the iron is hot!” It is always encouraging when all the rave about your your business is that it is on fire with potential. When your company has grown and is thriving, but is outgrowing its limits, you are at a point where you need extra help and cannot keep it afloat on your own. According to the National Small Business Association, the biggest challenge to the growth of a small business is economic uncertainty, which is all the more reason to go out on top. Take a profit now and enjoy the opportunity to tuck it away for retirement or invest in a new venture.
It’s time to move on
It’s been fun, but your heart is no longer in the business you once started. As time goes by, your passion may have changed. Although you are a great salesperson, you may have realized you lack the ability for details or other aspects of the business. Perhaps your plan from the beginning was to start a business, get it off of the ground and then move on to finding a new venture to pursue. Regardless, if you’re ready to move on and you have a successful company, the answer is clear, and the time has come to look for offers to turn your business over to someone else.
Trends are shifting
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about half of all startups last five years. How many business owners of failed companies wish they would have foreseen the future before it was too late? Things change, and when it comes to doing business with changing trends and economic shifts, you need to be constantly aware of how the demand of your business's services and products are keeping up. This requires not only keeping meticulous records of profits and loss statements, but also keeping a pulse on the market and your individual customers. Always be quick to listen to what your clients need and what they want. When you see signs that demands are making a change away from what your small business is able to offer, it may be time to try to sell before it's too late.
Of course, sometimes you have no plans to sell, but an offer may come along that you simply cannot pass up. While this is usually the exception rather than the rule, it's good to be on the accepting end of an offer. Still, you will need to weigh your options, decide what are the best steps for you and your company, and determine whether or not it's time to sell your small business.