Starting and selling a business

Complex economic outlook

Anyone contemplating starting a new business, especially a bricks and mortar one, needs to factor in current economic conditions. It looks as if the UK economy will perform better in 2024 than it did during 2023, and inflation has now fallen to 3.2% (March 2024). However, consumer spending is being curtailed due to higher costs of living, and unemployment is expected to increase during 2024. Many self-employed businesses, in particular, are struggling to cope with higher costs, and their take home pay is not rising in line with inflation.

High energy costs have been a huge problem for many businesses over the past two years, although costs are forecast to decrease throughout 2024. The general uncertainty however is far from ideal for a new business which will want to plan at least two or three years ahead.

Your plans will also need to factor in inflation, which – while now much lower – is still above its 2% target, increased borrowing costs, higher salary expectations plus staffing shortages.

When it comes to selling a business, it doesn’t matter whether you are developing a business idea to quickly cash in before starting all over again (the typical serial entrepreneur), planning a smart career move (with the successful sale of a self-started business looking very good on your resumé) or are in for the long haul – planning your exit strategy at an early stage will ensure you don’t pay more tax than necessary. This might be just the time to do that planning.