When Should I Sell My Business? | Tyler Answers

April 11, 2023   |   Business

Tyler Davis answers clients' burning questions concerning business brokerage and knowing when to sell your business.

Dear Tyler,

I own a small apparel company in South Florida. The business experienced rapid growth at its launch but has now seemed to flatline. How do I know when it's time to cut my losses and run? Should I sell the business?

- A Concerned Business Owner 

There is no one-size-fits-all answer as to when the best time is to sell your business. The decision to sell a business is complex and personal, leaving many business owners operating the business for too long. This decision also depends on a variety of factors unique to each business owner and their individual circumstances. Listed below are some of the common reasons why business owners may consider selling their businesses:

  1. Retirement: Business owners may choose to sell their business as a way to retire comfortably and secure their financial future.
  2. Market conditions: Business owners may choose to sell when market conditions are favorable and they believe they can achieve a good return on their investment.
  3. Business performance: If a business is performing well and generating consistent profits, business owners may consider selling to capitalize on their success and receive a higher return on their investment.
  4. Burnout: Business owners often feel overwhelmed by the demands of running a business. The decision to sell may simplify their life as they focus on other interests.
  5. Estate planning: Many business owners do not have a clear succession plan and may choose to sell the business as a way to ensure that it continues to operate after they are gone.

Regardless of your reasoning, it's important to remember that selling a business is a major decision that will have long-lasting financial and emotional implications. It's essential to work with experienced advisors and market professionals to help you navigate the process and make an informed decision.

Important Considerations

It's important to have a clear understanding of the financial and emotional value of your business, as well as the market conditions and trends that will impact its sale price. Business owners should also consider the tax implications of a sale, such as capital gains taxes, and work with their advisors to determine the best deal structure for the sale to maximize the return on their investment.

Sunk Costs

Many investors and businesses fall victim to the sunk cost fallacy. This concept refers to the overall tendency of individuals to continue pursuing a project simply because they have invested significant time or money in that project. Rationalizing these sunk costs can be tricky. Taking emotion out of the equation is something many business owners struggle with. Just because you have sunk costs in a business does not mean you have to keep pouring time and resources into it. Continuing to invest time and energy into a business that needs new leadership or direction is typically not a good financial decision. Selling a business before incurring additional costs is sometimes a wise decision.

Final Notes

The decision to sell a business requires careful consideration and planning. While considering their goals, circumstances, and market conditions, business owners should seek professional advice from experienced business brokerage professionals. SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler and many other firms offer services of this nature, providing clients with expert advice and proven solutions. If you are in need of these business brokerage services, don't hesitate to contact one of our advisors to get started today.

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Tyler Davis
Tyler Davis brings a wealth of financial knowledge to our team at SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler. His history in tax planning and consulting services have supported some of the largest insurance companies across the nation. Tyler's experience in finance has supported him throughout his c...