Upward Trend In Business Owners Looking To Exit
With the thought of another year of uncertainty around the Covid pandemic along with continued supply chain and staffing issues, more business owners than ever are starting to think about life after business.
As business owners return to work against a backdrop of holiday-based tight cash flow and start the planning process for 2022, many are considering what an exit strategy might look like.
Steve Wilkinson, of the Alternative Board Christchurch, has observed more clients than usual are starting to look for the exit.
“Even fresh from their holiday a lot of my clients are struggling to find the energy for another difficult year. We’re talking about options and there are more conversations around selling and finding other solutions to take some of the pressure off them”, he says.
“While most of my clients have been financially successful this year, despite the impact of Covid, the journey they have been on over this period has been met by new challenges not previously experienced. These challenges have necessitated better planning, increased costs and a lack of certainty about what the future brings.”
A continuation of this uncertainty, increased costs as supply chain and staffing issues compound, and a steady decline in resilience, is creating a feeling that now is the time to move on.
In addition, the emotional toll of handling the highly charged views of both sides of the Covid debate is something that is new to those business owners affected and, difficult to manage.
When emotions are running high it’s never a good time to contemplate selling a business, particularly if the business is not set up to achieve maximum value from its sale. Steve Wilkinson says “At the Alternative Board, part of our involvement with our clients is to continue to build ongoing strategies around longer-term exit plans to ensure that if exit becomes a discussion point, the business is well placed to explore those exit strategies, of which sale is only one option.”
“As most business owners know, there are many factors that impact on the overall value of a business, and it is often too late to address those issues at the time of sale,” he says.
“These factors need to be addressed as early as possible and plans put in place to mitigate where practical with a view to setting the owner up with options when, and if, an exit strategy needs to be considered.”
In summary, the message for all business owners from what is happening at present is to ensure that they continue to build strategies that enhance not only the value of the business but the saleability. This is in turn provides more flexibility in times where current thinking around exit is more prevalent.
The Alternative Board is a provider of business advice, planning and coaching systems to business owners, CEOs and Managing Directors. Our business owner Advisory Boards expand thinking beyond particular industry providing different perspectives to spur new ways of doing business based on real world experience.