When do you know it is the right time to sell your business?


When I started my first business I received some very good advice from one of my mentors and he told me “create a business that one day you might sell.”  Even though you may have just started as an entrepreneur and the thought of selling your business seems so far away it is always a good idea to keep it in mind.  As an entrepreneur one of your final goals with your business should be to sell it.  It is important to create a business that you can sell.  Sometimes you find a fantastic location, or have a business license that someone needs or have created an amazing customer following or website traffic to your brand.  Whatever it is there may become a time where you no longer want to continue running your business and you want to sell it. 

When do you know it is the right time to sell your business?

  • You are no longer happy
  • Your job interests have changed
  • Your family is demanding your attention
  • The company is financially problematic
  • A buyer has offered a good price for the business
  • The market for selling is positive

You are no longer happy

At the beginning of opening a business you have an amazing drive and energy to run your new venture.  You are so happy in what you are doing it beams from all facets of your being.  Over time, this beam of light sometimes diminishes due to struggles in the business, an economic crisis, a pandemic or just tired of doing the same thing over and over again, day in and day out.  When you notice you are no longer happy running a part of your business either find someone to run it for you or if that is not an option consider what does make you happy.  If selling the business might make you happy, then it is the right time to sell.

Your job interests have changed

Many people that run their own business are serial entrepreneurs and perhaps you are this kind of person and you no longer have the passion for the business you have created.  If you notice that you do not have enough time to focus on a new business idea or a new job opportunity has come up.  It might be a good time to sell your business.

Your family is demanding your attention

Sometimes children can play a huge role in wanting to sell your business.  Owning a business is like having a baby that constantly needs your attention.  You may be able to spend time with your family but emergencies can come up and take you away from being present all the time.  Children cry for attention in different ways and as a working mom or dad it is hard to balance both family and business.  When you own your own business you are always connected there isn’t down time like when you just work as an employee.  Sometimes you cannot shut off.  If you want to make your family a priority it might be a good time to sell.

The company is financially problematic

If you have run into tough financially times and cannot pay your bills.  After you have exhausted all credits from investors and banks you may have no choice but to sell.

A buyer has offered a good price for your business

All of sudden you have an amazing opportunity to sell.  It was not on your mind to sell before but after waying the options the amount of money to sell outweighs keeping it. 

The market of selling is positive

There are generally good times and bad times to sell your business.  If you have been thinking about selling for a while and the outlook in the economy is a good time to sell.  It would be wise to sell your business in an upswing rather than a recession. 

Before covid I thought about selling my hot yoga studio.  Then covid hit and I knew I could not get the price I would want for the business until after it all ended.  I was patient, did everything I could to reduce costs, increase revenues and get government subsidies so I could manage to stay open.  In sept 2021 I put the business up for sale, and by Jan 2022 the buyer came and we started negotiating and it was sold In April 2022.  Sometimes waiting until the economy is on an up-swing pays off in the end. 

Above all think about what makes you happy if selling your business makes you happier then you are right now then it is the right time to sell your business.

By Heather