Buyers and sellers aren’t sure what the future of the business market holds, so what does 2019 mean for those who are thinking about buying or selling a business?
While 2018 numbers have yet to be released, the results of the 2017 BizBuySell Buyer-Seller Confidence Index might give insight to those in the business marketplace.
The BizBuySell Buyer-Seller Confidence Index analyzes the survey responses of 2000 entrepreneurs. The Index is based on a score from 0 to 100, where 100 is the perfect market for buying or selling a business and 50 is a neutral response.
The 2017 Seller Index was down from 59 in 2016 to a score of 58 – meaning sellers are still confident that the market is in their favor, but that the positive vibes might not continue as many sellers are concerned that we are reaching a peak. Anyone who owned a business before the 2008 financial crisis remembers the boom before the bust – and with business prices inching higher and higher it’s hard to know when the market will top out.
Buyer confidence is down as well, from 49 to 46, but this drop is likely linked to rising business prices. Buyers have been lucky in recent years, with the 2008 recession driving business prices to bargain basement levels. In 2013 the small business market began to show signs of life, and prices steadily grew as the economy improved. Growing small business revenues have meant higher sales prices for buyers, leading to a drop in confidence that there are good deals for low capital investment. The drop may also be linked to high listing prices, as many prospective business buyers feel that many businesses are overpriced.
Although some sellers are definitely trying to take advantage of a market in their favor, most businesses are listing high because they are reporting very strong numbers. Buyers looking for a steal probably aren’t going to find one, but those buyers with the financial means to grab a business today will be getting a healthy business instead of a project on the brink.
What’s in the tea leaves for 2019 and beyond? Who knows. This booming market can only last so long, and with the slight drop in confidence on both transaction sides it may be coming sooner rather than later. The best advice is to sell now if you’re thinking about selling, and buy now if you want a business in the black.
Do you have more questions about the current state and possible future of the small business market? Contact us today and we would be happy to help.
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