The Future Of Business Sales: Anticipating Changes & Evolving Brokerage Practices
Think weather forecasts are dubious at best? Imagine trying to create an accurate forecast of the future of business sales—if there’s anything more volatile than the climate, it’s market trends.
Nonetheless, we’re going to give it the old college try and give you insights into what we’ve already seen changing in the world of business sales and business brokerages. This will, of course, be an article focused on business sales in Vancouver (and, to a lesser extent, Canada), but the predictions here should broadly apply to business sales around the world.
Let’s dive in!
Leveraging New Technologies To Improve the Business Sale Process
A lot goes into selling a business—two of the most important components are marketing the business (without disclosing the name of the business) and accurately assessing what price the business can be sold for (and more importantly, how much the banks will fund on the deal).
Emerging technologies are going to dramatically improve both processes, giving business brokers with access to these technologies a significant competitive advantage.
One new technology that might soon become widespread is the use of virtual reality (VR) in order to offer tours of businesses (once the prospective buyer has signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement). There’s a lot of utility here—potential buyers can view a business remotely without arousing suspicion in any of the seller's employees or other stakeholders.
We believe VR and AR may soon become integral to almost every business broker’s marketing strategy.
Another piece of tech that we’re excited about (okay, that everyone is excited about) is AI. AI can be fed data on market trends, business processes, revenue streams, business sales in the same industry, and more. With sufficient data, this AI willbe able to provide a range of prices that other business owners are likely to offer for a seller’s business.
AI is imperfect, of course—business sales are never as cut and dry as raw data—but any tool that can use data to improve the accuracy with which we set the price for a business is a good tool in our books. (Having said that: I suspect there will be many people without experience in business resales who will be offering AI tools that will be rendered virtually useless if the people do not accompany that with a wide depth of knowledge on the business resale process.)
A Focus on Finding the Right Fit in a New Way
Back in the day, it was all about the money. Today, it’s still very much about the money—but buyers tend to care more about ethics, too. During the due diligence process, they might care to learn about how you’ve been balancing your environmental impact as they do about how you’ve been balancing your books.
The sales process remains as complex as ever, and the predictive analytics offered by AI won’t be able to predict intangibles like your prospective buyer’s moral code. Each buyer has their own unique perspective on what makes a business the right fit, and the skills of a business broker, along with the power of AI-driven insights, will still be essential.
For these reasons, we might see a slight shift in business broker tactics—outsourcing more of the analytics work to AI while focusing more on finding buyers whose morals, ethics, and overarching goals match the philosophy of the company you’re selling.
Globalization, Supply Chains, and More
As a result of COVID-19, we saw our supply chains stretched to their absolute limit. New entrants to an industry may consider buying existing companies to ease the transition. They’ll want to know exactly which supply chains support your products and services, your risk management strategies, and the relationships you’ve developed with vendors and suppliers.
This isn’t new—it’s just been accentuated by the pandemic. You’ll want a business broker who has worked with international buyers, knows the importance of supply chain management, and can help a prospective buyer understand your business model.
Jason Brice has the experience to do it all—he’s always valued finding the right ethical match for a company, he’s worked with buyers around the world, and he’s been serving companies in Vancouver by leveraging new technology for decades. Looking for a small business broker in Vancouver? Give him a call!