When deciding whether to sell your business, there’s more than just money to consider. Your business has likely been a big part of your life for a while, as have its employees. But according to a recent article from Inc., business owners can often fail to achieve their goals and objectives for selling their companies when they let emotions cloud their judgment.
So how can you keep your emotions in check to make sure you stay level headed? The article has several suggestions, and perhaps the most obvious suggestion is also the most important: create distance.
Whether you recognize it or not, you are likely too emotionally invested in your company to subjectively negotiate the sale. From an emotional perspective, the use of a broker or other third parties (e.g. attorneys, accountants, appraisers, etc.) can be valuable for creating distance and ensuring that your personal feelings don’t get in the way of good business sense.
After you’ve sold your business and all of the numbers have been crunched, how you handle your emotions will still play a key role in how happy you are.
Veteran sellers will tell you that the sense of loss following the sale of a business can be overwhelming. While you may feel yourself pulled back to the business, in general, it’s not productive to routinely visit or check in on the business post-sale. Although it may be difficult to accept, your former employees need to move on with the new owner–and you need to move on, too. The exception to this comes when a buyer and seller agree to a transition period in which the seller will stay on for an agreed-upon time period. This helps ensure a successful change of ownership that may be especially important in seller-financed deals because the seller has interest in the future success of the business.
While you won’t know exactly how you’ll feel about selling your business until after you’ve done so, a little preparation can go a long way towards getting you through the transition with ease.