Building your business has taken years: you’ve thrown your all into its daily operation and you’ve carefully navigated a competitive market to become successful. You’ve even spent time crafting a solid exit strategy and relished negotiating effectively to close the deal and hand over the keys. However, there’s still something nagging at the back of your mind. Something that feels unresolved.
Once the champagne has stopped flowing and the celebrations have subsided, it’s a common phenomenon among business owners and entrepreneurs. The questions “what next?”, and “where do I go from here?” almost always arise and, for every happy former owner, there’s another who wonders whether selling their business was the right thing to do. In fact, sellers remorse often takes the shine off a business sale altogether, leaving a bitter taste even after the most lucrative of deals.
Don’t be disheartened though, as there are a few steps you can take both while running your business and during the sales process that will guide you through any sales-hangover. Here then, we look at a number of ways to future proof yourself, giving you the best possible chance of avoiding the dreaded sellers remorse to help you move on to bigger and better things.
Do it Right
Getting the sale of your business right in the first place should be your main priority. In fact, among the most common reasons for sellers remorse is the feeling that money has been left on the table or a better deal could have been negotiated. It pays then, to be prepared – not only for your immediate profit margins but also for your peace of mind in the future.
Make sure you read our guide on how to sell a business and arm yourself with all the information you can. Additionally, take advantage of the free valuation calculator or request a more personalised valuation through the Daltons Business website and speak to an expert. At this point, you should be exhausting all avenues as, once the sale is complete, there can be no going back.
Put simply, if you get the sale of your business right, there’s a much greater chance that you won’t be able to pick holes in the process later down the line. Additionally, you’ll have a concrete idea on what your business is really worth and any deviation on that should be minimal.
If you’ve read our recent post on exit strategies, then you should already know that planning ahead is part and parcel of good business practice. As a result of this, if you’ve sold your business recently using our advice, then you should already have a good idea of the reasons behind the sale and where to go next. Whether retiring, planning to build a new business from the ground up, or heading into new employment and self-development, you should have a solid grasp of what your professional future holds.
What many people seem to forget however, is the more personal side of changing your routine so drastically. For both you and family members, the day-to-day differences can be quite striking. If you are retiring, you will suddenly find you have infinitely more spare time on your hands. If you are starting a new business then the opposite may be true. Additionally, heading back into education as an adult is a significantly different experience to when you are younger.
Whatever you have in mind, make sure you expect the unexpected. How you may feel or act in the face of such signification changes may surprise even you, so be ready to allow yourself a little time to adapt. As you consider these changes, it may also be a good idea to communicate to friends, family members and colleagues how your future is going to look in real terms, this way, everyone is on the same page.
Be an Individual
Business owners almost always put countless hours into making their particular venture a success, and while commendable, this can lead to a perceived loss of identity after the sale of their business. In fact, all-too-often, former owners realise that a large part of their self-worth was wrapped up in their business.
Avoiding this sense of loss is important for both your personal and professional future, so it’s crucial to take off the business owner mantle and be something else once in a while. Spend more time with your family, join a charitable organisation, take up a hobby, or challenge yourself to learn something new; whatever takes your mind away from your business is likely to bring more dimensions to your character and allow you to seamlessly transition from business owner to individual after the sale of your business.