This could be your year, you know. Your year to do what? Well, you could finally buy that motorcycle you’ve been daydreaming about since you were sixteen. You could travel the world and dance under the Eiffel Tower. You could go skydiving. You could get a tattoo. Really, you could do anything, including selling your business. It might seem just as scary as donning a parachute or speeding down the highway on a Harley, but if you’ve been talking about selling your business for a while, 2012 could be your year to get off the fence. Need a little push? There’s more than one reason why this year is the year to sell.
- The End of an Era. After 2012, the Bush-era tax cuts will be no more. If you’re selling a business after the tax cuts expire, you could see a drastic decrease in your after-tax profits. It’s important to raise this concern with your CPA, or with a professional business appraiser. Even if you stand to profit from another year of business, that profit could be negated by heightened tax rates around sale time. You’re an upstanding citizen, but there’s no need to hand over an unnecessary chunk of your hard-earned money to Uncle Sam if you can avoid it.
- Murky Global Waters. These days, we live in a truly global economy. What happens in a country halfway around the world could have a direct impact on the businesses in your own backyard. At least one international conflict could reach a boiling point in the coming year, and if it does, the global economy could suffer a crushing blow. Furthermore, since the European debt crisis shows no signs of ending soon, many financial experts and global economists are urging business owners to brace themselves for the collapse of the euro. Should the European economy deflate, manufacturing and labor costs will increase internationally. Not only will your business costs climb, but your pool of potential buyers will shrink. Investors will protect their assets and take fewer risks as they ride out the storm. The future is hard to predict, but selling your business sooner rather than later could be one of the most important things you do this year.
- Beating the Boomers. If you’ve ever attended a professional sporting event, you know the value of escaping the stadium just a little early. There’s really no better feeling than looking back at that galaxy of headlights in your rearview mirror and knowing that in each vehicle, someone’s cursing. But you? Well, you’re pretty slick. You’ll feel that same sense of satisfaction when you get a jump on other business owners. As the baby boomer generation enters retirement, many of them will be selling their businesses. If you wait just a few extra years to sell yours, you could find yourself in a saturated market. To get the most out of your business, sell before every baby boomer on the block does too.
- Your Sanity. Think about the last time you broke up with someone. Chances are you knew it was over a while before you actually called it quits. The days and weeks between your decision and your action were likely the worst in your relationship – full of petty fights, a flurry of emotions and stress by the truckloads, all of which you could have avoided if you’d simply had the resolve to stick to your decision and do what was best for you. Your business is the same way. When you want out, you know it. Each year you spend dragging your feet is a year that will one day be easy to regret.
From bungee jumping to break dancing, there are plenty of things on your bucket list that you might not be ready to tackle this year. Selling your business shouldn’t be one of them, because while you might not regret waiting a few more years to form your own glam rock band, you’ll kick yourself if you miss the chance to finally sell your business right here in 2012, when the conditions are right. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get off the fence. Peace of mind – and a better financial life – are out there, waiting for you.
About Author: Perry Sheraw is the founder and executive vice president of eBusiness Appraisals. She is a dedicated business owner advocate with a mission to ensure all business owners have access to critical information in order to make the right choices and achieve the highest possible value from their life’s work.