According to the most recent Q1 2021 survey by MASource, while retirement still leads as the number one reason sellers go to market, burnout jumped to 27% as the main reason sellers went to market. The number of sellers citing health issues (15%) is also higher than previous surveys, suggesting the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on business owners.
In addition, 7% of sellers went to market to get ahead of potential increases in capital gains tax. The Biden administration has indicated it will ask for significant increases in the capital gains tax rate in the near future.
These statistics make sense because of the stress and pressure a business owner is under in today’s economy. The pandemic supercharged an already stressful situation, adding the responsibility for keeping employees safe, considering PPP versus unemployment, and retaining talent to the already full plate every owner has just keeping their business afloat and customers satisfied. The result is business owner burnout.
What should business owners do when they find themselves in a burnout situation?
Each situation is different but here are three recommendations:
1. Rely more heavily on your management team. Some owners are good at this, and some aren’t. If you have a strong management team, now would be the time to take advantage of their expertise and decision-making capabilities. Don’t try to do it all yourself.
2. Think about working with a business and CEO coach that can help you navigate these tough times. Having someone to talk to on a personal and professional perspective could be very useful. There are many professional business groups such as Vistage that are very good.
3. If you would like an exit in the next 2-5 years, start planning now. Do not wait until you think you are ready… It’s a long process and nothing can help you better in maximizing your business value than to start preparing early. Having a roadmap is key to a successful exit. Touchstone offers our Exit Advantage program, which is developed specifically for clients who would like to maximize value by preparing their business. Contact us for more information.
Touchstone Advisors is a Lower Middle Market M&A advisory firm. Our clients are privately held and family businesses with revenues typically between $5MM and $50MM. Industries served include manufacturing, distribution, B2B services, healthcare, and technology.