Selling in a Post-Pandemic Market
The global health crisis also created uncertainty for many business owners and directors who wanted to sell in 2020 but couldn’t due to a variety of factors.
If your business was affected by the challenges of the pandemic, now is a great time to reflect on your next steps. In fact, the latest PwC report shows that since 2021 the volume of deals has increased steadily. If you are looking to sell your business, this guide contains a few essential strategies you can adopt in a post-pandemic world, including myth-busting of common misconceptions and strategy advice going forward.
Build a strong narrative about your pandemic years
Potential buyers will want to understand how the business performed during the pandemic. It is both in the interest of the vendor and buyer to be clear about the performance of the past year. Whether your turnover had a dip or it skyrocketed due to sales moving online, you will want to be honest with a buyer who shows interest. This information will help purchasers understand how your business had to adapt – whether there were changes, such as necessary venue closures or staff reductions – and they will be looking for any potential liabilities, such as loan repayments and evidence of agility. That is, how leadership repositioned the business going forward.
Look at the wider market
How did the industry perform as a whole? Having an idea of what were the strengths and weaknesses of your sector during the pandemic can help you understand what your business did well and what not so well, and how it created and embraced opportunity at a challenging time for many traders. A great example is how the hospitality sector experienced many hard months because of regulations, and how they adapted with government-backed schemes such as Eat Out to Help Out.
A few good places to find this sector-specific information include Union journals, industry and government reports. Don’t be put off by the data – most of these reports will have a quick ‘at-a-glance’ section with the most relevant features, often divided by region.
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Buyers will be interested in learning about how the company adapted, that much is clear. But how can you prepare to show your strategy to prospective buyers?
You should prepare to tell them how your business:
- Anticipated changes and organised accordingly – for example, show if office closures and social distancing measures affected your workplace and what steps you took to adapt, or if from a front-facing service you adapted to online and ecommerce.
- Adapted to laws and regulations, such as travel restrictions enforced.
- Allocated resources and created value in areas that boosted the business.
That also includes any effort on your business’ side with repositioning or diversification if that applies. Buyers will want to know how you made it through the crisis – which is a milestone in and of itself, considering many businesses didn’t.
Things aren’t that different
Business as usual? Not quite, but things have not changed radically.
Though a few sectors have changed a lot – think about high street retail and online sales for example – and will be adjust for the foreseeable future, individual company performance is the key element to show where your business places in the market.
At the end of the day, a prospective purchaser will look out for all the usual markers that set your business apart from the competition. It is up to your leadership skills and a clear strategy to transform the negative of the pandemic into positives, showing your company has what it takes to face any challenge.