M&A broker says business owners are confident in ability to recover from COVID-19

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 525 views 

Are you a small business owner who’d planned to sell in the next couple of years — before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived? Are you now concerned about how the rest of 2020 will affect the business’ value?

Those questions piqued Barbara Taylor’s curiosity. A mergers and acquisitions broker and business valuation specialist, Taylor co-founded Bentonville firm Allan Taylor & Co. in 2007.

“One adviser friend said he thought nobody was thinking about selling their business right now,” she said. “I disagreed.”

Rather than speculate, Taylor created a survey to get a temperature read on what business owners are thinking about a potential exit right now. She shared the survey with her online network the week of April 27 and got nearly 40 anonymous responses.

“My main takeaways from the survey are that most established businesses are taking a hit this year, but are confident in their ability to recover,” Taylor wrote. “For many, it will take longer than 12 months, although for some the recovery period may be quicker or even unnecessary. A minority of businesses will see value decrease permanently, have a longer road to recovery or may not survive.

“A lucky few are doing well as a result of the pandemic. Owners are still thinking about a future sale or exit, and are either moving forward with their plans or simply hitting the pause button until the dust settles.”

Taylor said she does have one question that’s unanswered so far.

“Has the current crisis motivated business owners to finally get serious about planning for a future sale or exit?” she wrote. “I can still hear an echo of the words so many business owners said during the 2008 financial crisis: ‘I never want to live through this kind of thing again.’”

You can read more about the survey results in-depth at allantaylor.co.