Every SaaS founder pours their heart and soul into building their dream company from the ground up. The road is usually bumpy, to say the least. Many struggle with raising funds or staying focused while bootstrapping. Others try to juggle work and family. And the elephant in the room inevitably starts growing. The elephant’s name is Anxiety.
And after dealing with hundreds of founders at saas.group, we know that it’s a sensitive but aggressive animal that requires careful consideration. It’s something that often leads founders to sell their businesses. As an acquirer, we know how important it is to address this issue by offering flexible terms and the most streamlined process to give the founder peace of mind.
Here are three effective ways to deal with burnout and pave the way for a smoother transition:
Prioritize Self-Care and Mental Health 🧘 ♂️
16–20-h work days, the constant pushing of features, commits, and oneself. This is something that is the norm for founders, something that is considered a founder’s life and even romanticized. If you haven’t lost all of your friends and haven’t been misunderstood by your family, are you even a founder?
This toxic approach to founders is all over the internet. You’re forced to always be working, otherwise, “you’re already behind”. But remember, that you’re the driving force behind your SaaS business. You’re the visionary, and at this early stage, chances are you’re mostly working alone. So if you reach the burnout stage, everything stops.
Taking care of yourself should not be considered a luxury, it’s definitely a necessity. Prioritize self-care and mental health. Set aside time for hobbies, exercise, and relaxation. Seek support from friends, family, or even professional counselors. A well-rested and healthy founder can make more thoughtful decisions and contribute positively to the acquisition process.
Delegate and Empower Your Team 🤝
You’re probably juggling many roles at your SaaS company. It’s not just a founder but a marketer, a salesperson, a programmer, a copywriter, a speaker, and a social media manager. You’re doing magic left and right.
But don’t let it become a burden. You hire talented and capable people for a reason. They have the perfect ability to make decisions and share the workload. But only if you allow them.
It may be scary at first, but it’s your baby! Trusting anyone with your baby is a big deal. So choose the most talented and awesome people to work with, empower them to make decisions, allow them to make mistakes, and find the best solutions to solve them. This will ultimately create a great, trusting relationship and a supportive work environment where you’ll be able to delegate.
Creating a strong, autonomous team not only reduces your stress but also enhances your company’s value during acquisition. A well-functioning team can be a valuable asset for the acquiring company and make your exit more manageable.
Seek a Founder-Friendly Acquisition Deal 🤝💼
“If we tell the founder, Hey, you know, you have to have a three-year earnout, and the founder wants to leave within the next three months because he’s burned out. Those two things don’t match.” (c) Tim Schumacher
When selling your SaaS company due to burnout, consider an acquisition deal that takes your needs into account. Communicate openly with potential acquirers about your desire for a more flexible and streamlined arrangement. While long earnout periods might not be feasible, a buyer who understands and supports your need for rest can offer alternative solutions. Negotiate a deal that allows for a smoother transition and accommodates your desires as well as your mental state and well-being.
Founder burnout is something that’s being discussed more and more, as it should! Overlooking such critical things can lead to drastic results. By prioritizing self-care, empowering your team, and seeking a founder-friendly acquisition deal, you can address burnout effectively and make a successful exit.
Communicate with other founders who have gone through this and stayed in the company, as well as with those who decided to leave. Both opinions will be extremely valuable as you make your own decision. Remember, taking care of yourself is a strategic move that benefits both you and your company.