There’s a common misconception that a business for sale must be having problems. After all, if a business was successful and thriving, why wouldn’t the owner continue to milk income from it? In reality, there are plenty of perfectly valid reasons an owner would choose to sell a well-run, profitable business. Here are the five most common:

1. Retirement

Two of the best benefits of being a business owner are that you get to be your own boss and potentially make a lot of money. After years of participation in their business, an owner will naturally want to capitalize on their success and move into a new life chapter. Wouldn’t you? A comfortable and secure retirement from a business equity event is one of the unique rewards owning a business can offer.

2. Personal Life Changes

Running a business takes dedication and a willingness to accept some risk. Circumstances can change that makes these commitments less feasible. A death in the family or sudden illness may demand attention. Divorce could change a personal financial situation. These are just a handful of examples, there’s an infinite number of personal reasons that might require an owner to consider selling their business.

3. Economic Changes

Not all economic changes triggering a business sale are necessarily bad. Perhaps a great economy provided a business owner a new entrepreneurial opportunity they couldn’t refuse, so their business is now for sale. Perhaps demographics are simply shifting, and the owner no longer feels they’re best-suited to service their customers’ needs.

4. Hit a Brick Wall

Everybody has different skill sets. The talents required to build a business from the ground-up aren’t the ones necessary to sustain growth and break into new marketplaces. It’s often the case that a business owner has simply taken a business as far as their talents can take it. If they really want what’s best for their company, they’ll recognize it and sell it to somebody who can take it to the next level.

5. Need a Change

Employees change jobs 10-15 times in their life on average, it’s unreasonable to expect business owners not to want to change it up once in a while, too. There’s a natural itch around year 7-10 in business where the owner sets their eyes on new opportunities inside and outside their current business.  Maybe the owner has another great business idea that they can’t shake from their head and feel compelled to pursue.  

We can clearly see that not all businesses up for sale are lemons. Weeding out the businesses with potential from the broken ones, however, requires diligence. If you’re looking for a helping hand at identifying good opportunities in your local area, make sure to reach out to us at 502-530-0143.


Leslie Kuban is a nationally recognized franchise industry expert, CFE (Certified Franchise Executive) and owner of FranNet in Atlanta; a locally owned and operated franchise consulting firm. Leslie and her team have helped approaching 500 individuals and families achieve their dreams of business ownership through a no-cost, extensive educational and coaching process.