Seize the Moment: Why 2024 is the Perfect Time to Exit Your Business

Share:

Thinking about selling your business in 2024? It’s a common to wonder if the timing is right.

2023 presented a challenging landscape for business sales. Inflation and interest rates reached their highest points in over four decades, making it tougher to secure bank loans. This posed a hurdle for many potential buyers.

Moreover, buyers found themselves facing higher payments for companies that were priced similarly just a year ago. As a result, business owners were hesitant to part with their companies at reduced prices. Navigating these financial dynamics is crucial for anyone considering a business exit this year

IDEAL MARKET CONDITIONS FOR PROFITABLE BUSINESSES

In 2024, we’re already witnessing a promising shift as interest rates are on the decline. The economy seems to be entering a ‘Goldilocks’ period — not too hot, not too cold — with steady growth expected. This sweet spot is anticipated to prevent a rapid surge in inflation and interest rates. Many are gearing up for what seems to be a promising year ahead, with 2024 being hailed as a potential boom for businesses.

This positive economic outlook has sparked a wave of optimism, reflecting in both the stock market and valuations for both private and public companies. Capital for buying businesses is out there, and plenty of eager buyers are waiting to make big moves. However, it’s crucial to note that buyers are approaching cautiously and being picky about their choices. Sellers, on the other hand, should brace themselves for a more thorough due diligence process when it comes to selling.

THE PERFECT TIME TO PREPARE

On average, it takes 6 to 12 months to sell a company. If you’d like to exit your business in 2024, the time to start the process and prepare for your exit is now.

At some point, every business owner faces the decision to exit. Whether or not you’re considering selling in 2024, it’s vital to kickstart your planning now. Getting a head start makes the entire process more seamless and often results in a better value for your sale. Begin by making sure your financial records are well-organized — that’s the first step for business owners looking to pave the way for a successful transition.

But getting your business ready for sale goes beyond just cleaning up financial records. Keeping your books in good shape can significantly enhance your business’s appeal to potential buyers. It gives them a transparent view of your financial well-being, simplifying the valuation process. Tidy books not only expedite due diligence but also reduce the chances of renegotiation. Moreover, they reflect your professionalism and organizational prowess, positioning you to secure a higher sale price.

DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE

Digging into the details during the due diligence process is a big deal in any business sale, but lots of business owners don’t realize just how crucial it is. It’s no walk in the park — it can be demanding, time-consuming, and might even surpass your first expectations. Buyers, especially with their lenders in tow, will be diving into your financial records. How well you prep for this can make or break the deal. It’s the difference between a successful handshake and a deal that falls through.

To ensure you are fully prepared for this level of scrutiny from the potential buyer pool, you will need to have your financial reports for the last 3–5 years, your tax returns and any records of tax payments, including payroll and sales taxes, and your bank and credit statements. Buyers will also want to review employee and payroll records to verify payroll costs and compliance with labor regulations. And, of course, you will want to have proof of your business insurance policies and ensure you have accurate inventory counts if this applies.

Sharing these items is all about building credibility and trust, and giving an honest snapshot of the company’s financial picture.

HIRE AN ADVISOR

Navigating the intricate process of selling a business requires a specialized skill set that seasoned advisor possess. These professionals have a deep understanding of the market dynamics going into 2024, ensuring that your business is positioned optimally for a successful sale. Advisors can also tap into their extensive network of potential buyers, providing access to a pool of qualified individuals who may be the perfect fit for your business.

Beyond the technicalities, an advisor acts as a buffer between you and potential buyers. Negotiating the sale of your life’s work can be emotionally charged, and having a skilled intermediary allows you to maintain a level-headed approach. Advisors bring objectivity to the table, ensuring that negotiations remain fair and advantageous for you. From marketing your business to handling the intricacies of due diligence, an advisors involvement streamlines the entire process, allowing you to focus on what matters most — the continued success of your business.

TALK WITH AN EXPERT