Over the last four years we’ve tracked every incoming referral. We note the date, source, and type (business buyer, seller, exit planning, etc.). There’s no pattern, that’s for sure. But there’s been growth and consistency within a tight range.
That is until mid-February of this year when, guess what, a certain virus started making headlines. Over the next 10 weeks we got a total of two referrals. Then, six in 10 days.
- There’s pent-up demand to get going again.
- Maybe (former Presidential candidate) Andrew Yang is right when he says companies have been looking to shed workers (before the pandemic) and won’t be rehiring them. They’ll run leaner.
- I wonder if managers and executives are sensing this and starting to think about controlling their career destiny via business ownership.
Speaking of business ownership, there are only three ways to get into business. You can start one, invest in a franchise, or buy an existing company. Preferably a mature, profitable, and fairly priced company (disclaimer: this is where I come in, helping people buy the right business the right way).
Buying the right business the right way means separating yourself from the bottom-feeders that have come out. I’ve talked to numerous owners in pandemic-distressed industries (and to other advisors). They tell me the bottom feeders will say things like, “We’ll get you out of your business by purchasing your customer list,” or, “We’ll buy your (tangible) assets.” No mention of what happens to the seller’s lease, equipment payments, etc.
“There’s gold in them thar hills” (Mark Twain, The American Claimant, 1892). Unfortunately, some businesses won’t make it and this means opportunity for others. There will be openings for acquisitions (second disclaimer: I wrote a book titled, Company Growth By Acquisition Makes Dollars & Sense). And I mean fair acquisitions to bail out a bad situation, and maybe even a job for the seller.
A crisis like we’re going through brings out the best and the worst in people. Be part of the best, not like the bottom feeders.
“A ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are for.” (Author) John A. Shedd