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business sellers and acquirers

Should I sell my business now?

As we go through this seemingly never-ending saga around Brexit, this is an obvious question for any business owner thinking about selling their business.

These are unchartered territories, but the old saying, ‘life goes on’, is as true for today as it’s ever been. So, if you’re ready to sell your business is there any reason why you shouldn’t start the process now?

The recent economic news, that the underlying UK economy, whilst not showing substantial growth, has outshone the Euro zone (and compared to much of the rest of the world has been faring pretty well), highlights that the UK is a robust economic entity and can better than survive through this period.

GDP growth for 2018 has been running at just about 1.4%, but, that has been whilst the UK has been in the centre of all this turmoil; so it seems UK plc can still keep growing despite all the noise around Brexit.

As well as this there have been several other indicators of good health in the UK economy; the first important underlying measure is wage growth, this has steadily grown over the last 12 months to some 3.4%, which suggests businesses are doing well enough and are confident enough to enhance their employees’ wages; the second is that UK unemployment has hit a record high with 32.6 million employed between October and December 2018; lastly a recent survey has shown that 99% of East-Anglian-based Owner Managed Businesses have reported continued growth despite Brexit uncertainty.

If, as it seems likely, the UK can end up dodging the no-deal outcome that business dreads and gets to work on a UK-EU trade deal, much of the delayed investment that has been building up will probably be ‘looking for a home’ quite quickly and we may see a reasonable ‘bounce’.

Whilst recognising the situation is not perfect, since when has anything really been perfect and what does this mean for business sellers?

We suggest that if you’ve been putting off selling your business due to all the uncertainties over the last 24 months, now may be a good time to come to the market and take the benefit of the potential “catch-up” on investments.

Bearing in mind that the selling process realistically takes at least 12 months from start to end, this leaves a decent amount of time for some greater clarity around the position for the UK post Brexit and an increasingly stable environment in which to sell your business.

For further advice in respect of what is involved in the selling process and how long it takes, please see our article covering this topic, ‘Don’t Underestimate the Length of the Sales Process’ Part 1 & Part 2.

As experienced business brokers, we at Anderson Shaw Corporate Finance Ltd, are always happy to advise business owners about any aspect of selling a business and the processes involved.

If you are thinking of selling your business, now or in the future, please contact us for a confidential, no commitment conversation.

We will be pleased to provide a free preliminary business valuation, discuss your plans and work with you through the period of exit planning and then ultimately a sale.

Anderson Shaw has offices on the outskirts of Stratford-Upon-Avon and provides business broker and corporate finance services for clients throughout the Midlands and the UK.

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