Deciding to sell your business is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make as a founder. But just when you think the sleepless nights are over, you’ve got to deal with the next big question: when to sell? Finding the right moment is crucial – it can be the difference between a significant increase in value, and a sale not happening at all.

So when should you sell? Short of finding a crystal ball, there’s no fool-proof way to pick a time to sell. There’s always a chance your business will be subject to unpredictable circumstances beyond your control.

For example anyone planning to sell their aviation company in March 2020 might have had a rude awakening when the World Health Organisation declared a pandemic and fleets across the world were grounded. But equally, a company like Slack, which enables remote working between teams, was probably quite smart to sell to Salesforce in the midst of the coronavirus crisis – the $27.7bn price tag certainly proves the point.

No one could have seen the pandemic coming, but fortunately, global health crises and other major industry-wide catastrophes are fairly rare. And there are plenty of indicators we can look out for with more certainty.

If you would like to read our first article in this series, Is you management team hindering your true management potential? please see here