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If you have created a business from scratch, the idea of ever parting ways with it can be terrifying – but it’s something that thousands of entrepreneurs find themselves facing on a daily basis.
Let’s be clear, it’s not just bad reasons that can lead to people considering moving on from their business. There are plenty of good, in fact enviable, reasons that you might be considering moving on. Such as –
- You have a new business idea that you want to dedicate your time to and help yourself towards your business goals, and your existing business is preventing you from being able to do that.
- You’re moving into a different sphere of your life, such as a change in family circumstances or a move abroad, and you can’t take your business with you.
- You’re looking for a new challenge and feel you have taken your current business as far as you can go, so you would rather keep it intact and let someone make the most of it as you look for pastures new.
Of course, it’s impossible to overlook the fact that you may be looking to sell your business for less positive reasons, such as the business not flourishing and you needing to move past it. Either way, bringing yourself to the point of planning to sell a business is never easy.
If you find yourself considering moving on from a business, then it’s worth taking the time to think about whether such a drastic step is necessary. It’s easy to make snap decisions and just decide you’re done with it, but then you face the reality of coping with regret in the years to come.
There are four questions you need to ask yourself to ascertain whether it’s really time to walk away, or whether there might be something more you can do to put your business back on track.
- How Long Have I Felt Like This?
Such a huge decision needs to be thought about for a long time. If you have suddenly decided to sell and list your business the next day, then you’ve not given yourself time to think things through properly. You have to be cautious; give yourself at least a month before deciding to say goodbye.
- Have I Exhausted All Options?
If you have been stuck for a customer base or the business just isn’t enough to pay for your lifestyle, then it can be difficult to motivate yourself out of the slump. Only when you can look in the mirror and say that you honestly did all you could, should you think about taking the next step.
If you are considering selling your business to pursue another venture or change your lifestyle, then have you thought about partnership deals that might still give you a controlling share?
- Am I Bored Of Business, Or This Business?
Is the problem based on your business, or running a business in general? Understanding your motivation here is key to deciding your next steps in life.
- How Will I Feel About This In 10 Years?
Be very, very cautious about this step – it’s so big, and you can’t take it back. Ask yourself how the you of the future will feel about your decision; will they think you did all you could, or that you walked away when the going got tough? How do you feel about the answer?
If you can answer these questions without a blink, then you’re probably doing the right thing – and who knows, your next perfect business idea could be right around the corner.