Why Business Owners Choose Not To Sell

Some owners make a choice not to sell their companies for very legitimate reasons.  These owners typically, still have the desire to fuel their business investment with both time and money, or are grooming interested family members or employees to take the reins.

But there are also owners who prepare their business for sale and then hesitate. Why? These owners typically don’t sell when they should because they, procrastinate, fear the unknown, or fear losing the known.

Procrastination Is Not Uncommon
Procrastination has many causes. Here are three.

  1. Some owners don’t know where or how to start. If you are one of those owners, read on. The next step is to begin the process of creating an Exit Plan to allow you to cash out of your business and leave in style when you are ready to do so.
  2. These owners think that they can always sell later. They overlook the demographic evidence indicating that when most Boomers reach retirement age, the glut of companies in the marketplace may drive prices down. Other owners in this group understand that the level of activity in the Mergers & Acquisition market can have a huge affect on the sale price of a company. Their strategy is to wait until the market recovers.
  3. The third group believes that because they have “good” businesses, their exits require no significant planning. When they think about selling, they assume that there isn’t much for them to do because when the time is right, the right buyers will appear and pay them great prices for their companies.

It does happen, albeit quite rarely, that the right buyer appears and pays a great price for a great company. However, it makes more sense to prepare for the biggest financial transaction of your life than to entrust the success of your business exit to Lady Luck.

Fear of the Unknown
Owners who suffer from the fear of the unknown usually think the business is worth enough to satisfy their financial needs and objectives; are worried employees will quit if they find out the business is for sale; believe they are indispensable to the company and don’t want to work for the new owner, or simply think the sale process will take too long and cost too much.

Fear of Losing the Known
On the other hand, for those who fear losing the known , they think they will feel lost with the business because it has been their life; the government will take too much in taxes from the sale; or the have no idea what to do after selling and leaving the business.

See yourself in any of these scenarios?  If so, it’s time to see an Exit Planner to remove or minimize these common roadblocks, and to plan a successful exit.