As we slowly emerge from the disastrous health crisis, small business is dealing with the fallout. It’s coming in the form of a slow supply chain and the worst labor shortage since…ever?
Why this is happening is a complicated answer. Workplace expert, Candace Moody, describes the situation as more of a “work reassessment.” People are opting for a different kind of work. The shortage of labor can’t be pinned on any one reason. It’s a combination of government incentives, early retirement, child care issues, and the transition to freelance work. They’re all contributing factors. Our government’s way to measure unemployment is antiquated and doesn’t give the complete picture.
Regardless, move around just about anywhere in your city and you’ll see help wanted signs on storefront windows to billboards and utility poles. Whatever the reason, the result is a strained small business community.
As a result, owner-operators are working harder and longer than ever before – because who else is going to do it? They don’t have a choice.
The problem is, it’s not sustainable and you risk burnout. You only have so much energy before it’s just not worth it.
It can be hard to stop and contemplate life and choices when you’re busy being busy, but It’s important to spot the signs of impending burnout before it’s too late. If you’ve experienced one or more of these factors recently, you may already be in trouble.
- Exhaustion – You just can’t get enough quality sleep
- Frustrated and cynical – You’re uncharacteristically negative
- Short temper – You don’t have patience for someone else’s learning curve
- Overwhelmed – So much to do, so little time. It’s never going to work
- Can’t think strategically – Just need to get this one more task done before the next one.
Running this way for too long eventually hurts not only your physical and mental health, but also hurts the value of your business. When you’re busy being the technician in your business and can’t find the time or resources to strategically grow, we call that “owning a job.” and it’s a tough and depressing place to be.
The problem is, when you’re at this point, nobody wants to buy your “job”, they’re looking for a business. Generally speaking, the businesses that are worth the most are ones where the owner is not engaged in day-to-day operations and is functioning as a CEO should.
We can manage anything for a short time and endure if we have to, but this labor crisis may linger for quite some time. Economist Dante DeAntonio of Moody’s Analytics recently contributed to a USA Today article and was quoted, “Creating and filling all the jobs that would have existed if the pandemic had not occurred will likely take until the end of 2023.”
So what can you do?
Unfortunately, there is no easy fix here. There is pressure on you to do more as an employer, offering better pay even more generous benefits. Giving more will be expected, but it will likely come at the expense of your profitability. Adding to the situation is the law that says minimum wage is increasing to $15 per hour. Even if you pay your employees more than that now, your existing employees may want a raise. This effect is called pay compression.
You could choose to ride this latest economic cycle out, or you may want to consider selling your business now before the situation gets worse and your mental and/or physical health deteriorates.
Selling a business can a life-changing and invigorating experience. Traveling with your spouse, enjoying grandkids, and doing what you want to do when you want to do it is incredibly stress-relieving.
It may be the best thing for everybody involved, including your existing loyal employees who have become friends over the years. New business buyers bring with them new energy and optimism. A fresh pair of eyes, capital investment, and perspective may be what the business deserves. The seller can walk away with financial security and their sanity intact.
About Bianca Evans
Bianca Evans is an experienced business broker based in Jacksonville, Florida. She is a top producer in her field. She has made over 170 transactions since 2006 which makes her among the most seasoned in the area. She is a Certified Business Intermediary (CBI), a Certified M&A Professional (CM & AP), a Board Certified Intermediary (BCI), and has her B.S. degree from the University of Florida.
Other notable accolades and achievements:
•The Million Dollar Plus Award 2008, through 2020
•Dealmaker Award top 3% in the state for completed deals 2018
-Most dollars sold in North Florida in 2018, 2019, 2020
•Sold an array of industries including manufacturing, wholesale/distribution, service, retail, restaurants, professional offices, and more.
•25 years of Sales Experience
She maintains her professional networks by participating in a variety of associations including the International Business Brokers Association (IBBA) and the Business Brokers of Florida (BBF).
One interesting fact about Bianca is that she used to be a business owner herself! She has been on both sides of the transaction when she purchased and later sold that same business. She finds that perspective invaluable when relating to her clients and balancing the many details and emotions.
She is licensed in Georgia and Florida and speaks fluent German.
To reach Bianca, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website https://www.myfloridabusinessbroker.com/