Before putting your business up for sale you must give careful consideration to your reasons for doing so. You will probably be asked about your reasons for selling by potential buyers, who will need to be comfortable with your motivation and answers.
Why sell my business?
You need to consider four key questions:
- What are my objectives as the owner of the business? For example, you might want to realise some or all of your investment in the business to fund your retirement.
- What are my objectives as manager of the business? For example, you might want to retire as soon as possible or prefer to have an ongoing involvement with the business.
- What are my objectives for the business itself? For example, the business might need new investment in order to grow.
- Who else will be affected and what will they want? For example, other shareholders, managers and employees, and even key customers and suppliers.
Selling part or all of the business may be the best way to achieve your objectives. You might, for instance, want to sell your business outright, leaving you with no financial or management involvement. For more information, see ways to sell your business.
But a sale may not always be the best solution. And, of course, it may not always be realistic either. See is it realistic to sell my business?
Other exit options
There are a range of other exit routes that may better suit your needs:
- if, for example, you want to retire but already have enough money, you could sell or pass the business to a family member - see transferring a business to a family member
- you could sell to your staff through an employee buyout
- you could also try floating on the stock market - this could raise capital to develop your business, while making it easier to sell part of or your entire stake in the business
For more information on your different exit options, see consider your exit strategy when starting up a business.