1990 – Francis Ford Coppola released his third and final film in the Godfather trilogy with Al Pacino reprising his role as Don Michael Corleone, war hero and boss of the Corleone crime family. Though it is generally regarded as the weakest entry in the series, the film did spawn one of most memorable, supremely enjoyable, and often imitated lines of the series. Standing in his kitchen, Michael exclaims, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”
There might never be a perfect time to sell your business; there will always be something that “pulls you back in” and while it (probably) will not literally kill you, it can be hard to let go. After all, exiting your company signifies closing an important chapter in your life. Change is positive and whether you want to sell in order to start a new venture, enjoy your retirement, or simply focus on living your life for a while, having an exit plan is a critical part of making that change.
You may have already considered the first steps of your plan. All the financial records are in order, the business is taking off thanks to your tireless efforts, and your endgame is in sight. Nothing is forcing you to leave, but it seems as good a time as any to cash out. Just the fact that you’re thinking about it, to you, says that it’s probably a good idea to start ironing out the rest of your strategy.
You know you have to figure out how much your business is worth, where to find a buyer, and which intermediary you can trust to help guide you through the transaction, but you don’t know exactly when you should get started. Fortunately for you, the answer lies in the wise words of yet another 90s legend.
1998 – Midway through Seinfeld’s ninth and final season, George Costanza, played brilliantly by Jason Alexander, has fumbled his way into yet another awkward predicament at work. During a staff meeting, George makes a witty observation and is rewarded with laughter from his boss and coworkers. High off his own ego, George chooses not to let the moment pass; instead he doubles down, carrying on for far too long and inadvertently causing the joke to fall flat. Later in the episode, Jerry reveals that George could have avoided certain disaster had he only embraced the philosophy behind Las Vegas showmanship – leaving on a high note.
Good business, like comedy, requires impeccable timing. The truth is that the absolute best time to launch your exit plan is while things are going well, not after.
Prospective buyers look for sustainable upward growth in companies they wish to acquire. Growth indicates that the foundation is solid and if they invest their time and money in the business, it should continue to grow exponentially.
With that in mind, you should always do business with a potential exit in mind. Streamline processes, improve efficiency, and keep accurate records as you go so that when the time comes, you have already laid the groundwork for a smooth transfer of ownership. When you feel that you are ready, when things are going well enough for you to step back and start to enjoy the fruits of your labor, the rest will be an afterthought.
Do not wait until a life event forces you to sell the business you built up from nothing. Start thinking about your exit plan today.
Once you are confident that right now is the right time to sell, find an intermediary you can trust to help guide you through the process. While business brokers can help you create a listing online, only an experienced Mergers and Acquisitions advisor will earn you the maximum value for your business. You deserve to work with someone who will take the time to understand every aspect of your company and work tirelessly to find the perfect buyer. Most importantly, you’ve worked hard to make your business a success; let us work hard to help you sell it!!!
Global Wired Advisors is here to help you sell your Digitally Native or FBA business. We are Mergers and Acquisitions specialists with over 50 years of combined experience in selling online companies. Try our Free Value Estimation Tool to see what your business is worth.
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