Several weeks ago an entrepreneur reached out and said he wants to sell his company. After having grown the business from nothing to a good size (> $10 million revenue) he’s tired and ready to move on to the next adventure. I’ve had a number of similar conversations over the years, and here are a few reasons entrepreneurs decide to sell their company:
- Boredom – The journey is the fun part, and when it’s no longer fun, it can be time to sell
- Financial freedom – Many entrepreneurs set out to make FU money — say $20 million — and when the first offer comes along that meets their goal, they sell
- Incredible offer – My favorite response to someone asking “is your company for sale?” is to answer “no, but how much are you offering?” such that sometimes an offer so incredible comes along that you can’t say “no” (this was the case with selling Pardot to ExactTarget)
- Industry shift – Technology moves fast and sometimes you’re on the wrong side of the curve, so it’s important to get out before things get even worse
Selling a company is a very personal and emotional decision. Deciding to sell is just the first step in a long process and there are many reasons to exit.
What else? What are some other reasons why entrepreneurs decide to sell their company?