What is the Number 1 Reason I hear when speaking to Business Owners about selling their business? Why are you looking to sell your Business? — ” Because I Am Ready”.
For those of you who have owned a business for any period of time this is a response that is fairly easy to understand. I am a business broker based in Florida (and business owner) and speak to many prospective buyers and sellers of business and understanding the “Why” for both parties is so important in assisting the buyers and sellers of businesses. I really think that most people that have given a fleeting thought to buying a business believe that business owners want to sell their business and therefore something must be wrong with the business.
Actually I am currently working on selling a Landscape Business in Florida. The business owner has a good quality business for sale, good cash flow, a comfortable lifestyle. He has owned the business for x years and is “ready to do something else.” He will be relocating out of state, he owns a successful business he is looking to sell. Recently we spoke about the potential purchase of another business in an unrelated field and his hesitancy about buying a business because why would someone sell a “good” business.” And this comment is coming from someone selling a “good business.”
I also am currently helping an owner of a Computer Service Store For Sale whose revenues are up 30% over last year, profits are up 20% plus and is seeking to sell his business at less than 1 times annual adjusted cash flow. He also is anxious to start a new business opportunity with a close friend, and that endeavor is awaiting the sale of his business. A good business at a good price and the owner is “ready to move on.”
Good businesses get sold for very good reasons. Being “ready to do something else” is a good reason. A seller of a business needs to be ready to sell. Really – you only really exit your business by 2 means:
- By your choice – your timeframe, your plan.
- Not by your choice – closing due to business failure, business conditions, bankruptcy, Forced Sale.
Granted there may be certain undesirable business or personal events that prompts one to “be ready.” A business owner may have additional employee problems and decide that enough is enough and that is the impetus to sell ones business.
New frustrating regulation, customer problems, and any one of numerous problems a business owner may face may be the “final straw” and induce a business owner to pursue the sale of the business. But again for any business owner that has owned and managed a business for an extended period of time problems such as these come and go.
Business can be going quite well and the owner may just be ready to move on. Actually selling a business while the business is doing well is a well thought out exit strategy for a business owner. And yes problems can and, do come along with the business. Problems within the business does not make a business a bad business. A business owner may “just be Ready” to:
- Try something new – a second career
- Want to move or relocate
- Just be done running the business I have been running for the last 20 years
I am not aware of the existence of a Perfect Business. Even the best of business opportunities will likely contain issues and or undesirable situations. But if you truly want to own your own business and move into the role of business owner – understand that good business are being sold by business owners that are just ready… to move on.