Selling your company is a big step to take. It’s a time where you’re saying goodbye to the thing you managed to give birth to when it was nothing more than an idea on a piece of paper. There are many reasons why you may decide to sell your organization, and not all of them are down to failure.

Yahoo, however, is one company that has finally had to give up. As an independent company it no longer exists. Yahoo was sold to Verizon Communications for $4.8 billion. The brand name is still going to exist, but it has no independence and it will be working towards the betterment of Verizon.

It has left investors with little say and shares in Verizon, Alibaba, and Yahoo Japan. Shareholders may still be able to salvage the situation yet, but the sale of Yahoo has sent shockwaves through the industry.

What can you learn about when and how to sell your business?

1. Sell early if you’re going to sell

Yahoo’s remarkable rise made it one of the big names of the web. For a short time, it was the biggest name on the web. Only the rise of Google and Facebook managed to take it down. The problem is most of Yahoo’s decline happened years ago.

They only sold now because the situation became unsustainable. And that means the figure they sold it for was far below what the company was worth at its peak.

If you’re going to sell your company don’t run it into the ground first. Make the decision early and make sure the company is generating money when you do so.

2. Keep it quiet

One facet of Yahoo’s sale was that it was ultimately kept quiet. For years, people have speculated that it would have been sold, but none of these sales ever actually materialized. It turned out they were nothing more than hearsay. When the sale to Verizon did happen things stayed relatively quiet.

In fact, it was only discovered later when it officially happened. This allowed the deal to go through without any pressure or prejudice from any third party.

You should do the same when selling a business. Form a team and make sure everything is carried out behind the scenes.

3. Allow your business to have a point

There’s little point in selling your business for the sake of it. Yahoo made a smart move by selling its business to Verizon because it comes with a vast content base. This is something Verizon doesn’t have. It knows it can benefit from it on top of the name value of associating itself with the Yahoo name.

To get the most from the sale of any business you have to make sure it still has a point. Make sure that another organization can actually take advantage of it. Without that you’re going to have a problem getting the amount you’re looking for from your company.

4. Don’t be stubborn

Yahoo’s problems have existed for a long time. It was already on its way out ten years ago. It led to the resignation of one co-founder and the taking over of another as the chief executive. Microsoft wanted to buy the company back in 2007, and they offered $44.6 billion for it. Microsoft was rejected.

It led to many shareholders rebelling against the company, sending its stock further and further into the gutter. This all happened because of stubbornness. The company has been sold for a fraction of that, and its owners must be kicking themselves for turning down such an offer.

Yet even when they turned down these offers they never made any progress in repairing the lack of focus that had hurt the company in the first place. Business went on as it always had done.

When it comes to selling your business you should recognise when you have a good deal on the table. Don’t let personal pride make your decisions for you.

Selling your business can be a difficult step to take. But if you’ve recognized the warning signs you already know it’s the right decision.