Selling Your Printing Business: Got the Time?

Posted by Rock LaManna

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When it comes to selling your business, your estimate of the length of the process is like a flip of a coin. It's highly random. And I'm willing to bet that most of you will guess wrong. Sound like a costly mistake for a successful business owner.

Most businesses take 1-2 years to sell. Minimum.

No matter how desperate you want to sell, there are no buyers who will speed through a closing just to get you the cash you want. You’re better off liquidating and closing the doors than thinking you’re just going to turn something around in 2-3 months.

Selling a business takes time. This is a process, not an event, and it starts a long time before the deal occurs and finishes long after the closing. For a truly successful transition – the kind of win-win scenario you need for long-term success – you should plan on some level of involvement after the sale as well.

Even if you have everything ready, any transition requires some hand holding, so budget that into your timeline.

Give yourself enough time to complete the transaction, otherwise you’ll wind up spending more time spinning your wheels than closing a deal.

Meanwhile....Do you think you can sell the business by yourself?

You’re about to fall into the trap of the entrepreneur.

Every classic entrepreneur believes they can do it all. Whatever the business, whatever the task, they have such supreme confidence in their own ability. To their credit, many talented owners like you could figure out all the intricacies of selling a business.

Of course, do you really think you have the time to undergo such an endeavor, particularly when you’ll need to keep your own business running strong?

As someone who participates in business transitions every day, I can tell you these are time vacuums, even for those of us who have been doing this for 35 years. It’s a long, arduous process, even without the learning curve.

To try to complete this on your own and run your business would require a minimum of 20 hour days for well over nearly two years – if you get lucky and find the right buyer.

There’s nothing wrong with being a self-learner, but choose the areas that make the most sense. This is definitely not one of them.

No matter how desperate you want to sell, there are no buyers who will speed through a closing just to get you the cash you want. You’re better off liquidating and closing the doors than thinking you’re just going to turn something around in 2-3 months.

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Over time, every business goes on it's own journey. Let's take a look at three printing businesses that each faced some serious challenges. All involved privately held printing companies. There were tough decisions that needed to be made and sometimes there were major disagreements. 

These are the kinds of discussions I'm involved with and I think you'll learn a lot from this episode of The Printer's Edge Podcast. And remember that if you subscribe to the podcast through Apple Podcasts, you'll never miss an episode.

Ice InPrint Logos TOPBig news! The LaManna Alliance is honored to be a part of ICE USA and InPrint USA. This April, these great co-located shows are taking place in Louisville.

I'll be making two presentations. I'll also be serving an Expert in the Ask the Experts program. This is your opportunity to schedule a private 20 minute conversation about your needs.

Register at: https://l.feathr.co/ice-usa-rl-rock-lamanna and enter the code RL19 for special access. Bring your team and get smart!

 

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Topics: Succession Planning, Sales Strategy