The business you have slowly grown from the ground up is like your child going to college. You’re glad that they grew up to be a fine person, but you know that you need to let them go. You have to set them free and let them forge their own path. It took you years to build this business from your garage or that tiny office space you rented in town. But somehow, you know it’s time to let go. Whether it be because you are retiring or the industry has changed, it is always painful to walk away from something you have loved for so long.
The phrase “selling my business” is hard to swallow, isn’t it? It eats you up inside that you cannot hold on to this forever. Here are some tips on how to say goodbye to your baby:
Speak to Peers
Do you know anyone who has gone through the same thing? Perhaps it would be nice to speak to them. How did they let go of their business? What did they do the moment they signed the contract after selling the business to someone else? Whether you plan to retire or build another venture, it’s worth taking note of how others survived what you are going through right now.
Sell It to Someone You Trust
You cannot simply sell your business to the highest bidder and expect to sleep soundly at night. You have to check their credentials. You have to make sure that they have the talent, skills, and tools to run your business to success. You have to be confident that these people will not only grow your brand but will also remain true to your business values.
Offer to Consult
Let your doors remain open. Let the new business owner know that you are willing to stand as a consultant for the business for the first months. You’re the only one who knows the organization in and out. How integral are you to the business? Make sure that you’ve trained and briefed the new owners, so you don’t have to worry about their success. The transition plan should be foolproof.
Beware of What Life Will Look Like
For years, you have clocked in eight to 10 hours each day to your work. On weekends, you’ve dealt with inventory and human resource issues. Your life revolved around your business so much so that you missed birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and many other things. This is the kind of life you’ve been used to for years.
Now that you’re saying goodbye to your business, expect the transition period to be hard. What are you going to do with your free time? Have a plan in place. Rediscover a hobby or find new ones to pursue. Reconnect with family and friends you didn’t get to see in the past years. Search for a new business venture. Who knows where this second chapter of your life will take you?
While your life may never be the same again, trust that you have made the best decision for yourself, your family, and the business. The first weeks will always be the hardest. But as you transition to the new chapter in your life, it will become easier. You’ll realize why selling your business was the right choice.