I recently put out a notice to my network about a friend and client looking for an operations manager for his manufacturing business. The response was overwhelming. I had about 15 responses and seven to eight referrals.
Compare that to about four years ago when the same type of announcement generated one inquiry and referral. I can deduce when the economy is strong more people are willing to make the leap to a different and (hopefully) better position.
The same is true for business buyers and sellers. When the economy sucks (think 2009-2011) too many buyers are overly defensive (and maybe they should be). They are often being forced into doing something different with their (nice, previously stable) life.
Everybody in my profession knows the more catastrophic the event the more urgency the seller has to exit. A heart attack or cancer quickens the pace versus “we want to travel more.” The worse the economy the greater the chances it will take a catastrophic event to trigger a sale. Heck, nobody wants to sell anything when the market is tough.
But when the economy is booming, as it sure is in Seattle these days, buyers feel they are making a move from a position of strength. Some individuals even quit their jobs to concentrate on the search. Owners are more willing to grow by acquisition to add people, capacity, customers, and more.
Since everybody wants to sell at the top, owners considering selling are more willing to sell when they should, not when they have to. Of course, many have to get over their short-term memory loss before doing this (as in, recession, what recession? Things are great and always will be, right?).
When you know you should, take action. Timing is everything but don’t try to micro-manage the timing process.
“Karl Marx was right, socialism works. It is just that he had the species wrong.” [Biologist] Edward O. Wilson