If you have been thinking about selling your business, here are a few tips to help you decide whether the time is right.
You've Lost Your Passion for the Work
You already know that owning a business is hard work. Actually, it's a lot more work than being an employee or sharing the workload with someone else. Unless you are consistently passionate about what you are doing, work will just feel painful. What's the solution? That's for you to decide. Use your best judgment and analyze the positives and negatives of your business. Compare the aspects you used to enjoy about the job with the aspects you currently enjoy about the job. Do they match? If not, perhaps it's time to consider a move to greener pastures!
You're Not Having Fun Anymore
No one says running a business has to be easy, but it should be at least somewhat enjoyable. If you get up in the morning and immediately dread going to the office, it may be an indication that you are ready to part with the business. There's no point in letting stress take over your life!
You've Run Out of Ideas
A business needs a few changes and fresh ideas every now and then. This could entail something as simple as getting a new logo or offering new promotional products or as involved as completely redesigning your image. It’s normal to be in a temporary rut and at a loss for innovative changes, but it may be time to call it quits if that rut has become a full-blown canyon!
You Don't Have Any More Money to Invest
In order to grow, a business requires that you keep investing both time and money in it. Ideally, this money should be coming from your own profits, but it could also entail getting new loans or acquiring investors. If you ever come to a point where the money wells seem to have dried up, this could indicate either that interest in the field is dwindling or that investors are no longer interested in supporting your business.
You are Unable to Keep up with Technological Changes
If you have a business that requires constant updates that you are unable to pay for or obtain, it may be time to sell to someone who can. It's virtually impossible to run a successful company without the use of some sort of technology like up-to-date computers, computer accessories, software programs, and the Internet. Technology advances rapidly and becomes obsolete within shorter and shorter periods of time; if you let your business get too far behind with updates it may be impossible to bounce back!
Your Personal Life is Getting in the Way
If you have major life events happening, you may want to consider how they are affecting your business. If you are a new parent, a new college student, or a newlywed, you may find it challenging to run a business on top of it. If the changes in your personal life are temporary, you may want to wait them out and see how things develop. However, you may want to reevaluate your business plans if you have pressing long-term personal matters that require your full attention.
Your Inventory is Not Moving
If a large percentage of the items you have for sale seem to be lingering on the shelves, it may be an indication that the market has dried up. This could be fixed by investing in new items, starting a new advertising campaign, or reshaping the whole business; if that sounds too expensive or too overwhelming then maybe it's time to sell and let others work on it.
You've Been Consistently Losing Money
Businesses usually lose money during their first few years when they are just getting off the ground. Ups and downs are also acceptable through the years. But if your business has been in the red for months with no changes in sight, you may have an emergency on your hands. Such a problem may indicate a need for a change...or maybe a new owner!
You're Ready to Retire
If you have no family members willing to take over the company, it's better to sell it while you're still young and the business is doing well. Otherwise, you could run into complications and delays when retirement is a feasible option! Chances are, you will find a buyer more quickly if your books are in order and you're well-organized.
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