Selling Your Business in a Post-Pandemic World
As the world moves through the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a lot of uncertainty in businesses. Are you questioning whether this is the right time to be selling your business? But it is a great time to make sure that your business is ready to sell in the future. Many business owners were badly prepared for any kind of crisis. Most did not have any substantial reserves. It highlighted a lack business continuity planning. Systems resilience, communications and IT were all tested. Some businesses were simply unable to operate in lockdown at the start of the outbreak. As those businesses that can recover are picking themselves up, many find that they are only just realising the financial implications.
“It is only when the tide goes out that you see who has been swimming naked”
– Warren Buffett.
Selling Your Business?
Many business owners are reviewing their business continuity plans to ensure they can cope much better in the future. Its a good time to prioritise the preparation for the sale of your business too. Academic studies show that business owners who have prepared well in advance not only achieve a better sales outcome but also are more likely to successfully exit.
Downturns are great opportunities for buyers. They often look for fire-sale bargain-basement acquisitions. This is not a great option for most business owners. Crisis events cause us to look at the way we operate our business. Often this leads to opportunities to merge or even acquire another business as part of our longer-term exit strategy.
For some businesses, valuations reduce and funding is more difficult if not impossible to find. Uncertainty in the economy and business market discourages many buyers. But there is great opportunity for those who hold cash reserves or have sources of funding. Larger opportunities to buy quality assets at a discount are going to be available over the next 12 to 18 months.
If you are thinking of selling your business in the future, maybe acquisition is part of the preparation strategy? Being prepared allows you to take advantage of these opportunities. Have a defined acquisition profile (in other words know exactly what you are looking for) and be ready to move through due diligence and negotiation phases quickly.