When should you sell a business? This is a question that many business owners ask themselves at some point. If you’re considering it, you probably have a good reason.
You may have lost your passion, or feel that you’ve taken your company as far as you can. Perhaps you’re struggling to keep up with competition in a fast-paced industry. Maybe you’re in need of a windfall to fund an exciting new venture.
In this guide, we’ll share some of the key signs it’s time to sell your business. We’ll also discuss the best and worst times of year to start looking for a buyer.
When Should I Sell My Business?
Selling a business requires a lot of thought and planning, and isn’t something anyone should rush into. It’s a huge step that will change the course of your future. However, if running your company is no longer right for you, it’s the only logical thing to do.
Never let fear of stress or hassle stop you from making the decision to sell. A good broker will handle everything for you and ensure a smooth transition period afterwards. Before starting the process, though, you should be certain that it’s the right time.
There are many signs that suggest you’re ready to sell your business. Here are some of the most common.
You’ve Lost Your Passion
There’s little point in continuing to run a business when you no longer feel passion for it. Perhaps you’ve reached your goals and you need a new challenge. Maybe you’ve lost interest in the industry, or you’re keen to explore a different niche.
Of course, it’s normal for any business owner to experience ups and downs over the years. However, if you’ve been feeling unenthusiastic and bored for some time, selling up could be a wise move.
You’ve Reached a Plateau
Another sign that you should sell your business is if you’ve reached a plateau. In other words, your company has stagnated: it’s not failing, but it’s no longer growing or making progress.
There could be many reasons for this. Companies sometimes evolve into something that surpass the owner’s skillset. You may lack the means, time or motivation to take it to new heights. If so, it could be a good idea to sell up and buy a business that’s a better fit for you.
You Can’t Keep Up with Competition
It can be difficult to keep up with competition as your business grows. You originally cornered an untapped niche, but now competitors are popping up left, right and centre. It may not be feasible to continue fighting for market share.
In this case, selling your business to a larger company in the same industry could be sensible. They’ll have the resources needed to stay ahead of the competition and maintain a dominant position in the market.
You’re Uncertain About the Future
If you’re not sure where your business is heading, it might be time to move on. There’s no doubt that technology and consumer demand evolve rapidly, and once-popular industries can start to decline. Perhaps your business requires major modernisation which you lack the funds or expertise to take on.
You’re Ready for a Windfall
There may come a time when you’re ready to cash in on your efforts. For example, you’re approaching a major life change such as parenthood or retirement. Selling your business could provide a much-needed windfall.
A business broker can help value your business and match you with an interested buyer. To avoid extortionate selling fees, choose a buy-side acquisitions specialist that works off-market (such as Chelsea Corporate).
When Is the Best Time of Year to Sell a Business?
The question of when is the best time to sell a business has no one-size-fits-all answer. However, a good time of year to begin the process is during the first quarter (January to March). This is when investors are focused on the year ahead and ready to take on a new challenge.
There’s not really a bad time of year to sell, provided you’re sufficiently prepared. However, you may find it harder to find a buyer during the summer holidays from June to August. The same goes for the festive period in December.
Selling a business (UK or otherwise) can be a lengthy process. On average, most sales take 6 to 12 months to complete. Bear this in mind when deciding when to sell, and contact a broker in plenty of time.
Thinking of Selling Your Business? Choose Chelsea Corporate
If you’re looking to sell a business, UK-based business brokers Chelsea Corporate can help. As experts in off-market mergers and acquisitions, we work with investors worldwide. Our aim is to make buying and selling business smooth, swift and stress-free.
At Chelsea Corporate, we work for (and get paid by) the buyer. This means that you won’t have to pay hefty up-front fees and commissions when you sell through us. You’ll also avoid the hassle and frustration of selling your business on the public market.