The last big M&A wave happened in the early 2000s, according to Ward. A very active M&A period is usually accompanied by a lot of debate, both within families, and at the policy level, about the pros and cons of having families or professional investors control businesses.
Your business is likely an inherent part of your life. The decision to part ways with your business is complicated. It can't be easy to hand over your life's work. Nevertheless, there comes a time when it's worth selling the business and also a time when the market is right. The M&A market is heating up, so is the time right for you too?
The M&A market is fickle, but currently seems to be on an upward swing. A recent article in Forbesreports that this swing seems to be catching even middle market companies. The article has a catchy title, too: "Why More Entrepreneurs Will Get A Phone Call Worth Millions."
As a business owner it's important to think of the business as a business and (again) maybe your life's work. On the other hand, it is also just as important to think of it as a marketable asset when it comes time to exit. After all, the business is likely to be your greatest asset and the cornerstone to your retirement, in one form or another. In addition, your business likely is part of your legacy to your children, whether as a family business succeeded into or as wealth transferred.
How will you choose to exit and when? How does this fit into your overall plan? Whether you pull the trigger or not, it's worth watching the M&A market and ensuring that the business is appropriately structured for sale or succession.