business value
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With more than 40 per cent of B.C. entrepreneurs planning to exit their business within five years, many could do more to boost company value

Want to buy a business in Canada? Looks like you'll have plenty of options. In a new BDC survey of 2,500 Canadian entrepreneurs, 41 per cent of respondents said they would probably exit their company within five years, citing retirement as the main reason. Meanwhile, 52 per cent expected to sell or transfer the business outside the family. In B.C., 43 per cent of respondents intended to leave an existing business without acquiring another one.

But the BDC survey, conducted with market research firm Nielsen Co., also found that entrepreneurs underestimate how long it will take to hand their business over to new owners and management and to sell at the best price. The evidence: 71 per cent of respondents said they were reluctant to take risks to improve business performance, and 52 per cent had little interest in expansion.

For entrepreneurs looking to enhance business value, BDC offers these tips:

1. Keep reinvesting in the business.
2. Continue to pursue growth.
3. Ensure financial reports are detailed and reliable.
4. Make the business stand out from the crowd.
5. Focus on quality, not quantity, when looking for buyers—and get help doing so.
6. Don’t be afraid to cast a wide net.