You can sell your business and get away clean – if you want to. It’s your decision to stick around during the transition of ownership or move on. Unless you’ve promised to help the new owner, there’s nothing forcing you to stick around. After you’ve sold the business, do you want to lounge on your front porch or return to work?
Finalizing the transfer of your business doesn’t necessarily mean you’re done. You could choose to stay on and work as a consultant.
Some business owners do this after selling their business. Perhaps the new owner needs training or needs help training the staff. As the former owner, you’re probably the best person for the job.
Although it’s not required, you might want to stay and help if:
Staying will help make the sale. Perhaps the business is complicated. The new owner might need special training that’s easy for you to provide. The new owner could feel anxious, and need help building relationships with clients, vendors, employees and other important people.
If you agree to stay and help, then the new owner will be more comfortable with the situation. If you’re dealing with a potential buyer, then agreeing to help just might close the sale.
Staying on doesn’t mean you’re committing your life to the business. You can work fulltime, part-time or as a consultant. It all depends on how you can best help the new owner.
You’re not ready to head off into the sunset. Most people look forward to retirement. They can’t wait to walk away from their job to do something more enjoyable. However, you might not fit into that category. Perhaps you’re not ready to completely retire from working.
Offer to work on a part-time, temporary basis. You can assist with the transition of ownership while doing something you enjoy.
As stated earlier, you’re not required to remain involved with the business after it’s sold. You can walk away without a care – unless you’ve been invited or asked to stay. Even then, you might decide that sticking around isn’t for you if:
You want a clean break. Some owners sell because they’re no longer interested in the business. They have no desire to do anything related to their former line of work. If this describes you, then you’re better off moving on. Of course, you can stay if asked, but you’re not obligated.
You don’t like the way the business is run. Each business has its own personality. The business you ran may have been fun and casual. You might have loved getting to know your employees and associating with them. The new owner may have a different outlook.
The new owner might want a traditional corporate atmosphere where employees are all business all the time. If that’s the case, it’s likely you wouldn’t find the atmosphere appealing.
When the new owner comes in, they’ll create an atmosphere to their liking. If that makes you uncomfortable, then you should move on.
Make your move
There are no rules that say you must remain involved following the sale of your business. Some people continue to play an active role while others walk away.
In the end, it comes down to your needs and the needs of the new owner.
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