You’ve worked your entire life to build a business and establish it as an important part of your industry. The risks have mostly paid off. The lessons have been life changing. It’s been fun. But now you are considering the next chapter in your life. Perhaps it’s time to sell your business and retire.

Retirement is a natural and important milestone in life. But deciding to sell your business and retire isn’t always easy — it requires careful consideration and planning.

If you’re reading this, you’re likely in a life stage where you’re ready to seriously consider that question, should I sell my business and retire? If so, here’s how to do it right – for your benefit, and to ensure a bright future for the organization you’ll be leaving behind.

Focus on Preparing Your Business for Sale Well Before Your Retirement

Business owners should understand that selling a business takes time and planning. Therefore, it is important to begin the process of preparing for the sale well ahead of your retirement date. Taking the proper steps prior to beginning the sale will help ensure you receive maximum value from the sale when it happens.

This will be your exit plan.

Creating an exit plan is essential for any business owner looking to retire. An exit plan should include all of the necessary steps you will need to take in order to successfully transition your business in the most efficient and lucrative way possible. Your exit plan should be tailored specifically to your individual situation, but key components may include:

  • Establishing a timeline for when you want your sale to occur
  • Preparing financial records and documents
  • Implementing a succession plan for someone to take over your responsibilities
  • Determining who the right type of buyer will be for your business
  • Ensuring the money you walk away with will be enough to leave your business behind
  • Understanding the  tax implications associated with the sale of your business
  • Developing strategies to retain key employees during the transition

Taking the time to create an effective exit plan can be the difference between a successful sale and one you may regret. By beginning to plan well ahead of your retirement date, you will have ample time to make necessary adjustments and ensure that every step taken is in the best interest of yourself and your business.

What to Expect When Selling a Business

When selling a business, it’s important to have realistic expectations and have a clear plan in place. The process of selling a business can be time-consuming and complicated, so it’s important to understand the various steps involved.

The business plan

First, you’ll need to hire a M&A advisor  to determine your desired sale price and timeline for the sale. Your advisor will need to create and present a business plan – often called a Confidential Information Memorandum — to potential buyers. The plan will include an overview of the company’s history, products or services offered, financials, and any other relevant information about the business.

Find the right buyers

Next, your advisor will need to find qualified buyers for your business. Experienced M&A advisors have a proven process for identifying and evaluating a variety of business buyers such as other companies, private equity firms and high net worth individuals.

Field the offers

Once you’ve attracted the interest of qualified buyers, your M&A advisor will need to review and negotiate offers on your behalf. During this process, it’s important to remember that there may be competing offers for your business and to stay focused on finding the right buyer. The next owner should not only meet your financial needs but also offer a transition that achieves your goals for the continuation of the business.

Finalize the sale

Finally, once you’ve reached an agreement with a buyer, your M&A advisor will help you finalize the sale. This includes signing all relevant documents and transferring ownership of the business. During this process, it’s important to remain vigilant and make sure that the transaction is completed according to your terms.

Simply, your journey is our journey – we’re here to provide support every step of the way.

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