Timing the sale of your business

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Vincent Murphy Business Broker
Vincent Murphy Business Broker

Timing the sale of a business
You can accidentally work years for essentially no pay if you ignore
obvious signs that it is time to sell your company. In some ways, timing
the sale of your business is like trying to time when to buy and sell a
stock. Although it can be hard to guess which market trends will affect
your business, sometimes it can be obvious. I remember two business
owners who contacted me about their respective companies. Both had
serious health problems. They had each waited too long to sell and the
businesses had declined. I tried to help and, in both cases, I failed to sell
the business. It was a lesson for me because I spent a lot of time working
on those engagements. Not only did I not make any money, but I wasn’t
able to help the clients

Even if the owners’ respective illnesses led to the decline of their
businesses, buyers wondered if there was an inherent problem beyond
anyone’s control. For me as an intermediary, there is only the risk of
spending a lot of time on a deal and not making any money. But
prospective buyers are often putting their entire life savings at risk. So
they see a decline in business that is probably due to the owner’s illness but might not be, and they get nervous. What if the decline has nothing
to do with owner’s health and they’re putting their savings into a sinking
ship that they can’t right? The buyers we found weren’t willing to take the risk.

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