Although it may seem like a ways down the road yet, one day you’ll be able to say, “I successfully sold my business.” This milestone in the merger and acquisition process is significant for several reasons. Obviously, the first is that you completed what you set out to do. Your business now belongs to someone else and you’re free to consider “life after the sale.”
Is that what we’re referring to when we talk about life after the sale? To some extent, yes. However, we also have an unofficial Stage 5 of our M&A process. Let’s look at what happens after all obstacles have been overcome and you’ve both signed on the dotted line.
The Unofficial Stage 5: After Transaction Support
Before we consider the sale concluded, we offer after transaction support. In many cases, once a broker has your money they disappear.
Our team of corporate finance advisors doesn’t operate that way. We’re still here to support you and ensure that you have all of your proceeds. That’s when life after the sale truly begins for us.
Another possibility that follows Stage 5 is continued involvement with your firm. This, of course, would have been a part of the Heads of Terms negotiation. There, you would have outlined the legal requirement to continue to be a part of the company once the new owner assumes financial responsibility for the firm. Essentially, you’re now operating as a consultant, an employee, a board member, or whatever other arrangements you and the seller agreed on. While you sold your business and made money on it, in this scenario life after the sale means you continue working for your company — just in a different capacity.
Of course, many business owners choose to part ways with their companies because they’ve decided they want to retire. Life after the sale, in this case, looks like…well…anything you want it to be. Traveling across Europe, golf outings, enjoying your grandkids, spending time with your spouse, cycling, picking up a new hobby, or becoming a writer are just a handful of the possibilities to consider for retirement.
Retirement can come at any age, depending on the success of your business. In addition, many entrepreneurs find it difficult to slow down after being so heavily involved with their business for the majority of their life. Let’s look at each of these two scenarios individually.
For younger post-sale individuals, it’s possible that you’ll spend the next few years in a state of downtime, exploring what you want your life to look like in the coming decades. This might look like a return to work or launching another business endeavour. It can also involve philanthropy or turning a hobby into a new career.
For older retirees, we won’t blame you if you find the sudden slowdown difficult to settle into. Finding a part-time gig, of which we’ll unpack two possibilities shortly, can help ease the transition into full retirement (or open up new doors of opportunity).
Your next capital investment
In the U.S., there is an entrepreneurial show called Shark Tank. There, investors consider up-and-coming opportunities to invest in — with a partial ownership stake in the new firm. Likewise, are there startups you can partner with or young entrepreneurs who need capital? Life after the sale can see you acting as a mentor to these individuals.
Serve on boards
Often, local non-profits, limited liability companies, and other types of organizations need retired leaders who can act as board members. This is a great way to maintain a connection with the local community while not committing to running a business full-time.
Launch another business
Finally, life after the sale can look like your life did when you first started your business. Nothing is stopping you, bar a non-compete for your old company, from launching another startup. For those who enjoyed running their business or have found a new passion, this may be the optimal choice for you.
A successful M&A means you can start thinking about life after the sale
The team at Venture Corporate Finance looks forward to helping you achieve the important milestone of selling your business. Whether you’re just starting the process, have been on the road to sale for some time but ran into struggles, or are a buyer looking to make a purchase, remember that . We don’t charge any upfront fees, retainers, or have any forever tie-ins.