Business leaders are asking if the business transaction landscape is changing, considering the pandemic. Do we see negative impacts on many businesses? To be honest, we don’t see much change – deals are moving forward with little change in the terms or contingencies. This may be due to the specific deals we’re seeing, or parties realizing the effects are temporary. At any rate, business transactions aren’t seeing a negative impact.
Where we do see some shift, however, is in business owners who are planning to sell. They are concerned about telling the COVID story of their business to a potential buyer. The business owner has often been through numerous challenging instances and has financial and emotional baggage to show for it. The owner’s story can give a buyer confidence – or scare them away. Here are a few tools we’ve come across to help tell your story:
Of course, financial statements are at the top of the list for business transactions and telling your story. Financial statements need to be clean and show how the business reacts to stressful situations, like the pandemic. Behind those numbers are the operational sacrifices you made – and the path back to full operating power. This is an opportunity to give the buyer confidence in the sustainability of the business.
A common theme in today’s business environment is contracts – how to ensure you can comply or legally exit. You should have a thorough understanding of your contract terms and the risks you face related to COVID-19 impacts. This may be your office lease, vendor arrangements, or customer contracts. Again, knowing where you stand and sharing your preparation process will help with business transactions. You will show buyers that the business is ready for the future.
Managing a workforce during a pandemic is especially difficult, as it forces business owners to be more flexible than ever. You’ve likely faced layoffs, unique leave scenarios, and new work from home alternatives. You are now in a position to promote the benefits the buyer will get. You’ve put time and hard work into your business’s policies to keep workers productive and positive. Include those benefits in your story during business transactions.
Many business owners can see some silver lining in the pandemic. These challenges have forced Business owners to do business differently with a net positive effect. If you’re thinking about selling your business now and you’ve kept it afloat over the last six months, then you have a rich story to tell a buyer about your survival.
You are not alone – Speak with an attorney to discuss your business transaction efforts, contracts, preparing due diligence, and more. Contact us at 425-250-0205 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legal Disclaimer: This article contains general information and should not be viewed as legal advice. You should talk with counsel familiar with your unique business needs before taking or refraining from any action.