When Covid first hit in March 2020 I wrote an article on Business Brokers feeling the pressure. It was a very uncertain time and business sales quickly slowed. There was a lot of fear amongst business owners whether it was the right time to sell, and buyers were unsure what was lying ahead. Purchasing a business is a big investment and buyers were hesitant to commit. This basically brought the business brokering industry to a halt. It was with support of organisations like the AIBB that helped brokers navigate this environment and how to survive during this downturn.
Fast forward 9 months and we have a better understanding of Covid and the effects it is having on our community and businesses. We have seen the recent closures in Victoria for 15 weeks which prevented shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs from being open. 5.5 million residents were forced into lockdown as the state dealt with Covid infections reaching the highest levels of 725 cases in one day. Thankfully, Victoria is currently reporting 0 cases for 33 consecutive days. South Australia recently embarked on a six-day “circuit breaker” to contain a Covid cluster that ended up having 33 confirmed cases. There is currently 52 active cases in Australia
Experiencing these outbreaks and how our Government and Healthcare workers have dealt with it gives business owners a better understanding of what to expect. In the early stages of Covid there was a lot of fear of the unknown. Today, there is more understanding on what happens to business operations should an outbreak occur. This confidence spreads into the business broking industry, as sellers and buyers start to feel they can successfully transact a business and have some understanding of what may be ahead.
As we close the door on 2020, business brokers are getting ready for a big year. Bsale is showing an increase in buyer enquiries as people are looking for work opportunities and the stability that owning a business can provide. What is missing is more quality businesses for sale. Owners are hesitant to sell as they fear they won’t get a good sale price or it is better for them to hold onto the business with so much uncertainty. What is being predicted for 2021, as confidence increases there will be more businesses available for sale. The buyers that are currently in the market will have more options and there will be more sales.
If you’re looking to sell a business, getting professional advice is important. Making an informed decision and engaging a broker with experience in your industry can make a big difference to your sale price. If you’re thinking about selling in 2021. Start collecting appraisals, speak with at least 3 brokers, and start the process. Remember it takes 6-9 months on average to sell a business.