The Most Important Questions About Selling your Business, When Family Matters Most
There isn’t anything easy about selling your family business. Transactional topics like valuation, due diligence, and documentation are certainly challenging. But there are emotional, once-in-a-lifetime questions to be explored.
Here are just some of the questions we’ve encountered in our many years of sitting in the offices and kitchens of business owners who are considering selling their business.
- I am still vibrant, active and productive. Why sell now? If not now, then when?
- I always thought my family and employees could take over. Am I being too optimistic?
- I’d love for my child to take over the business, but how can I be sure they have the tools to succeed?
- Our family name is on the building and has been in this town forever. What happens when our family no longer owns the company?
- I’ve always thought that a private equity sale will result in everything changing. I’ve worked too hard to watch it all change overnight. Is change inevitable?
- How do I determine if the buyers of my company will honor our legacy, employees, and customers?
Many of these questions have unknowable answers today. Over time and with guidance the questions get answered. Sometimes, your gut will guide you. Sometimes, only time will tell.
Often times, discussing these questions with the right private equity partner can help provide clarity. At Great Range Capital, we pride ourselves on crafting solutions to address the specific concerns of family business owners. Our experience with many business owners who have asked the very same questions, has helped us guide future sellers through this important decision-making process.
Examples of this experience include: helping finance the ownership transfer of the business from the parents to the next generation; providing a pathway for a child or key employee to grow into a leadership role over time while the parents or sellers obtain the funds they may need for retirement; and committing to invest in and support the existing company culture.
A private equity firm like Great Range Capital wants to maintain the integrity of all that is good with a business, not change it just for the sake of change. By adding capital and expertise we only hope to build on the good work established by the founder or owner.
Family matters. And so does a good private equity partner.
At Great Range Capital, we understand the challenges that business owners face when considering the sale of a family business. It’s one of the many reasons companies have established long-standing relationships and partnerships with our investment team. When it comes to family concerns there are many more discussion topics than we can cover in a short article.
If you’re considering a private equity investment, we hope you will think about the topics we’ve outlined and add to it with your own list of important decision points. We also encourage you to have heartfelt discussions with your family, advisors and equity investment partners. Not sure where to start? Just give us a call and let’s talk.