The Tenney Group is asked this question almost daily. We don’t mind telling trucking business owners that we really don’t know the answer to that question because it depends on many factors that will vary from business owner to business owner. The Tenney Group is not in the business of motivating people to sell. We are in the business of educating freight hauling, logistics, and other transportation business owners about the facts surrounding their business sale so they can make educated decisions for themselves.
Here are 3 thoughts to help you begin to understand if this is a good time for “you” to sell your trucking business.
What would a sale right now allow you to accomplish financially?
A trucking business owner cannot fully consider the possibility of a sale if he or she does not understand what it will allow him to accomplish financially. Obtaining a valuation for the business is step one. But more importantly, business owners need to understand what will actually go in their pocket following the sale—after liabilities and taxes are addressed. Further, they need to consider the various ways that the proceeds from a sale could go to work for them following a transaction. It is good idea to consult a financial advisor well in advance of a possible sale to discuss post transaction investment strategies. The Tenney Group has recently witnessed former transportation business owners employ a variety of investment strategies through real estate and other business ventures while taking advantage of the opportunities in the current market. Once a business owner is equipped with the right information, they can determine if their personal financial outlook is stronger in or out of the trucking business.
Are your heart, mind, and attitude where they need to be?
Trucking businesses are commonly owned for many years and passed on from generation to generation. Business owners fall in love with the trucking industry. But at some point, the love affair begins to grow cold for some business owners. The trucking industry is very unforgiving. When passion is absent, business owners tread on dangerous ground. With an array of complex issues and challenges facing the trucking industry, business owners must be eagerly evolving and adapting in order to stay competitive over the next 3-5 years. If your heart, mind, and attitude are not 100% dedicated to do what is required, you may want to consider taking your chips off the table now.
How do you want to address and protect the legacy you have created through your trucking business when you sell?
When trucking business owners begin the process of selling their business, securing the highest possible sale price is often the top priority. As they move deeper into the process and closer to the closing table, protecting the legacy they have created through the business often becomes equally or more important than sale price. Many trucking businesses have rich traditions, deep customer relationships, and proud reputations that have taken years to develop. Finding a buyer that is the right trustee of the legacy you have created is not always easy. Business owners often make this important sale component more difficult because they do not approach a sale proactively. The majority of trucking business owners sell their businesses reactively in response to cash flow struggles or health issues or because a buyer happens to make an offer for the business. The problem with this approach is that a seller’s options for protecting their legacy are extremely limited when approaching a sale reactively. If protecting your legacy and good name are going to be important to you in the context of your sale, it may be a good time to proactively begin the process of carefully selecting the best possible buyer for your business.