This is probably the most common question I get asked as a business adviser. Usually, the person asking, “is now the right time to sell my business?” would like the answer to be yes, as they are no longer having as much fun running it as they want to. Sometimes I can help with that problem, but usually I just answer the question, which is more and more often, yes.
There are some things to prepare in your business to realise its true value – very briefly: demonstrate resilience (e.g., through Covid-19), show that it is in a position to drive change and benefit from the current volatile market conditions and demonstrate a management team that can run the business without you. I find that most people who are thinking of selling their business have ticks in these boxes.
The question then becomes – will the price be attractive to me? And again, the answer is mostly yes. There is a lot of money with different people looking for good businesses in the UK for various reasons – simple cash returns (allowing MBOs and EOTs), trading and market synergies, new market opportunities in volatile trading environments, consolidators looking to “buy and build”, all of which push up prices.
So, work out whether your business is bringing you fun and fulfilment, as well as money, and if not, seize the moment to make the sale at a good price and spend your time on something else.