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As we sail into a new year and new decade, you may be considering major changes, including selling your business. Every business owner leaves their business at some point, whether it’s through death, a bankruptcy, or a sale. For most owners, a sale is the best route. If you’re lucky, it may be the most lucrative transaction you’ve ever undertaken. 

It’s important to consider some important questions as we go into the new year:

  • Is your business healthy and growing? 
  • What is your industry doing? Is it growing, about to grow, or shrinking? Do you need to change your business model to stay ahead of industry trends? 
  • Do you still like running your business? 
  • How much is your business worth? 

Let’s take a closer look at how each of these factors can affect a sale: 

Business Health 

Does your business show positive growth trends year after year? Stability is better than shrinkage, but it’s not impressive. A positive growth trend shows that customers remain enthusiastic and that your brand is still relevant. 

If growth has stagnated, it’s time to assess why that might be. Look at your technology and processes. Consider employee morale and management expertise. Look to your marketing strategy. Any or all of these can slow growth. 

Your Emotions About Selling 

How do you feel about your business and profitability? Do you love running a company, or are you craving a change? Are you burned out? If you don’t feel great about running your business, this could mean it’s time to sell—but only if someone else can enthusiastically take over. If you’re unenthusiastic because your business is failing, this is the worst time to leave. Instead, you need to explore options for building a more successful, thriving business that you can again feel excited about. In some cases, developing the plan to turn things around can inspire new excitement even before true change begins. 

The Health of Your Industry 

Change is inevitable in all businesses. Mobile searches, online shopping, big data, and so many other trends were unthinkable even a few years ago. Something will change the way you do business, now or in the future. There are no exceptions to this rule. Preparation is key. 

So what are the big trends in your industry? How might they affect your operations? Remaining on top of trends is one of the most important things you can do to keep your business healthy. So stay active in the industry. Work with experts, and make changes that keep you ahead of major industry trends. 

Business Sale Value 

The worth of your business is one of the most critical factors to a successful sale. If you can’t get enough money from a sale, you may need to shift strategies. Some owners have a specific figure based on their emotional investment in the business. Others get a valuation every year. Most are somewhere in the middle. To successfully sale your business, you need an objective idea of total value, and that requires the expertise of an outside valuation expert. A valuation can also identify potential areas for growth and improvement, thereby potentially increasing value over time, especially if you have time to make meaningful changes. 

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