Timing the sale of a company isn’t always intuitive. When business is booming, many owners avoid planning for the future; when the business stumbles, they may wish they had already gotten out. While there’s no exact science to pinpointing the proper time to make a sale, the goal is to be one step ahead of the market. If you’re considering putting your ambulance business for sale, there’s evidence that today may be a good time to make your move.
The Future Looks Bright
It can be difficult to convince a buyer to take the plunge and buy a business if the future is uncertain. In this sense, owners of medical businesses have a unique advantage. With the baby boomer generation just beginning to enter retirement, the need for emergency and non emergency medical transportation is poised to see unprecedented growth. Buyers may be willing to pay a pretty penny for an existing ambulance business that allows them to quickly enter the market and begin enjoying immediate profits. Even if the last few years have left your business worse for the wear, the allure of future payoff may be enough to win over the right buyer.
Investors Are Plenty
Over the past several years, most industries have seen wage cuts and layoffs on a massive scale. Some corporate employees are looking for a change, and the freedom and flexibility that comes with owning a small business is hard to pass up. At the same time, many owners who are interested in selling have postponed putting their ambulance services for sale until the economy improves. A large pool of buyers and a limited selection of sellers puts the ball squarely in your court.
Capital Gains Could Go Up
It’s easy to forget that a chunk of the cash you receive from the sale of your business belongs to the federal government. But if you put your ambulance company for sale today, that chunk may be smaller. As of 2012, capital gains are taxed at 15 percent. Thanks to a tax hike in the health care reform law and the impending expiration of the Bush tax cuts, that rate could rise to 25 percent on Jan. 1, 2013. When you’re talking about thousands – or millions – of dollars, a 10 percent savings can be life-changing.
Lenders Are Loosening Up
After years of tightening credit, lenders are ever-so-slightly loosening standards, making it easier for potential ambulance business buyers to secure necessary financing. According to Kiplinger, banks have begun releasing reserves in the form of loans in an attempt to replace lost revenue from debit and credit fee restrictions.
You’re Ready for a Change
Ultimately, the best time to sell your business is when you’re ready to sell your business. Maybe your company made it through the worst of the downturn, but you can’t stomach another dip in the business cycle. Maybe you’re ready to spend more quality time with the kids or grandkids. Perhaps you’re just looking for a change. It’s impossible to know what the future holds. If the time feels right, it may be wise to cash in some of your chips.
Whenever you choose to put your ambulance company on the market, enlisting the expertise of a transportation business broker to prepare and facilitate the sale can ensure that you receive the price you deserve.