As a small business owner, you’ve put a lot of hard work and dedication into making your company successful. This has been an enormous part of your life for years (maybe decades), and you’re rightfully proud of what you’ve accomplished.

However, one of the most challenging parts of building a successful company is knowing when it’s time to transfer business ownership to someone else. Selling your business is often an emotional decision, but at some point, it will likely be the best thing for the company and its team members.

There are many things to consider when transferring ownership of a business, such as…

  • finding the right buyer
  • setting up contracts
  • overseeing all of the legal requirements

That’s why every business owner should have a plan in place before they’re ready to actually put their business up for sale. The question is, how do you know when your time to exit a business is drawing near?

As experienced business brokers, we know what it looks like when an owner’s time is drawing to an end. Here are five key signs that you should start thinking about finally exiting your company and transferring ownership.

1) You’re Feeling Burned Out 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, it might be time to step away from your business and take a break. This could give you clarity on what your next steps should be and allow you to come up with new ideas for growth strategies. 

This could also be an opportunistic time to transfer business ownership or even sell the company. Selling your business can provide you with the financial resources to take a well-deserved rest or even retire. No one can keep trucking along forever, regardless of their SMB’s success. 

Running a business is exhausting and stressful – which is probably why a large percentage of small business owners experience burnout. Selling your business can be a difficult decision to make, but you always need to prioritize your mental and physical health. 

Additionally, transferring ownership of your business can provide an opportunity for someone else to take over and bring new energy and ideas to the table. Identify where you are emotionally, then start to determine what your next steps are – whether that’s selling your business or passing it on to a successor. 

2) Your Business Has Outgrown You 

As businesses grow, it can be difficult to keep up with the demands of managing a larger operation. Maybe your business has done so well that it’s become more than you expected – and maybe more work. too.

If your leadership team is not properly suited for the company’s current size and growth, your company may lack focus, direction, and, ultimately, success. 

Transferring ownership of a company to new or existing members of the leadership team can be an effective way to ensure that the company’s size matches its growth and evolving goals. It allows for new ideas, fresh perspectives, and potentially better decision-making.

If companies don’t evolve with the times and their own success, they can quickly fall behind and become irrelevant. This is especially true when it comes to businesses that recently experienced explosive growth. If you keep clinging to the way things were before, you could wind up holding your employees back from reaching their full potential.

Not only will this lead to frustration among your team members, but it can also lead to a decrease in productivity for your business. Remember that growth brings change, and we must be willing to embrace positive changes in order for our companies to remain competitive in our respective industries.

3) You’ve Found Great Partnership Opportunities

If you have the ability or opportunity to combine forces with a competitor or collaborator, this could provide a perfect transition for you to exit the business. Consider the long-term success of the company, then review how the partnership aligns with the opportunities and your personal goals. 

If the signs point in the right direction, a partnership may offer the ideal window for you to exit the company. 

Mergers and acquisitions between two companies can bring a lot of benefits to both businesses. It can help them both become more efficient by…

  • Eliminating redundancies
  • Improving market share
  • Creating economies of scale.

    Partnerships also grant many companies access to new markets, technology, products, and services they wouldn’t have without the merger or acquisition. Moreover, it can help both companies become more competitive and profitable in their industry.

    Once the idea of a merger or acquisition presents itself, make sure that the process goes as smoothly as possible by working with a broker. A trained business broker will ensure that all parties involved in the partnership understand their roles and responsibilities. They will also help you negotiate an exit strategy that works for everyone, granting you true peace of mind.

    4) You No Longer Feel Economically “Free” 

    When most small business owners decide to start their companies, one of their main drives is to feel financially and professionally free. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that every business provides that for its owner. Even if it does, that sense of freedom can quickly be lost. 

    If you’re spending all of your time crunching numbers and dealing with loans, it might be a good time to seek outside investments via expansion or mergers. 

    Finding a reliable investor to bring in capital can be a key factor in the success of any business. With the right investor, businesses have access to additional resources that will help them grow and thrive. Investors can also provide valuable advice and guidance that can help entrepreneurs make better decisions for their businesses. 

    5) You’re Focused on New Projects 

    Remember, exiting a business does not have to equate to retiring! Starting a business is no easy feat, and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to get it off the ground. After you have achieved success, you may find yourself drawn to new ideas and passions that excite you more than your current business. 

    This can be a difficult decision to make, but with careful planning and consideration, it’s possible to transition into something new while still maintaining your financial security.

    When you make the decision to move on to the following project, you will have the opportunity to start fresh while feeling energized and committed. With this newfound attitude, you can create something amazing (again).

    In Conclusion 

    To make sure that your business continues to thrive, it may be time to let some new blood take over. Bringing in fresh perspectives and ideas will help the company stay ahead of the competition and remain successful for years to come. 

    Still, we understand that choosing to transfer business ownership is a difficult decision – but it can be the right one if done at the right time. Knowing when to exit a business is part of any entrepreneur’s journey and can be the difference between success and failure. 

    Keep an eye out for the right time to exit your business so that you can maximize your return on investment and ensure that you’re leaving your business in a good position.

    Thinking it’s time to plan your exit now (or soon)? Our leader Chris Smith will help you make the right decisions.

    With his experience and knowledge in the field, he will provide advice and guidance to ensure that the process is smooth and successful. He is also available to answer any questions you may have regarding the process. 

    To learn more about our business brokerage and consulting services, reach out to Chris and his team today.