One of the most common questions I am asked as a corporate finance advisor is, “What is an indicator that it is the best time to sell my business?”. In business, as in comedy… timing is everything. Many a good story features the phrase, “in the right place, at the right time,” somewhere in the narrative.
In a previous blog we looked at five of the most obvious signs that now is the right time to sell your business… you can read that blog here. But for this blog, I wanted to look at five more indicators and what they mean for you and your exit strategy.
Had a knock at the door?
Of course, selling a business also relies on someone being prepared to buy your business. So, the question of timing is not one-sided either. If you have had an approach from an interested acquirer or even multiple acquirers, that could be a good indication that your business is in a good position to sell. Even if you are not quite ready it might be worth exploring a business valuation to determine if making the most of the opportunity presented is, in fact, the right thing to do.
A change in family circumstances
Many of our clients come to us prompted by a change in family circumstances. This could range from a need or desire to be more present; grandchildren are a common example; to a simple desire to reclaim time and realise the asset you have built. Whatever your personal circumstances, family can be a powerful influencer in the timing of a decision to sell your business.
Friends and colleagues are retiring
One of the greatest influences on our desires is those around us. It’s a very natural feeling to see something that brings our friends joy and to want that for ourselves. So, if you are seeing those around you enjoying the benefits of retirement, or even having sold a business themselves, it is quite natural to begin to think about selling your own business. As has been said many times, the right time to sell is when you are ready.
Opportunities are being missed
This can be a very difficult one to face up to as a business owner. But the truth is, as your business grows you may find your own skills, experience or other factors limit the company’s ability to take advantage of some opportunities. This is explored further in our recent blog: 5 strategic reasons your business is worth more in someone else’s hands. If this resonates with you then it may be a good time to explore your options.
Advice from your Wealth Manager
One of the best things you can do, if you haven’t already, is get yourself a good wealth manager. This is not the same as an accountant, this is someone who can sit down with you and look at your personal situation and advise you on how to make your money work for you. As part of the discussions they have with you, an exit strategy from your business is bound to come up. They will be able to help you determine when it is right for you to consider selling your business.
These are only a handful of the signs it could be the right time to sell your business. Before you embark on the sale process, make sure you spend some time with an advisor from a corporate finance company such as Entrepreneurs Hub to assess the saleability of your business and to walk you through how to value a business for sale.