For those new to the idea, hearing about owners selling their businesses can spark curiosity. It may be easy to think that owners only sell when they need help, either because their company is failing or because they themselves mismanaged money. But there are many reasons to sell a business, even a profitable one!
From new opportunities to ownership burnout, in this post we cover some of the common reasons a business owner chooses to sell their alarm business or accounts. We hope this helps you and other owners considering the future understand this option, especially if things are going well!
Opportunities for Business Growth
In today’s fire protection and security integration markets, many business owners are selling to larger competitors to improve their prospects. By selling to a large company in the same industry, an owner of a successful small to medium sized business can become a manager or director within a major company. This has personal and financial benefits for the owner himself, but it also has advantages for his employees.
Selling your company to a larger company expands your potential customer base, it gives you access to more vendors, and creates new career opportunities for yourself and your team. For some, this deal includes better healthcare and other benefits. It can expand your reach across states or even regions and complete your service offerings.
While this is not every owner’s desire, selling your business can be the best move for your continued career growth. It can open up greater leadership opportunities than were possible for you as an owner. This can be a particularly attractive reason to sell for young owners who desire the prestige and security of prominent positions.
Some choose to sell because they’re tired of the responsibility and stress of business ownership. Running a business takes a lot of time and dedication, much more than a full time job. Business owners hold the future of their employees in their hands. Fire or security business owners also answer for their customers’ safety and protection from related emergencies.
After a while, an owner who still wants to be part of his business may be ready for a different role within it. If he runs a successful business, he may hope a buyer would be interested in keeping him on as a manager or advisor.
Other owners experiencing burnout may decide to sell in order to pursue something different. For some, this can mean buying a business in another industry. For others, this can mean starting a new career, traveling, or pursuing a hobby.
Each owner’s decision to sell is different and each one’s goals after the sale will be just as unique. It depends on the reason for the burnout, the stage of life he or she is in, and the other factors at play at the time of sale.
Changes in the Industry
Another common reason for selling is a change in the industry itself. Big shifts in technology trends and customer preferences can be overwhelming for an owner already experiencing burnout or nearing retirement. It can also be daunting from a financial perspective to afford keeping up with the shifting demands.
The competitive acquisition space has changed the fire and security industry a lot over the last few years. Areas that previously had several businesses competing now are dominated by large companies with a national presence. There are many different parties who want to buy a piece of the fire and life safety space, some within the industry and some building investment portfolios.
Entrepreneurs still building or maintaining their small businesses in areas where this has happened may feel worried about their futures. They may also want the opportunities their competitors have gained through the sale. For owners facing these changes, selling a business can be a more attractive option than fighting to run it independently.
Personal or Family Transitions
One of the main reasons entrepreneurs decide to sell is that they want to cash out on their investment and retire. This can happen if they’ve reached a certain age or stage in life. It can also be the result of factors impacting their families or circumstances changing.
For many business owners, these reasons to sell are enough to begin the process of seeking a valuation and setting an asking price.
Running a business takes a lot of time and money. For some, this prevents them from saving and preparing for retirement the right way. If you are an owner in this position, selling your business can make retirement possible in spite of this! Even if you did prepare for leaving full time work, it can be a huge help to your family to have more money readily available as you transition.
This can be particularly beneficial for those who are looking at a potential health issue or need to travel in order to spend more time with family and friends. Exiting this way can be a mutually beneficial option for both yourself and your team, as it can give you the option to prioritize the needs of your employees in the midst of the exit transition.
Concerns About the Future
Even owners who are not ready for retirement or burned out with business management can decide it’s time to sell. A common reason for this can be the state of the economy. If current events or economic trends are adding additional financial stress, selling can look like the safest option for securing the futures of both yourself and your employees. This can be especially true if you sell your business to a larger competitor in the industry.
Selling a portion of your business can also provide the financial security you need while allowing you to continue managing the company. You might be surprised how many buyers are still looking for businesses during hard economic times. Selling for security does not mean you have to accept a low offer. But, enlisting the help of a broker can improve your chances of receiving the offers you deserve!
Thinking About Selling? Start a Confidential Conversation
Wondering if it’s a good idea to sell your business? Not sure if it’s the right time to sell, or if potential buyers would value your business? Then, it’s time to talk to a business broker! A business broker can answer these questions, help you understand the current value of your business, and introduce you to potential buyers.
Not every broker is going to be the right fit for you or your company. As a fire and security owner, you want to work with a broker that understands your business and its value within the industry. That is why many business owners in this industry choose AFS!
With Over 30 Years of Experience, Rory Knows the Value of Your Business
Owner Rory Russell has over 30 years of experience guiding owners through the sale of their businesses. He knows how to provide a proper valuation of your company based on its unique cash flow model. This helps him argue for a better price from buyers.
And, as a former security business owner himself, he knows how personal the selling experience can be. That is why he takes care of the process for you, fighting for your best interests and delivering satisfactory results.
Interested in learning more about selling the right way for the right place at the right time? These resources are an excellent place to start:
To Sell or Not to Sell? Valuable Advice for Alarm Business Owners: Download our free ebook for valuable insight from an industry insider about how to sell for the right price at the right time!
Preparing a Security Business for Sale: Use our checklist as a guide for determining whether or not your company is well positioned for a sale in the near future.
Asset Sale or Stock Sale: Understand two common security business sale types so you can make the right choice for your alarm company when it comes time to sell.