Strategies for Selling a CPA Firm
The coronavirus pandemic has turned our whole world upside down. Just a couple months ago, the US had the strongest economy it had seen in decades, and it appeared as if things would remain this way for some time to come. Then suddenly, tens of thousands of “nonessential” businesses shut down and millions of Americans lost their jobs. This has resulted in a great amount of uncertainty about the future.
The COVID-19 outbreak is first and foremost a human tragedy, with tens of thousands having perished from the virus within just a few months. But it is also a colossal economic disruption, one in which the effects will reverberate for months or even years to come. With the entire economy having been disrupted by the coronavirus, there are sure to be serious challenges for many businesses and industries.
The months ahead are going to be difficult no matter what industry you are in. There will be supply chain issues, clients and vendors that are deeply impacted by the economic shut down (even if your business is not as much), and there are countless other variables and unintended consequences that are affecting this, all of which are interconnected in some way.
Where our economy lands when all of this is over is difficult to predict. At the very least, it is looking increasingly likely that we are in for a recession. But shutting down millions of “non-essential” businesses throughout the country all at once is an unprecedented event, and although the government is trying to prevent the worst with massive stimulus packages, a deep recession or depression is not out of the question.
How to Succeed when the Coronavirus Outbreak is Over: Even if we experience the worst possible economic outcome, there will still be ample opportunities to be successful in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Business owners will have to be more creative, and they will need to look for ways to serve a more health conscious society, but Americans are innovative and resilient, and they will soon begin providing solutions to the problems that have been created by this outbreak.
Here are some of the most powerful business trends that are likely to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis:
- Digitization of Everything: Anything that can be digitized will become digitized. Out of necessity, people have been forced to adapt and to adopt the latest digital technologies to get them through. For example, instead of holding a company meeting in person, everyone now gets together on Zoom or another teleconferencing platform. They are even doing this in the courts and state legislatures. Payments for products and services are also likely to become more digital, with contactless card payment terminals leading the way.
- Healthcare Reinvented: It might be a while before patients feel comfortable going to a hospital or clinic. What they will feel increasingly comfortable doing, however, is teleconferencing with their health provider to consult about their symptoms and obtain a prescribed treatment. Telehealth is likely to take off in a big way after COVID-19, and a top to bottom overhaul of procedures and protocols will also need to be done to ensure that live patient visits are safer.
- Brick and Mortar Retail Fading: For a couple generations, the local mall was a great gathering place for shopping and for people to meet up and get together. The trend toward e-commerce has accelerated in recent years, leaving retail stores in serious trouble. The coronavirus pandemic may end up being a near fatal blow to this sector.
- Delivery is an Essential: If your business involves the sale of any type of product, offering home delivery is no longer a convenient luxury, it is now a necessity. This is especially true with restaurants and similar establishments, most of whom will need to have a delivery option in order to survive.
- Learning from a Distance: Our school kids have been doing distance learning during the coronavirus pandemic, and in many cases, parents may find out for the first time that this type of schooling can work for their children and decide to continue it going forward.
- Telecommuting Becomes Mainstream: Just as more students will go to school from home, a good portion of our workforce will do the same. Many companies that had never tested telecommuting will find that remote workers can be just as productive (or even more so) than those who come into the office every day.
- CPA/Accounting Practices Thrive: In the midst of all of these economic disruptions, accounting is one industry that will continue to thrive. CPAs will find countless opportunities to serve businesses that are scrambling to make a successful transition into a Post COVID-19 world. Accounting practices will need to become as digitized as possible and leverage the most up-to-date technologies to help their clients, but as long as they stay on the cutting-edge, the opportunities to serve clients in this new world we are about to enter will be nearly endless.
Should I Buy a Business During the Coronavirus?
Purchasing an existing business has always been one of the best ways for entrepreneurs to accelerate their success. The same holds true even in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, as long as you are getting into a business and industry that is likely to succeed in the coming months and years.
The best place to start is to speak with a reputable business broker to review your options and take a look at what is available. Business intermediaries have their fingers on the pulse of the local economic climate, and they can work closely with you to find a viable business that is a good match for your budget and skillset.