Knowledge Center

Grow or Sell – What’s the Next Move for Your Business?

running-a-business | Read Time: 3 minutes

By Steve Clark and John Churchill | Published: July 2021


The past year’s unpredictability has business owners large and small deciding what their next step should be, including whether now is an optimal time to grow or sell their business.

While low interest rates make expanding appealing, the idea of selling and starting fresh may also be on owners’ minds – especially those in hard hit industries – as recovery continues and various repayments loom. Additionally, some business owners are in an unusually advantageous position to sell, making now the right time to seriously consider leveraging their success and resilience narrative with potential buyers.

While there is no right or wrong answer whether business owners should grow or sell now, there are some key questions they can ask to determine the right path forward.

What is my industry’s rebound rate?
Owners should take a holistic look at their industry and ask, “has my industry begun to rebound, or have the shifts been too significant for my business to fully recover?” Many industries continue to be impacted post-pandemic by changes to consumer behaviors, some bringing good opportunity while others offer less.

Priorities and spending habits have changed drastically, directly impacting consumer businesses and making it imperative that owners know what these new spending habits and preferences are, and how to meet consumers’ needs.

Ask yourself, “can my business adapt to these trends and what will I need? What else do I need to consider, such as changes to my supply network?”

Can low interest rates help me expand?
Owners should also consider taking advantage of low interest rates to put expansion plans into motion. Rates saw all-time lows in 2020, enticing businesses to rethink or inspire expansion, such as purchasing the business’ current property, looking for property to invest in long-term, or investing in new equipment and more staff to sustain growth. A trusted financial partner, CPA or real estate broker can help determine whether low rates can work in your favor, especially when considering pivots made during the pandemic and their long-term benefits. Your financial partner can help determine the best way to accelerate growth through newly discovered opportunities and how to finance them.

A variety of financial tools to improve efficiencies and accelerate growth are at your disposal, including cash management and forecasting, smart safes, armored carrier management and merchant services.

Is my industry in high demand for investors?
Business owners should assess if their industry is in high demand for buyers and investors, and if selling their business could help them cut losses and use the influx of money to take the next step in their future. While some industries were negatively impacted by COVID-19, others are increasingly attractive to investors.

Look for improvements to your business, making it more attractive to buyers or investors. Consult an accountant to understand the company’s value. Evaluate investment possibilities and demand that exists within your category to decipher if now is an ideal time to sell and pursue other ventures.

Whether buying, growing, or selling, identifying a path forward is critical. Use your trusted financial partners to determine what makes the most sense for your business’ next stage.

About the Authors
Steve Clark joined WSFS Bank in 2002 and has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Banking Officer since May 2016. He received his MBA in Finance from Widener University and his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration (Marketing) from the University of Delaware.

John Churchill is WSFS Wealth’s Business Strategy Advisor. John leads WSFS’ work with pre and post exit business owners. John helps WSFS’ business owner clients identify growth opportunities for their companies with an eye towards maximizing and monetizing the full value of what is often his clients’ most significant personal asset. John received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and his master’s degree from Fordham University.


Is it a Match? Key Considerations When Evaluating Your Business Banking Relationship

Banking options aren’t one-size-fits-all, and neither is your business. Like your business, your banking partner plays a critical role to your success, requiring regular monitoring to ensure it fits your needs now and down the road. A lot can change in a fiscal year so evaluating your relationship annually is smart business.

Read More

Celebrating Small Businesses That Inspired and Thrived During the Pandemic

Endure. Persevere. Adapt. Pivot. These four words, and many more, describe thousands of small businesses in the Greater Philadelphia and Delaware region and what they did to survive when the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts were felt.

Read More

Finding the Right Financing Partner for Your Business

Choosing the right equipment financing partner for your business may seem daunting because there are many options and not all financing is equal. Those in woodworking know that there has been an uptick in demand across various segments like furniture or kitchen cabinets. Finding the right equipment and then someone to finance it quickly is key to keeping up with demand or growing the business.

Read More

How to Fuel Your Small Business’ Post-Pandemic Rebound

The past year has seen dramatic change for many small businesses, from operations and personnel needs to customer preferences around purchasing and delivery of products and services.

Read More

Why Construction Loans Aren’t Always the Same – And What to Know Before You Get One

While the past year has posed many challenges, it has also presented several opportunities for developers and businesses to identify new avenues for both residential and commercial building. For example, many sectors like life sciences, grocery and multifamily have seen an increase in construction activity over the past year due to the current climate and needs of communities.

Read More