A few years ago, I was attending a conference titled “Exit Strategy for Entrepreneurs” in which a successful Canadian entrepreneur was describing how he sold his business for top dollars. I was expecting the speaker to be full of joy and exhilaration after becoming a multimillionaire in just a few years. However, I was surprised to sense some kind of bitterness in his speech. The entrepreneur was simply describing his experience after the sale. The separation from their businesses causes most business sellers to feel some kind of regret after the sale. Many studies have been done and findings have confirmed that the few months succeeding the sale of their businesses are not the happiest for these business owners.
What should business do to make the “after sale” experience better?
- Know themselves and make sure they have good reasons to sell their business.
- Have a meaningful goal and make a clear plan and start implementing it in the few weeks before the sale.
- Be aware of their feelings and recognize the emotions that might come after the sale.
- Have a coach and discuss with them their motives, plans and advancement.
- Negotiate a smooth transition with the business buyer so the separation from their companies is smooth and less painful.