By Chris Wright, Corporate Finance Director, Armstrong Watson LLP

WITH support for businesses starting to unwind, nuances of lockdowns, and the increasing realisation of the economic and social impact of the pandemic, it is now more important than ever for business owners to keep focused on why they do what they do.

So what options should a business owner consider in these unprecedented times?

Expansion and diversification

Sadly, it appears inevitable some businesses will not survive the current climate. Credible business valuations for businesses in difficulty will reflect the prevalent risk and now might be an opportune moment to expand via acquisition. Bolting on an acquisition could help shield your own position but you may have to move fast in an accelerated process. You might look to protect your own source of supply, to access new locations, or to deny a competitor access to your market; assess the impact of the purchase whilst also the impact of doing nothing, identify the key relationships for your business and open up honest and frank dialogue with each.

Selling your business

For many, plans of an exit have been shelved as business owners have inevitably shifted their focus to protecting the value in their business in these unprecedented times. Whilst it might seem counter intuitive to sell at the moment, if you can demonstrate robust profitability and cash flow in the toughest of conditions, there is every reason to believe the business provides a model platform from which a new owner will be able to leverage and build on as the situation improves.

Weather the storm

Wait and see is always an option, nevertheless we would strongly advise keeping an ear to the ground and looking around you. There will be consolidation in many sectors and, unfortunately, some businesses will fail. Those that don’t get too internally focused and continue to look outside their business will identify the right opportunities at the right time.

Whether you see the next 12 months as an opportunity to seek out acquisitions, to batten down the hatches and ride out the storm, or the catalyst to seek an exit, it is now more important than ever to not lose sight of your strategic objectives and to be prepared to act! If you’d like help and support to explore the next options for your business contact Chris Wright, Corporate Finance Director, on 0808 144 5575 or email