So many people want to become owners. Want to find a business to buy. Why would someone sell?
I think there is also a bit of a stigma to selling. A feeling that one should or would want to “keep it in the family.”
I have found that the most common reason business owners sell is personal. The owner is ill, or wants to retire. Wants to do something different. Or has lost confidence in his or her ability to continue to run it successfully.
Being a business owner is a part of the so-called American Dream, but what people really want is happiness. Quality of life. To many, that means freedom. Owning a business can be pretty demanding. Restricting. And often, there is no one in the family that wants to, or is really capable of, taking it over. And even when there is, the seller needs or wants the sale proceeds to fund retirement or the next venture (or adventure). Of course, in some older businesses, the ownership structure can span to many family members that are not involved in the business. This can cause stress and friction. Many just want their payday. Sometimes a sale, or a buyout of partners, is a sensible solution.
I’ve also seen very unhappy sons and daughters of founders that are pressured to carry on the dream or accomplishment of their parent. Should they not be free to live their own dream? Their own vision for their life?
Less common, from my experience, is the seller that is simply making a rational decision to sell when things are good. Adhering to the old adage, buy low and sell high. These are deals we love to see, however, as they are typically companies that are having great success and of significant value.
Finally, it’s the business owner that needs to sell because things are not going well. This is always unfortunate because struggling businesses rarely garner prices that are attractive to the seller. It’s a catch 22. But we aim to help wherever we are needed. Give us a call.