The Psychology of Selling – Are You Sure You’re Ready?
More than likely, selling your franchise is one of the biggest decisions of your life. Unless you own a business, it is impossible to understand just how all-encompassing of a process it can be. With that stated, it is important for franchisees to step back and seriously reflect on whether or not they are truly ready to sell. The psychological aspects of selling are not trivial. Various aspects must be taken into consideration before initiating the process to sell.
There are many reasons why it is vital to step back and think about whether or not you are really ready to sell your franchise. Far too many business owners believe they are ready to sell, only to discover (much too late) that an executed sale is not optimal for their plans.
Selling When There is No Other Choice
Selling a business because there is no other choice, such as situations concerning failing health, personal issues or problems with a business partner, isn’t a true choice at all. In this situation, the psychology of selling is essentially irrelevant, as you have one option, namely, to sell.
The Case of Burnout
In other cases, owners eventually hit a brick wall and have no choice but to consider selling. As burnout sets in, franchisees may feel that the time is right to “hang up their hat” and put their business up for sale. However, as the process evolves, even those experiencing some level of burnout can discover that they are not emotionally or psychologically ready to sell. In many cases, people make this realization only once it is too late.
Take the Time for Self-Reflection
Quite often, a franchise becomes interwoven into a franchisee’s sense of self, sense of place in the world and even, to an extent, sense of self-worth and identity. When owners are unaware of this fact, it can be something of a shock to their system to begin the sales process. Many people simply are unaware of the strong hold that their business has on them.
Owners need to invest some time in self-reflection and ask four key questions: Do I really want to sell? If the answer is yes, then why do I want to sell? Will I regret selling once my business is sold? What will I do after I have sold my business? Answering these questions involves far more than evaluating your business. They also involve diving into emotional issues that could be central to your future.
Start the Exit Planning Process Early
Long before you are ready to sell, it’s best to start thinking about exit planning. By working with a franchise resale expert early on, you can understand your current business value compared to where it needs to be to successfully retire.
One of the things you should do is to groom others in the company for management positions, providing them with more opportunities to take on leadership roles. You’ve probably heard it said, ”work ON your business, not IN your business”. Allow yourself a little extra time to step back and observe. Become the guide for your employees and let them do more of the heavy lifting. In doing so you’ll feel more secure about selling your franchise when the time is right. You’ll have fewer regrets and you’ll have had time to re-establish your sense of self separate from your franchise.
Are You Really Ready to Sell?
One of the best ways of determining whether you are ready to sell, and preparing your business for that potential sale, is to work with a business broker who specializes in franchise resales. These brokers are experts at helping franchise owners deal with every aspect of the process of selling a franchise. They can act as experienced guides that can use that experience and expertise to help you determine if you are truly ready to sell.
If it turns out that you are indeed ready to sell, a brokerage professional can help you prepare so that you can achieve the best price possible once your business hits the market.