16 Dec Mike Ferguson’s Acquisition Outlook for 2021
By: Mike Ferguson
Vaccines coming soon – Will people return to the office place?
Probably the best news we have heard so far during this pandemic is that two companies have come out with a vaccine that will be distributed once approved. This is what we all have been waiting for in hopes that it will help the population feel safe to return to the workplace again and slow down the working-from-home narrative.
Once the vaccine starts to get distributed, speculations are that 2021 will slowly return to normalcy. Will it return to pre-COVID normalcy? Who knows, but hopefully it will in time. I have talked to so many operators who say they would be happy if it came back 50%. Let us all hope that it does come back, but we should expect it to take a while over the next year or so.
2020 – A year of hurdles to put behind us
With me personally having several companies who were ready to sell in 2020, many got put on hold until “sales come back.” I do expect to get these companies sold, but it will come with some creative thinking to keep it fair for both the buyers and sellers. Our industry has been through hurdles before, but not like a pandemic. Who would have ever thought that an industry like office coffee could be brought down by a virus?
We all must stay positive moving forward
We must stay positive, and I know this is tough to do. Nobody could have seen this coming. Some of the operators who have come to me to discuss selling their businesses in the past are now kicking themselves that they did not make the move before the pandemic. I say to those folks, “unless you can predict the future, all you can do is move forward and jump the hurdles.”
I feel positive that the vaccine will help our industry due to companies wanting their employees to come back to the office place. Another strong side is that commercial real estate and housing sales are still booming in major cities. Most think, why is it booming if everyone is working from home? We must think long term. In another year, two years, ten years; hopefully, we will all be back to our busy days and things will return to normal again.
It is hard to understand why someone would ever open a restaurant after this COVID shutdown, but they are everywhere! It is hard to understand why there are still brand-new buildings being built – but they are being built! As your sales return and you are in the mode to discuss selling your business again, there will be buyers ready to acquire. We are already seeing some new players who have interest in stepping into this industry in addition to the larger guys being ready to discuss acquisitions again.
You will know when it is time to sell
If you listen to other brokers, some use scare tactics and some use gimmicks to get you to consider selling your business. You will know when the time is right to sell your business. Talk to a professional when the time is right and make sure you choose a broker who only represents you! A broker who represents both seller and buyer does not have your best interest at priority.