How To Find The Right Buyer For Your Legacy Business

When the Olympic flame begins the journey around the world that ultimately ends at the Olympic Games, a chain of events that has been planned out for months is set in motion . The people that are chosen to carry the flame are not put in place by accident. In fact, torchbearers are chosen months in advance.

They are given specialized training for how to hold the torch, what to do if the flame goes out and how to handle any contingencies for people who may try to sabotage the torch’s path. The International Olympic committee takes this part of their job very seriously. There is an entire team of people dedicated to help the torchbearer complete their assigned portion of the route without any surprises.

Why should the handoff of your business be treated with any less care?

A smooth handoff of the flame from one runner to another is the goal of the day. (The flame is passed on, not the torch itself.) In the same way, the spirit of your business will pass on from your hands and onto the buyer you’ve carefully selected to carry on your legacy. Such a clean transition is possible, but you must take steps now to prepare for it. (If you’re not sure what kind of business you have, we can help.)

Begin With The End In Mind

This is where the philosophy of “Begin with the end in mind” is so important. Before you start your Legacy Business, you need to sit down and ask yourself a few questions. (If you’ve already launched your business, it’s not too late. But do it now!) Take some time to really consider your answers and get clear on what it is you want from the selling process.

Questions to ask yourself:

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  • What are my plans for my life after the sale of my business?
  • What is my exit strategy? Who will I need to ask for help or hire in order to make my exit possible?
  • How will I know when my business is ready to sell? What steps do I need to take to make this happen?
  • Do I already have a buyer in mind? Are they or will they really be interested?
  • What are any potential deal breakers that would make me stop a sale?

Creating A Plan For The Future

When you’ve determined the time is right to sell your business, hopefully you have a buyer who is excited to take on the challenge. But if you didn’t have a buyer targeted all along, finding a buyer who is right for your business can feel like a bad dating show.

But it doesn’t have to be. In the same way that you took the time to ask yourself what your goals were for the sale, you need to ask your buyer a few questions before you pass on that flame.

So how do you know this is the right buyer for your business? These questions can help.

  • How do their values and vision match up with what I’ve created for my business?
  • Do they have any experience operating a business in a similar field?
  • What happens to your current employees, if any?
  • Will you need to remain and be a part of the business for awhile to ensure a smooth transition?
  • How will the buyer work to ensure the continued success of the business in the future?

Taking The Leap

Now that you’ve put in the work to build a Legacy Business and found the right buyer for your business, it’s time to take that leap and actually sell.

Walking away from something that you’ve created yourself can be tough. You’ve poured your time and energy into creating something that met your needs financially and is now positioning you to reach Financial Freedom.

Because that’s the ultimate goal of a Legacy Business. To create something you can sell to someone else to fund your Freedom. You now have achieved that goal, and Freedom is waiting. Take a moment to celebrate all that you have accomplished.

Seeing that flame being passed to a new torchbearer and watching them disappear off into the distance can be strange. That’s ok. You have a whole new life ahead of you, waiting to be enjoyed.

Have you sold a business? How did you know the buyer was right for your business? Tell us your story in the Business Owner Only Community!




image credit: Bigstock/Kaspars Grinvalds


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