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Entrepreneurs can expect some negativity, remorse when selling a small business

Deanna Pogorelc

“You should never be selling your company purely out of an economic benefit,” says Ben T. Smith, co-founder of MerchantCircle.com and Spoke. “If you do, you’re probably going to have regrets pretty soon.”

In videos from docstocTV, Smith says that some entrepreneurs tend to spend so much energy on preparing and looking for a buyer that they don’t take the time to enjoy the process of running the business. Instead of being about money, selling a company should be about where the entrepreneur is in his life and whether the business is something he wants to walk away from, or whether he’d like to continue working on it.

When a startup owner is sure he’s ready to sell, he should be aware of a few things. First, the process always takes longer than it should, and it's important to keep the business’ momentum going, Smith says. Secondly, expect that people are going to find out, and some of them aren’t going to be happy about it.

Lastly, an entrepreneur should expect to experience seller’s remorse 30 to 60 days after the fact. “There’s going to be a down period where you’re going to be sort of lost because you’ve lost this thing that you were working on so intently,” Smith says. “In fact, during the deal process is one of the most intense periods you’re ever going to work, and then suddenly it’s going to stop and you’re going to feel lost.”

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