How I Taught The Art of Selling Your Business to a Five-Year-Old

By Patty DeDominic

It may seem like developing an exit strategy requires complicated, deep thought, years of in-depth planning, and overwhelming stress. In reality, I’ve taught a five-year-old how to sell a business and I can teach you too. I’ve got four tips that you should keep in mind. Following these steps will not only help you in your business, but in your life as well.

1. Keep it Simple
A five-year-old doesn’t have the advanced business and technical knowledge to understand contract negotiations, mergers and acquisitions, and exit strategies. To be honest, a five-year-old doesn’t care. And you shouldn’t care as much as you do right now either. If the thought of selling your business is giving you anxiety and stress, repeat these three words: keep it simple. Yes, you’re going to have to deal with some new concepts, but you don’t need to over think them.

Over the years, I’ve seen hundreds of positive exit stories where entrepreneurs were able to sell their business for a significant profit and go on to do great things. I’ve seen others where the owners found themselves bogged down by the worry and anxiety of selling, turn into what should be a wonderful, exciting time to an experience they never want to relive. The difference? The ones who enjoyed the new challenge kept it simple. They didn’t try to overcomplicate the situation.

2. Think Long-Term

Like a five-year-old, many people want instant gratification. From a” like” on social media to a mediocre offer for something that will bring a little extra now, we want to see results immediately. When you’re trying to sell a business, though, it’s important to think of the long-term results. Building a profitable business takes time, and selling the business for an even greater profit takes even more time.

A five-year-old struggling to learn to ride a bike doesn’t give up and say, “Well, maybe that wasn’t for me.” They keep trying and so should you. Persistence and patience are crucial ingredients for a long-term profit and business sale.

3. Run it Today as if You’ll Own it a Decade Later

When you pour your love for your business into growing it, your product and brand will respond accordingly. Potential buyers will too. Disregard the timetable you have in mind for your exit plan and treat each day of work as though you will always own the company. You’ll find that a long-term vision helps you stay more focused.

4. Share Your Toys: The Benefits, Perks, and Joys of Your Business
When most business owners start their businesses, they’re like new parents — excited to tell everyone about the wonderful chapter in their lives. Over time, though, the shiny, new business loses its appeal and for many business owners, turns into a job. Re-discover the reasons why you started the company in the first place. The energy that you pour into telling others about your venture will spill into each area within the company, and will generate growth.

Patty DeDominic is a business coach to highly accomplished entrepreneurs. She has been privileged to work with several unicorns and has a USA Based Virtual Advisory Service with specialties in growing to SCALE or for sale.

How I Taught The Art of Selling Your Business to a Five-Year-Old

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