January 5, 2015

Questions to consider before selling: Is it the right time?

Merging or selling your company outright is a big decision. Not only is it hard to find a situation where you make enough to justify letting go of a company that you have built from the ground up, but it can also be hard to imagine letting go and moving on to a new project, new company or new career.

And yet, many entrepreneurs sell companies at some point. So how do they make the decision to make the leap? When buyers aren't banging down your door with tons of cash and a vision to carry out your mission, what determines a good deal? And how do you know if your business is ready for the transition?

These are all important and valid questions in this situation.

First and foremost, it is important to evaluate whether you have more passion or exhaustion in your career, Forbes contributor Kate Harrison says. If you find that your exhaustion levels outweigh your passion for the project, it may be time to find a new leader, or sell the company altogether.

You will also need to determine whether you have a viable or substantial business model. Are you happy running a business on that model? Or is there a chance of evolution over time?

Then you need to figure out what the financial status of your company is. While many people wait until their company is on the decline before they sell, the truth is that your goal should be just the opposite. You should aim to sell when your company is at the top of the game. Thinking about making money on a personal level is thinking like a business owner. But thinking about making money for the company is thinking like an entrepreneur and that is the mindset when you think about selling or merging.