Would You Buy a Business in a Recession?

In times of uncertainty, making a decision about buying a business becomes difficult. Some Potential buyers continue to screen businesses for sale to find the perfect match but at the time of making an offer on the elected business, indecision becomes overwhelming. These buyers experience an analysis paralysis period when they simply can’t make a decision.

There are obvious reasons to this indecision:

  • Some buyers might believe if there is a deep recession prices for businesses will go down. Waiting might be the best decision.
  • Some buyers might fear that the economy collapses completely and customers leave after the closing.
  • Other buyers might prefer to make safer investments such as bank saving accounts or GIC’s.
  • Some are simply paralyzed by the media hype about recession and can’t make any decision.

These reasons should not stop motivated buyers to acquire their dream businesses and change their lives:

First, in times of recession massive corporate layoffs put thousands of corporate executives in their mid forties and fifties out of the job market with a very small likelihood to find other suitable jobs. Buying a business becomes a very good alternative for these corporate victims. As a result there are more potential business buyers in a recession than in very good times. Therefore, prices for small and midsized businesses generally don’t decrease in a recession. Waiting for prices to decrease is obviously not a good idea.

Second, a recession is defined by two consecutive quarters with negative growth. In most recessions in the past, growth was slightly negative during a limited time period (generally 6 months) and then the economy starts growing again. In most cases economic growth slows by no more than 4% on average. This is not a huge number and on average will not dramatically change the prospects of the average business. Naturally, some businesses will continue to grow and be more profitable in times of recession and others will suffer dramatically (much more than average). This simply means that business buyers should look into businesses that will not be dramatically affected by the economic slowdown. Moreover, a good business is a good business irrespective of recession. Warren Buffet, the second richest man in the world, recently declared that his investment strategy will not change despite the recession in the US.

Third, investments perceived to be the safest are generally not so safe and are described frequently as the worse investment one can make over the long term. These investments generally produce very low returns, which after paying taxes end up below inflation rates. Investors are actually losing money when investing in these vehicles. Is losing money and knowing it in advance safe? Absolutely not. Moreover, investing your money doesn’t give you a job. If you are looking to be your own boss and doing something you enjoy doing, putting your money in a saving account will certainly not help you achieve your goals.

Finally, the media hype should not affect our determination to shape our own destiny. The media will continue to present events in a way that attracts people and humans are attracted by dramatic events. So the media has a tendency to dramatize events, especially those that affect our lives such as economic events.

People who are focused on success and have the character and personality to pursue their goals and make them happen will become successful irrespective of the economy.

If you are interested in buying a business in Toronto GTA and nearby areas in Ontario, Please visit our Business for Sale web page for a variety of businesses for sale or visit our business brokers website.