There are three common denominators in some of these discussions with business owners.
- Will being what is considered an essential business matter in the years ahead?
The COVID situation has certainly set a precedent; where government oversight can determine whether or not a business is “essential” and can remain open during a crisis. Although the situation was exceptional and dramatic, it begs the question, is a business more valuable – or will it be in the future – if it carries the label ‘essential’.
- Have you taken the opportunity to enhance the value of your business by adjusting to this new reality?
A great example is the take-out business in restaurants. Prior to the COVID scare, many retail outlets did not consider take-out or delivery a key component of their business. Frequently it was considered more of an add-on. Today, entire sections of the economy are awake to the fact that consumers are learning to do a majority of their personal commerce without the need to walk into a retail outlet. The companies that needed to, and have made these adjustments, could be much more valuable in the future.
- Do you know what the current trends are in how businesses are being valued and sold in your industry?
There was a tidal wave of business sell-offs just getting underway when the current crisis hit. With that pressure being somewhat alleviated, the ball is starting to roll again, and it appears a significant back log of buyers, interest and investment capital are queueing up to make investments in great businesses that are going up for sale.
This is not true across all industries, so it is important to get in touch with professionals in the brokerage business who can get business owners the research they need to see what might be coming around the corner.
Owners who really hadn’t thought much about the fact that they should consider selling their business, make a nice profit, and get out from under the decades-old strain and daily grind have used the “COVID experience” to take another look at their life’s work even though the thought of selling a business can be intimidating.
Right now, owners owe it to themselves to see what their company is worth. Whether they decide to sell the business outright and take cash to the bank; sell a portion of the business, or find a business partner and create more upside, they should know their options, especially now.
A business broker can help figure out how to exit with consideration for employees and their families, a legacy; whatever matters to them most.
Most importantly, an owner should address whatever fears are present.
What if it’s not worth as much as it was before COVID? What if there are no interested buyers?
The facts are that the marketplace is warming up and I believe we will be returning quickly to a market that is profitable for business owners to sell, and for buyers to find great opportunities.
That adds up to a win-win.