You have been running your business for some time now, and whether you are ready to move onto the next adventure or you want to start looking toward retirement, the time has arrived to think about leaving your business behind.
Most of the time, small business owners look to start the sales process for their business months and even years ahead before they actually want to exit. Trying to sell a business quickly can lead to mistakes – though mistakes won’t always happen. There are plenty of strategies that you can use to exit your business and transition slowly away from it, and we’ve got a few of those listed for you below.
- Start by looking out for buyers who would be interested. You’ve been established in your field for a while, so it’s often the case that you know plenty of people who would be interested in buying your business from you. Reach out to them first if you have company liquidation in mind; they may be interested in buying it and keeping it going. You can buy time for a sale, but there are always risks involved in direct selling. Being smart is important here.
- If you want to keep the business alive but just not be a part of it, you could always add a business partner and sign the business over to them. This means you don’t have to be involved in the daily operations and instead, you can focus on other things. Your staff will be their staff, and they get to keep their jobs. Make sure that you choose someone who has good things in mind for the business, and create a contract that details what will happen to the business when you go.
- There are some small businesses that are able to be bought by their own employees. This happens to reward the loyal workers who want a future in the business and it makes sure that your business will thrive when you’ve left.
- If you are looking to leave your business quickly, you can offer incentives to your buyers and the more attractive you make your business look, the less time it sits on the market waiting to be bought.
- Company liquidation is usually the last option for a business, but it happens in the cases where a business is no longer profitable. It’s also the case when you need to leave quickly and you don’t want to prolong it anymore. It’s a viable strategy to exit quickly and you will find it much easier to sell a business in pieces, potentially with the help of something like a business liquidation auction, than you would in one go in some cases.
A fast exit may not be what you wanted for your business, but if this is the situation you are in, it’s a lot better to know your options than be in the dark about the possibilities for your company. The right plan that is measured well, executed well and is put forward properly is going to be the most successful one for your company.