Business owners in the manufacturing sector most likely to prioritise greater financial return over their health

Almost all (98%) of business owners in the manufacturing sector would delay the sale of their business for greater financial return, even at the risk of compromising their own health, according to our latest Heart of the Deal research.

This was the highest of all sectors surveyed, with 44% strongly agreeing that they would do this.

As such, it’s clear that building value is a key motivator for these entrepreneurs when it comes to making decisions about the future of their business. Adding fuel to this, only 8% of business owners in the sector said their biggest consideration for selling their business would be their health.

The Heart of the Deal report surveyed over 350 business owners with businesses valued between £10m and £200m across financial services, business services, FMCG, manufacturing, media, technology, and healthcare sectors on the impact of Covid-19 and its influence on their motivations, perspectives on business ownership, hopes, concerns and plans for the future.

Graham Carberry, Managing Director at Arrowpoint Advisory, commented: “The past two years have been varied for manufacturers, with many businesses having to contend with covid-induced labour and capacity constraints and materially disrupted supply chains. There is a clear determination from leaders in the sector to work through these issues, learn from them and rebuild their businesses, even if this comes at a personal cost.”

However, financial gain isn’t always deemed the key motivator for business owners in this sector. Manufacturing entrepreneurs were the most likely to have been motivated to start their business by a desire to create jobs and make a difference or give back to the community, with 30% agreeing - higher than the overall average of 24% -perhaps highlighting that entrepreneurs in the sector are determined to build businesses to create opportunity for those around them. This sense of wider community is something which has become increasingly important since the pandemic.

However, this was followed by desire to create wealth (20%) and competitiveness with friends and family (18%).

The theme of commitment and need to control their business is also echoed through their preferred option when it comes to selling. 44% of manufacturing business owners state that when coming to sell their business, the biggest consideration would be whether the buyer would take care of the business they have built – 20% higher than the overall average of 24%.

Additionally, when it comes to selling the business the most preferred outcome, agreed by over a third (36%), would be for owners to seek a minority sell with them remaining as the controlling shareholder and director.

Graham Carberry continues: “Making the decision to sell is one of the most important, and potentially daunting, decisions that an entrepreneur or business owner will make and as such it is one that requires careful consideration and planning in order to ensure an optimal outcome. Given how hard manufacturing leaders have worked to pull their businesses through the pandemic, it makes sense that they would want to protect the legacy they have built.”

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