Recently, a woman I know called for some advice on selling her business.

She had decided that it was time to sell.

Timeframe—the next 2 years.

Her company isn’t in the best shape, they recently lost a very big client.

Which triggered the decision to finally sell.

Although this might sound like an exit strategy, it’s not.

It’s an exit.

Not strategy.

She talked about bringing in a salesperson to rebuild sales to the point that the company will be worth more.

That’s a tall order for someone coming in “cold” with a timeframe of 2 years.

Working with someone who most likely is depressed by the loss of the very big client.

I asked the questions I needed to answer when I was looking at selling my business.

Is it worth it? Is this the right move?

Would you be better off, taking less money for the sale and selling it now?

Do you, the business owner, have the drive, guts and willpower to build the business to the number you think it needs to be in order to sell it?

What is that number? 

Is it a real number, verified by someone who has sold businesses, or is it just a number that sounds good to you?

Is it reachable? In what time frame?

And most important, is it worth it????

My answer for my company was no.

We implemented our exit strategy and sold.

It was the best decision we ever made!

Hands-down.

No regrets. 

We sold when the company was not doing terribly well, but the market was hot and we got a good price for it. It was an asset-purchase agreement and by the time the agreement ran out, the market had crashed. But we got all our money out (just in time).

We could have worked our butts off for 3-5 years working towards that number and gotten less than what we sold for.

I asked my client to look at her business. Would it really be worth it to build the company to sell?

In a 2-year time frame she’d have to hire a salesperson and hope that the person could build enough business to make the company viable.

Or, should she speak to a business broker now and get an unbiased opinion on the viability of selling now at a lower price?

She balked.

And then, a day later, she looked at her numbers, thought about it and asked for the broker’s contact information.

Smart move.

If you have any questions about exit strategies or want to talk about selling your business, let’s chat: 917-825-4499 or shoot me an email: anne@amaxfield.com

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