Realizing you need to file for bankruptcy is agonizing and nerve-racking. Business owners are grappling with the emotional issues of managing a failing company – firing employees or reducing compensation, failing to pay vendors, defaulting on loans, and not meeting customers’ needs. The passion owners have for their businesses sometimes prevents timely decisions in crisis situations. Here are some tips that will help you navigate the difficult decision to file for bankruptcy.
The COVID-19 pandemic has gifted most business owners and their employees with an unfortunate shared experience: worry over the state of their personal finances, and concern about threats to the very survival of the company they either own or owe their livelihood to. This, plus anxiety about personal health, can consume one’s time and have a paralyzing impact on day-to-day activities.
A detailed weekly cash flow schedule is a useful tool that shows the financing needs of your business. This tool provides you and creditors a road map to the potential financing needs of your business. The cash flow identifies any working capital shortfalls that may require funding through a cash infusion or financing. Once built, a cash flow schedule is a continuous tool that should be updated and reviewed weekly. Having a clear picture of your cash flow demonstrates to all that you have financial control and an understanding of your business operations.
We are exploring the effect of COVID-19 on mergers and acquisitions in the United States. As this historic pandemic continues to evolve, we will track the number of COVID-19 cases and compare them to the overall M&A deal volume and provide market observations. Check back each week for updated information.
Business owners contemplating an exit in the foreseeable future are justifiably concerned about the current state of the economy and whether a market exists to sell their business. The answer, yes, you can still sell your business, but some things have changed.
A market like today’s requires flexibility to continue to be successful. Flexibility to work remotely, to fit in homeschooling for your children, to stay fit while the gym is closed, and countless other ways we have all adapted over the past two months. This flexibility will also need to include flexibility with how M&A deals will get closed in this market. For business owners interested in a flexible M&A deal, selling all or part of their business to an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) might be the best option. We expect ESOP sales will be the first type of M&A transaction to come back after the pandemic-driven slowdown eases, in large part due to the flexibility they offer.
Your company now has a new classification that you may have never considered: “essential” or “nonessential.” These categories have emerged due to COVID-19. Businesses labeled essential have a responsibility to continue functioning and operating for the community’s health and well-being. While a large number of companies need to change their operations or temporarily halt operations, these essential businesses remain open. The essential designation has helped maintain your company’s value.
The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic is causing significant financial stress for many business owners, while presenting growth opportunities for others. Impacted businesses are suffering from depressed liquidity due to a decrease in sales, the inability to collect cash from customers and an expense structure that does not match the sudden drop in revenue.
A lack of cash on hand or access to credit is making it difficult for business owners to meet their obligations. Programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) have offered a temporary reprieve, but without a significant increase in economic activity or an extension of the PPP, business owners will be forced to seek an acquirer or, potentially, file for bankruptcy.
COVID-19 has caused a significant drop in the value of many privately owned businesses, real estate investments, and other assets. While this is a tragic situation, there is an opportunity to “make lemonade from lemons.” The combination of reduced asset values, recently passed regulations, and current tax laws yields some extraordinary strategies to transfer or gift these assets.
The best defense is a good offense. An adage applied to everything from military conflict to board games is one that can also be applied to companies considering making acquisitions during this economic downturn.
Largest Transactions Closed