What Business Brokers Need to Know Right Now

What Business Brokers Need to Know Right Now

Last week’s webinar focused on updates from around the Business Advisory Services Industry. This event featured five panelists who had a range of advice for how business brokers and M&A Advisors should proceed moving forward. Our panelists included Lisa Riley, the IBBA Chair Elect, Steven Denny, co-founder of Innovation Business Advisors, Steve Mariani, President of Diamond Financial Services and Jim Parker, founder and owner of Boss Group International. A fair amount of territory was covered in this truly info-packed webinar. Let’s dive in and look at some of the key points with a particular focus on what business brokers should be doing to move their business ahead and, of course, help their clients in 2020 and beyond.

All the panelists agreed that 2020 is shaping up to be a wild and memorable one for those looking to buy and sell businesses. Lisa Riley noted that about 40% of businesses are unaffected by the pandemic. Additionally, she pointed out that an unusually high numbers of engagements were cancelled. But on the flipside of the coin, fewer engagements were delayed. Often, engagements were cancelled because of the buyer’s decisions, and she felt that this is important information for brokers to know.

Another important point Riley made was that there is a shift currently underway in the market where it is moving from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market in a major way. In fact, Riley stated, “This is the strongest shift, we’ve ever seen.” It is critical that business brokers understand this fact and realize how it could change their business and their interaction with clients moving forward.

The nature of the market and how it is changing was a key feature during the panel. Steve Denny noted that not only has it become a buyer’s market, but also that buyers are dictating terms like he’s never experienced before. According to Denny, there’s also been lot more interest among sellers. Seller activity has increased significantly over the last 90 days.

While the panelists agreed that 2020 was a wild year, and one that is difficult for many, they also agreed that it is extremely important for business brokers to be proactive. No one knows what the future holds. But that doesn’t mean that business brokers and M&A Advisors can’t prepare for when the pandemic is over and there is some level of return to normalcy.