When is the Best Time to Sell My Business?

July 23, 2018

Perhaps Kenny Rodgers said it best, in his epic song “The Gambler.”

“You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, know when to run.”

Every business owner wrestles with the age old question: When Is the best Time to Sell My Business?

Obviously the answer to this question varies from person to person, and from business to business.

But it is an important question for every business owner to consider and reflect on, and revisit periodically.

  • Consider that keeping a business for another year is a decision not to sell it.
  • Consider that a business that is not growing is probably shrinking, and losing value.
  • Consider that a business that is not prospering is probably treading water, and losing value.
  • Consider that if the business owner, who manages the business, is for any reason incapacitated, the business may be without direction.
  • Consider that most business owners do not have a formal succession plan.
  • Consider that it can take several years to fully prepare a business for sale.

So, we strongly recommend to all of our business clients that they prepare a detailed written business plan, or have one prepared for them. We also recommend that the business plan addresses all relevant subjects, including succession planning for the business.

The succession plan should include planning for the eventual transition (sale) of the business, particularly if there is no logical successor to the current business owner.

I read earlier this past week that eighty percent of business owners are “looking to sell their businesses.” Oh really? I thought.

If that is the case, why have so few business owners done any formal succession planning whatsoever? Why are so few actually planning for the sale of their businesses?

Sometimes the most important subjects are the subjects that are the most tempting to postpone or avoid altogether, with people in general and business owners. If you have questions about selling your business, please contact The Calkins Law Firm, Ltd.

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