The M&A business is not terribly seasonal but there are a few trends. Business acquisition activity starts to slack off in the middle of December and really slows down during the holidays (unless you happen to have a deal going that you are trying to close at the end of the year). Generally though, the focus for most people seems to be on their core business with any extra bandwidth going to family, shopping and food.
The New Year is a different story, and it is a busy time. I don’t know for sure, but my own opinion is that even if a person or company doesn’t make a specific new year’s resolution, they do make a commitment to “get something done” in the new year. Whatever the reason, activity goes up in first quarter of the year.
I once did a study of the monthly web traffic of the top business for sale web sites over a five year period. It shows a decline in December and a spike in January through February. (by the way, late summer is slow and fall is busy).
Although the phone and email activity is down, the preparation activity of getting companies ready for a sale is very high. We are getting ready to launch some new companies into the market in January, so we’ve spent a good deal of time preparing for their launch in December. The deal books are written, videos shot, financial analysis accomplished, marketing strategy meetings held and databases searched. There are always some unique challenges with every company, so we work out a plan on how to address these. Letters and emails are prepared and the system is primed for the launch.
Come January, we’ll be ready for the uptick in buyer interest.