How to Sell a Business: I Quit Listening To What The Other Says The People Believe

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

One year ago, Covid-19 caused a world-wide crisis. My brick-and mortar business had been in my family for almost four years. It was closed to the public within weeks. We struggled like many other small businesses to keep our customers happy without any foot traffic.

Ours was different than most because we were selling custom batches of wine made right on our premises. There are a few legal restrictions regarding the way we can sell it. Legally, customers had to be present in store to begin the process. This included purchasing wine and yeast. Customers had to help in the bottling process once the wine was finished. Selling our wine online was not an option.

We had considered selling the store before the pandemic, to make it even more exciting. Selling seemed the right choice because all four of us had our own visions and goals. This prospect was impossible in this difficult time.

Similar: How small-business owners can thrive in a post-pandemic world
Also, we didn’t know how long this virus would last. We didn’t know and were advised by many that nobody would purchase a brick-and mortar business in such uncertain times. This logic made perfect sense.

Although I am an optimist by nature, all of this made me doubt what was possible. My husband then sat down with me and told me, “If anyone can sell this store it is you.” This was my push to get me to what I had to do. After that conversation, I sent an email to 700 customers announcing our difficult decision and had 10 interested buyers in 48 hours!

We were also advised to be wary of tire-kickers and listen carefully for noisy customers who just want information. It’s not hard to understand: these observations reflect a natural tendency towards looking at the worst case scenario and offering cautionary advice. While I was attempting to maintain sales, I started meeting potential buyers. Unfortunately I didn’t know what it meant or how to market a company. To show potential buyers that we weren’t being affected by the pandemic, all I knew was to maintain strong sales. We were able to bottle and sell wine online thanks to the removal of regulations by the government.

Similar: These are the 4 things to keep in mind before you sell your small business.

While most potential buyers were open to the idea, one buyer was keen to close the deal. Two and a quarter months later the transaction was completed and ownership was transferred. The process of selling a business is usually longer.

The logical mind is what keeps us from believing that anything is possible. Many people advised me to not get too excited about the possibility that the deal might fall apart at any moment. Fairness aside, those things could happen, but they didn’t.

Because of this, I don’t listen to the opinions of others. I wouldn’t have been able to sell my shop at the peak of a pandemic in a world where hundreds of thousands of small businesses failed.

The key point is this: When people say something is impossible, it is likely that they are projecting their own ideas of what is possible. This has absolutely nothing to do what you are capable of achieving. This is also driven by logic, which assumes that what has been proved or supposedly true exists, but the trouble with logic is that if it were, then endeavors such as traveling to the moon wouldn’t seem possible. Now, it’s being reported in that the first hotel in space, Voyager Station, will open in 2027!

If you are trying to outdo the odds, keep in mind that nobody knows exactly what is possible. You might find that the limits you are subject to may be what holds you back.


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