3 Bold Predictions for Selling Businesses in 2022

2021 was a banner year for the sale of businesses. Sellers of healthy businesses that successfully navigated the pandemic were receiving top dollar, and buyers were lining up for the opportunity to purchase thriving companies. Was 2021 “lightning in a bottle”, or a sign of things to come?  Here’s what to anticipate in 2022:

  1. 2022 will be the year Baby Boomers finally begin to sell - People have been anticipating it for years, but the wave of baby boomers selling their businesses hasn’t hit yet.  Expect that to change in 2022. In a survey conducted by BizBuySell.com, 28% of business owners said they plan to sell their business in the coming year (41% of those surveyed were baby boomers).  Business sales are primarily motivated by the seller’s emotional response to ownership -- when times are good, it’s easy to keep owning the company, but when challenges arise, selling the business looks appealing.  Navigating the pandemic is just the type of crisis that will drive many owners, especially baby boomers, to finally be emotionally ready to sell. 
  2. We will see record numbers of first-time business owners purchase a business - While the pandemic presented challenges to businesses, it didn’t discourage America’s entrepreneurial spirit.  According to the United States Census Bureau, business applications soared throughout the pandemic.  Expect that trend to translate to the purchase of existing businesses. It will also be helped by more Americans looking to take control of their lives and their incomes. It also can’t be ignored that vaccine mandates appear to be driving individuals who were once employees into controlling their own fates through small business ownership. 
  3. The “news noise” won’t matter - We’ve seen a lot throughout our 100+ years helping business owners sell, and it feels like we’ve seen even more in the last 2 years.  With so much change, there’s going to be a lot of noise both in the mainstream media and on social media this year as debates around politics, social issues, and the virus continue.  But, when it comes to buying and selling businesses, don’t expect it to make a difference.  Every year people ask us questions about this political party or that political party, potential tax plans, regulations, and more.  How will it affect their sale or purchase?  The truth is, it rarely does.  Strong and healthy businesses sell (they always have) and buyers want opportunities (they always will).  The news cycle does not matter.  Expect a near-record transaction volume of small business sales in 2022 regardless of any noise you may hear to the contrary.