Before you fully commit to selling a business, you should think carefully about what comes next for you and for the company. Many mergers and acquisitions fail at the last because of cold-feet on behalf of the seller, and it can be a long process to go through if you are not fully committed.
While we would never presume to tell you what you should do post-sale, here are some things to think about for both you and your business once you have gone your separate ways.
What do you want to do?
Whatever your reason for selling, you should think long and hard about what your life looks like after the sale. Will you have enough money to retire in the manner which you hope for? Will you be able to start your new career afresh without any additional training or qualifications? Do not be tempted to simply think that everything will be fine –write out what you need and want, and what you will have to do to get there. You may find that it looks like more effort, hassle, or money than you wish to expend.
When planning for your retirement, remember that $1000 now will not be worth the same in a decade or two. Account for inflation (as much as you reasonably can), and bear in mind that your costs of living will change as you will have plenty more hours in the day to fill with hobbies or other activities that will inevitably cost money.
What do you want for the company?
When you sell you will have no say in how the company is run. You can, however, set it on a course that you approve of by thinking about what you would like to see from the company, and screening potential buyers for the same sort of values and drives. Many small business owners, pharmacies included, want to take care of their employees and customers post-M & A, for example. While you cannot necessarily make these demands in the form of terms and conditions for the sale, you can look to find a new owner that wants to run the business as you did, and hope for the best –rather than someone who wants to revamp the company and bring in their own staff.