The Emotional Side of A Business Sale

When preparing to sell a business, the emotional aspect of the transaction may not be the first thing on a business owner’s mind. However, as highlighted by a recent divestopedia article by Erick Hamdan, this is an important factor to consider.

After investing years of energy into building a business, selling can take an emotional toll. Despite the initial excitement from a sale, difficult transitions are almost always inevitable. Going into the transaction process, business owners should take time to prepare themselves for some of these issues.

First, losing control can be a painful process for an entrepreneur who has seen the business grow from inception. Before the sale process begins, owners should process how they will react and how they can work through these emotions. Next, a sale can sometimes cause difficult transitions with employees, vendors and service providers. The people you work with may represent some of your closest relationships. Owners must prepare themselves, and those they work with, for the potential changes.

Finally, after the sale of the business is complete, there can often be an increased level of stress. Despite the loss of control, many owners are surprised to find that accountability to new partners or shareholders actually leaves them with a greater sense of responsibility and pressure. Again, this is another issue that owners should prepare for before the sale process begins.

While any of these issues can cause undue stress, they are all manageable with thoughtful preparation. A strong team of advisors, particularly those who have been through this process before, can be a great resource throughout the transaction process.