Selling your Microsoft practice is a time-consuming and often life-changing event. While most owner/operators deciding to sell complete their transactions, taking a “pause” for others during the process is the smartest thing to do.
Why pause? For one, you may not be attracting offers that align with your valuation expectations. In other cases, your business may experience a soft revenue stretch due to the loss of a few key customers. We’ve also seen sellers pause after forecasting an extraordinary sales pipeline, paving the way for unprecedented growth.
For these and other reasons, it’s more than ok to wait until those challenges have been addressed or opportunities realized before continuing the sale of your Microsoft practice.
To be clear, if you take your practice to the market, be absolutely sure you and your business are ready. A lot of hours are spent preparing materials, financials, and buyer lists, as well as establishing relationships with qualified buyers.
Bottom line: Pausing should be looked at as “Plan C,” but is often the right decision for some owners.
Here are ten reasons why pausing in the middle of an M&A process is acceptable:
1. Improving your business: Using the pause to improve profits, reduce costs, or expand into new markets. This makes your Microsoft practice more attractive in the long run to potential buyers -- resulting in a higher valuation.
2. Beefing up your pipeline: If you’re forecasting unprecedented growth during the next 12-18 months, you may decide to stay in the business longer to realize the benefits of those gains.
3. Providing courage to start the process: If you’ve been stressing over starting the sale process, knowing you have the option to pause gives you peace of mind and confidence to start.
4. Getting your house in order: Cleaning up your financial records, operations, and processes to withstand the scrutiny of buyer due diligence.
5. Buyer Behavior: Unrealistic expectations, renegotiating the sale price, aggressive tactics, or a lack of transparency by the buyer raises red flags. Pausing allows the seller to determine if the buyer is the best fit for their business.
6. Life happens: Personal reasons for selling may change. For example, sellers may resolve personal issues, find another business opportunity they are more passionate about, or simply decide they are not ready to let go of their business. In such cases, pausing allows the seller to reevaluate their decision and ensure that selling is still the right choice.
7. Growing by acquisition: Sometimes 1+1 is more than 2. We’ve worked with sellers who find the perfect acquisition target and pivot briefly as a buyer before re-entering the market as a seller. Executed well, this new revenue and resources often result in a higher future transaction value.
8. Planning for a transition: Selling your business is a major life event. Pausing the process gives you additional time to better plan for the transition.
9. Reducing stress and increasing clarity: The M&A process is stressful, especially for owners/operators. Pausing gives you a chance to catch your breath and focus on leading your Microsoft practice a little longer before ultimately selling.
10. Shifting into neutral is a decision: Some view pausing as the inability to make a decision. But in reality, pausing takes courage to shift direction in order to position your business for a better deal down the road.
If you are considering selling your Microsoft practice, let's talk. IT ExchangeNet owns a global network of 85,000 buyers focused on the information technology sector. Whether you are a channel partner (Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, ServiceNow, etc.), an MSP, or MSSP, the market continues to have strong demand for your business.