When is the Right Time to Sell My Business?
An Entrepreneur’s Journey
As an entrepreneur, taking an idea and turning it into a successful business takes an enormous amount of effort and courage. It isn’t easy to overcome the growing pains of scaling, while staying profitable and retaining talent.
If you are a seasoned, serial entrepreneur, taking on this challenge repeatedly and succeeding requires not only strong business acumen, but the ability to learn quickly. More importantly, having access to a strong advisory team to collaborate with not only provides a deep bench of experts, it helps to unlock valuable insights when engaging with prospective buyers, investors, and clients.
“When Should I Sell My Business?”
When an entrepreneur has realized their vision and produced a consistent and increasing revenue stream, the idea of parting ways with their business can be an overwhelmingly emotional process. Yet increasingly, savvy business owners and founders realize the value of knowing how and when to maximize their efforts through a sale.
It’s essential to understand that your advisory team is there to help you seize the right opportunity. When purchasing power and market demand are in alignment, it could be the right time to sell. Ensuring that your books and finances are in order and accurate will put you at an advantage to receive a realistic valuation.
As a business owner, if you’ve decided it is the right time to sell your business, it’s also critical to keep a high level of confidentiality and let your advisory team handle the heavy lifting to maximize the value of the deal.
Sell-Side M&A: Investment Banking for Entrepreneurs
Sell-side M&A provides business owners with the opportunity to optimize the financial and emotional value of building a successful business and maximize ROI through the sale of their business.
At Strategic Exit Advisors (SEA), our collaborative process allows us to work closely with entrepreneurs, and focus on identifying strategic buyers willing to pay higher multiples.
The process of selling a business takes time, but it also requires the ability to properly pace the process to avoid deal fatigue as the race is both a sprint and marathon. If someone suggests it’s an easy process, or a fast one, it’s likely that they’re not being honest with you.
Ensuring that culture and values are a good fit is also essential. If the culture of the buyer and the seller are misaligned, the post-integration merger could fall apart. Overall, clear and consistent communication throughout this collaborative process provides the framework for successful, client-defined outcomes.
Outsourced M&A: Succession, Unexpected Offers, & pre-M&A Readiness Roadmap
Outsourced M&A supports businesses with a dedicated advisory team to help entrepreneurs make their companies more profitable, easier to manage, and increase the company’s value when it comes time to:
- Transition your business to family or management through succession
- Respond to an unexpected offer(s)
- Prepare your business for sale
Regardless of the specific situation your company is in, you have options and opportunities whether your intention is to pass your business to family members or existing management, respond to unexpected offers, or calibrate your business to optimize a sale.
During succession, the process often goes beyond ‘the numbers’ and can be a complex and emotional process when dealing with family or management.
Collaborating with an advisory team works to address concerns from you, stakeholders, and key players to ensure your personal and financial goals are met while keeping stakeholders satisfied.
What if you’ve received an unexpected offer? As an entrepreneur, it might be the first time you’ve received an offer, but if your organization is valuable, it certainly won’t be your last. Competitors, strategic partners, and financial buyers like to take advantage of great opportunities: quality companies don’t go unnoticed for long. SEA helps entrepreneurs understand the true value of their business and properly vet and negotiate with the buyers’ M&A team.
Pre-M&A Readiness Roadmap
For entrepreneurs who aren’t quite ready to sell, SEA’s Readiness Roadmap can guide and prepare business owners and founders through a comprehensive process focused on changes to improve the value of their business that yield the highest ROI.
Bringing on an advisory team to represent your business early on in the process will provide you with a competitive advantage, comprehensive understanding of the markets and the ability to provide strategic thought leadership. Owners and founders are able to achieve their best exit when working with investment banking services, as they are able to:
- Create markets for your business
- Unlock unrealized value
- Source strategic buyers willing to pay higher multiples
- Cross the finish line together as a team
The Emotional Journey of Selling a Business
Successful businesses are built by people who care at every step of the entrepreneurial journey and chances are if your company is successful, you have created a strong culture with values that have not only driven your financial success, but also managed to attract, retain and engage with top talent. The emotional aspect of selling your business can be significant and the reasons that owners and founders decide to sell their business can include,
- You’ve outgrown your business
- You don’t want to reinvest your own capital
- Retirement, Relocation, or Readiness to move onto next endeavor
- Derisk your position
For entrepreneurs looking to fully liquidate their position and transition ownership, a deal aligned with their priorities presents a strong opportunity to honor the work involved in starting a business and successfully growing it.
Just because an investor or buyer reaches out doesn’t mean you will close a deal. You’ve worked hard to build up your company and when someone with deep pockets is prepared to make you an offer, that kind of recognition can be flattering. It’s essential to understand your options, work closely with an advisory team, and make a decision that aligns with your personal objectives and your financial goals.
Although the best time to sell a business is when it’s doing well, every business has unique value propositions. At Strategic Exit Advisors (SEA), our advisory team is ready to help you with your entrepreneurial journey. Call us anytime (215) 489-8881 or schedule a conversation here.