Selling your business might be the hardest thing you’ll ever do

Photo by Alex Gurung / Unsplash

Below is the first article from “I Want To Sell My Small Business,” the newsletter that will help you navigate the financial, operational, human, and emotional components of selling your small business. Subscribe here.

It was the hardest thing I had ever done, no doubt.

My wife and I spent more than two decades building a regional marketing and communications agency. We had amazing employees and produced great work for clients we loved in an industry we believed in. Our reputation was solid. We were named to the Inc. 5000 list.

Then in 2019, we began the process of selling our company. For reasons I’ll get into more fully in a future article, we knew it was time. We needed a strategic partner, not just an investor/acquirer, so that narrowed the field of prospects considerably. We found a great match and set about the work of making a deal happen.

What happened next was the hardest thing I’ve ever tackled.

I thought I was prepared. I had read all the books, listened to all the podcasts, heard all the stories. I was as ready to enter the negotiation process as anyone could be. But what unfolded taught me that selling the company you built and toiled over for years is a multi-layered event. It involves the:

• Financial

• Operational

• Human

• Emotional

Any one of those components can and will sideswipe you — often when you least expect it.

I’ve had many conversations with founders who experienced the same things. The seemingly endless slog of due diligence. An unexpected gut-punch from employee reactions. The surprising degree of loss that overcomes you after the sale, despite how happy you are to see that cash hit your bank account.

That’s the passion behind my new publication I Want To Sell My Small Business: equipping you to experience a successful sale by all measures. If you are the owner of a small business and hope to sell it within the next 1 to 5 years, this newsletter is for you. Not only will I share what I learned through the process, but you’ll also hear from other founders as they share insights from building and selling their own businesses. And I’ll be curating valuable resources that will help you on this journey.

I Want To Sell My Small Business is the cornerstone of a larger project. A podcast is in the works, as is a live event where you can network with other business owners while hearing from subject matter experts and folks who have traveled the same road you are on.

Please subscribe here to receive emails when new content is published. And share this publication with other business owners you may know. Together we’ll chart a course that leads you to the next exciting phase of your life.

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Grew an agency, hit the Inc. 5000 list, sold it during a pandemic. Now helping other owners with the free newsletter IWantToSellMySmallBusiness.com

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

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Stephen V. Smith

Stephen V. Smith

Grew an agency, hit the Inc. 5000 list, sold it during a pandemic. Now helping other owners with the free newsletter IWantToSellMySmallBusiness.com

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