The business seller’s mindset during COVID-19

When you decided to sell your business, you had a dream in mind.  A vision of what you would be doing after the sale – retired in a sunny country, buying a new business in a different field, staying on in a lesser role or silent partner in your existing one …

Then Covid-19 pitched up and that dream was well and truly knocked for six.

Before you throw out the baby with the bath water, though, hold that vision for a moment.

These are your life plans you’re talking about.  They’re not just important:  they’re vital and possibly even more so now than ever.  They’re serving as a real incentive for you not only to get through this horrible pandemic, but to get through it flourishing and moving forwards in the way you always planned.

If you have a family, there’s more than just your life at stake, here, too.

How do you hang on to your business sale plan during such a destabilising time as Covid-19 has brought upon us?


It’s quite likely that your business has been affected by the poor market conditions that accompanied the spread of Covid-19 around the world.  Your once-accurate, painstakingly researched company profile is now out of date and a somewhat ‘optimistic’ picture of what’s going on today in your company.  You cannot present that to any potential buyer.  In fact, you’re feeling pessimistic about the new state of your financials and are thinking of ditching the whole sales dream.

It is perfectly possible, though, to build a business during stressed times and a challenging economy.  The three key areas that are likely to need work are financial, commercial and legal.  In the same way that you have worked hard to build a talented, flexible team to take care of the day-to-day operations, you should bring in an experienced team in business sales to support you now.  With their help, you can make considered choices regarding how you can adapt now to achieve your original goal.  The goal can remain in place even if the path to it changes.

They might even present a few options you hadn’t considered the first time around …


Who says you have to sell outright?  You can pursue a partial exit in various ways:  implementing a management buyout, handing on the business to a family member, taking a lesser role and staying on … your options are not as limited as you might feel right now.

The key to getting a satisfying result from your sale when it happens is in the planning.  If you can keep your head while all around others are losing theirs, then you’re preparing for a successful exit not just from your business, but from this unpleasant, rocky time of pandemic, too.

On that note, take heart.  It’s not all bad news out there.

Regardless of the panicky reports and forecasts you read online these days, there’s a huge amount of surplus cash in the world looking for good opportunities.  Remember, investors do not like to sit on cash.  Rather, they want to put it to work.  The good ones are used to taking risks for the promise of greater returns.

As a case in point, our last two agreed deals in April 2020 achieved over eight times multiples despite the pandemic.  These transactions were both in the making for over a year.  What’s more, Covid-19 made no difference to the price whatsoever.  Neither acquirer attempted to chip on price.  We haven’t experienced any reduction in prices offered from the market.

Whether you want to move ahead and sell or to hold back and prepare, EvolutionCBS can help.  Find out how you can start to prepare your business for sale without having to make any premature decisions by talking to one of the team at EvolutionCBS. You’re welcome to come along to one of our free EvolutionCBS webinars.

See you there!

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