Business Consulting Industry Report 2012
Businesses Changing Hands
For business consulting franchises that specialize in brokerage, we could be entering a time period ripe with opportunity. At any given time, there are approximately four to five million businesses
in the U.S. up for sale, and “a recent study projects that during the next 10 years there will be 8 million small to mid-size businesses owned by Baby Boomers for sale, and a remarkably lower amount of buyers – only 6.2 million,” according to Murphy. “There will be a lot of people retiring, which will create a lot of good saleable business investment opportunities.”
However, according to a recent New York Times article, the results of a 2008 study conducted by Atlanta-based White Horse Advisors and Vistage International found that 87 percent of business owners who are a part of the baby boomer generation do not have a written exit plan, in spite of 96 percent of them agreeing that having an exit strategy was important.
The disparity in these numbers represents a marked opportunity for consultants in related areas to have an impact.3
In addition, according to Murphy Business and Financial, the current state of the economy has also provided us with many more buyers. As jobs have disappeared, a number of unemployed workers have been becoming buyers of businesses as a result of their weariness of seeking work from others to earn a living.
Going on the Offensive
Tired of playing defense as a result of the recent financial crisis, there is a growing expectation of business owners being more proactive in their pursuit of increased profits. Many methods will undoubtedly be used, and consultants who focus in prime areas, a few of which are described below, will have an edge in courting clients:
- Social Media: The demands of running a business are many, and they consume a vast amount of a manager’s time. These demands stemming from the basic operation of a business leave very little time, if any, for learning new technologies crucial to staying relevant in the marketplace. Opportunities exist for consultants able to help companies understand how to use social media and the related analytics.
- Focus on Productivity: By coming in as an outsider, business consultants can see ways to improve that those within a business are just too close to the operation to notice. Franchises that offer coaching services to business owners and others within a business can help deliver methods to assist their clients to achieve improved results that are sustainable.
- Green Initiatives: Becoming more environmentally-friendly is a trend that goes well beyond business. However, the planetary benefits aren’t just the only reason for green efforts. Potential monetary savings from the reduction of water and energy usage, for example, are also a by-product of green initiatives.