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Why You Should Stop “Preparing Your Business For Sale”

Let’s start with a tour through some Google searches.

Note the tips given and steps advised in both of the search results.

Google results - how do i prepare to sell my business

“How do I prepare to sell my business”

Google results - preparing to sell my business

“Preparing to sell my business”

As you can see in the pictures, the majority of the resources online will give you steps to take in relation to your business’ finances, operations or employees. These are important to do but they miss one key aspect of the process.

Before “preparing your business for sale,” prepare yourself for the sale of your business.

Can you see the difference?

They both focus on a business’ sale. But, the first starts with the state of the business. While, the second starts with the state of the business owner.

In all honesty, these two statements might lead you to take the same exact actions. But, the emotional motivation behind those actions will be significantly different in following one statement versus the other.

Preparing yourself for the sale of your business will allow you to take the necessary emotional steps away from your business. You’ve worked really hard to get your business where it is – letting your baby go is challenging.

If you don’t take time to prepare yourself for the sale of your business, you may find yourself pulling the plug in the final moments of a deal because you forgot to think about what you’ll do instead of going into the office the next day.

If you’re doing it right, preparing yourself for the sale of your business will naturally lead into preparing your business for sale.

Let’s hear from a few business owners who have sold all or part of their companies. Here’s how they prepared themselves for the sale of their business:

 “I have found it is helpful to correctly frame my perspective on the business I own. I view it like I view my house.
After I owned my first house, my perspective of what I wanted in my next house was very different. The same is true after selling my first business and now owning a second.
When you have a house, you decorate it the way you want to decorate it, you landscape the yard, you put an addition on the back, you fix it up. The house takes on your personality and reflects you.  But, you will sell that house and the new owners will inevitably make it their own. How many people go back to their old house and stay a few nights each month? Not many. The same is true with your business – love it while you are there but some day you will pass it on and you likely won’t go back very often.”

Kirk Kaiser, sold interest in Barrier Technologies


“Whenever you’re in the middle of a big decision or process, constantly remind yourself why you’re doing what you’re doing. Especially, when it starts to go off track. Because the deal dies more often on emotions than on numbers.
That’s what so funny. When you spend time talking about investment bankers, everybody asks, “How good are they at doing valuations? How good are they at gathering documents? Doing audits?” None of the emotions had anything to do with any of that – none of it!”

Jeff Hutsell, sold Levels of Discovery


Money matters but it’s not the only thing that matters. Be willing to do the hard work of preparing yourself for the sale of your business now – that will make preparing your business for sale that much easier.