10 Benefits of an Exit Plan – #8 Be Mentally Prepared For Your Sale

be mentally prepared for your business sale

What do you plan to do once you have sold your business?

This is a question that I like to ask early on in a conversation when talking to people about preparing their business for sale.

It’s fair to say that information about preparing your business for sale is readily available but there is not much detail about preparing yourself. This is something that you should not overlook. Being mentally prepared for life after your sale is important for many different reasons.

I’m sure that like many people, on certain days you would happily just hand over the keys to the business and walk away, on other days you’d probably have to think carefully about accepting a full-price offer. The roller coaster of emotions that we ride as business owners is something that it pays to recognise as you work through your exit plan.

As you map out your plan try to make all decisions logically and without emotion. This is easier said than done and will take conscious effort.

In a recent study by the Exit Planning Institute 75% of business owners who had sold their business recently expressed regret in having let the business go.

It’s sometimes hard to believe that this would apply to you, especially during tough times but this feeling is much more common than people think.

As you consider selling your business try to focus on all of the benefits that the business provides to you and your family currently. As much as I love tech I’m pretty old school with this type of process. Try simply drawing a line down the middle of a blank sheet of paper. In the left column write down all the pros to owning your business, on the right-hand side write down all of the things that you don’t like about it and what you want to get away from.

This thinking process will help you to make sure that you take into account all of the good aspects of the business and don’t just focus on the negative ones that always seem to be front of mind.

You also need to think carefully about how you will replace your income, when you do this make sure you take into account all of the expenses that you currently run through the business. Costs like bread, milk, coffee, petrol, mobile phones etc can add up over a year and once the business is gone you will need to start paying for these again.

Whilst the financial considerations take care of the more practical mental preparation it’s also a good idea to think carefully about what you would like to do personally when you have sold the business.

Will you start or buy something else?

Will you get a job?

Will you stay in the Hospitality industry or will you have a complete change?

Speaking from personal experience I can assure you that it’s much easier to enjoy your newfound freedom after a business sale when you have a plan or at least a clear idea of what your next steps will be.

After selling my first business without any plan I found that whilst I enjoyed the first couple of months off I soon got anxious about what to do next and the timeline to settle into something else blew out to about twelve months. During that time we ate into a lot of the capital from the sale, with more thought and a bit of planning I could have saved myself a lot of stress and money.

While it’s not essential to have your next chapter completely mapped out, thinking about one or two options that might work for you can allow you to relax immediately after the sale. This naturally leads to clearer thinking which can only be a good thing.

I hope that you found this post useful, please feel free to contact me or any of the GSE team if you would like to discuss an Exit Plan or the potential sale of your business.