Victoria Wells at the Financial Post noted that BMO Harris Private Banking did a survey of business owners in Canada. They asked if they had done a succession plan. 89% of owners in Canada have not.
What a surprise.
Owners believe they can sell when they want for what they want. This is a huge myth that BMO should be on top of.
The business owners whose advisor or banker told them they should make their companies saleable 2-4 years before the exit date will be able to sell. The rest will attempt to sell and fail at the exit according to the many business brokers we have interviewed and an internal survey done by a large investment bank.
What BMO should have asked these business owners is: How do you intend to get a return on your investment in your business? What are you doing to make sure your business is saleable? It takes 2-4 years to make the necessary changes! BMO missed a great opportunity to help Canada’s business owners wake up.