Should Business Brokers Pursue Clients During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

Should Business Brokers Pursue Clients During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

COVID-19 has definitely injected more than a little chaos into not just the economy, but all aspects of life. In our recent roundtable discussion. our team of notable panelists addressed a variety of pressing concerns. At the top of the list was whether or not it’s worth listing a new business right now. The facts of the matter are that everyone seems to be in a holding pattern for the time being. We asked our panelists for their thoughts on how to deal with this once-in-a-lifetime tricky situation.

Sara Burden, President of Walden Businesses, offered up some interesting insights regarding whether or not it makes sense to pursue new clients. Burden believes that now represents a very unique time for approaching candidates that have been reluctant to sign up.

Her view is that the candidates, largely baby boomers, who have been riding high on the recent historically strong economy, will obviously have a different mindset in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, these businesses are looking for a way to survive in face of dramatically contracting revenue.

Business brokers are in an excellent position to help these formerly reluctant businesses figure out what they need to do to weather the storm.  She believes that now is the time for businesses to get their financials lined up, paperwork ready, put their marketing in place and determine who the right candidates would be for a potential sale. In other words, the pandemic period marks an excellent period for businesses to get ready to sell once a recovery has taken place.

Another aspect of Burden’s approach deals with business owners who are still reluctant and are taking a “wait and see” attitude towards COVID-19.  Her recommendation is to emphasize, and logically so, that their competitors are likely not waiting around to see how the pandemic situation unfolds.

Now, not three months or six months from now, is the time to take decisive action. Failure to act could mean losing out to competitors who successful sell their business and, in the process, reduce the pool of potential candidates. This could make it not only harder for businesses to sell, but also, they could sell for less.

Burden’s strategy definitely makes a lot of sense. Currently, massive numbers of businesses, and of course their owners, are in varying degrees of panic. Often, the core of feeling panicked is not knowing what to do and feeling helpless. Helping your clients develop a plan, one filled with logical and actionable steps they can take, will help reduce some of their anxiety.

While this pandemic has infused daily life and business with considerable uncertainty and more than a little confusion, the situation is also brimming over with opportunity. Be sure to emphasize this fact to your clients and remember it for yourself as well.

 
 
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