Business owners contemplating a sale may be asking the question: Is this a good time to sell my business or do I need to wait until the Covid-19 economic disruption is over?
Let’s explore three interrelated factors to help an owner answer that question for their situation.
- Are their buyers for my business during this pandemic? Yes, there is no shortage of buyers for well-run companies.
That statement was true before Covid-19 and it is true during the era of Covid-19. As a M&A professional, I get inquiries almost daily from buyers who are interested in acquiring a well-run business that fits within their industry and financial parameters. In addition, buyers have access to capital at historically low interest rates, and deals are getting done.
- Will I be able to get the price I want in this market? Yes, is the short answer.
The longer answer: Yes, if the seller has reasonable expectations based on past, present and future earnings, growth and risk. Yes, because buyers are competing. Yes, price is one component of value when selling, terms are the other component. The best offer is really a combination of the best price and terms available in the market.
- What is the best timing for me personally? The answers stem from asking yourself these questions: Are you ready? What will you do if you exit? How long do you WANT to work? Is your family taken care of? Are you slowing down?
Some people think – My business is always for sale, if the price is right. Right? No. Telling people you’re not for sale is no way to sell, at least not on your terms and preferred timeframe. Selling should be proactive, planned and deliberate. Selling a business is a process that takes time, on average, from start to finish 9 months.
The three factors discussed above don’t align perfectly in most business sales. The best outcome for a seller is a proactive and planned exit strategy. If you are thinking of selling within the next 2 years, now is the time to start the process. Obtaining a professional assessment of value and sale readiness is normally one of the best first steps an owner can take in the sale process.
For more information on exit planning or the business sale process, Email Louis Cionci at LCionci@exitstrategiesgroup.com or call him at 707-781-8582.