Internationally recognized economist and author Brian Beaulieu detailed his short- and long-term economic outlook at the Sixteenth Annual Colorado CEO Forum. Beaulieu has been providing economic-analysis seminars to thousands of business owners and executives for the last 31 years and recently co-authored Prosperity in the Age of Decline, which focuses on making the most of U.S. and global trends over the next 20 years. He uses leading indicators and examines a number of factors in determining his economic outlooks, which have been highly accurate throughout the years.
From a national perspective, the United States is, and will continue to remain, the strongest economy in the world, according to Beaulieu. While China garners many headlines, in reality, it relies more on the U.S. than the U.S. does on it, and that will not change any time soon.
From a regional perspective, the business outlook for Denver, and Colorado as a whole, remains one of the most positive in the country, according to Beaulieu. Job growth is strong, and people continue to seek out Colorado as desirable place to live and work. The main challenge has become, and will continue to remain, the struggle to hire and retain great talent in an environment where the unemployment rate is low and where millennials carry much more weight and influence every day. “You are going to have an increasingly hard time finding and holding onto skilled, experienced labor,” said Beaulieu.
Key Takeaways for Business Owners
As to whether or not now is a good time to sell your business…well, that really depends on your goals. If you’ve considered to possibility of selling your business in the next three to five years, right now is probably the best time to act. Beaulieu is forecasting a downturn in the first half of 2019. While the economy is continuing to grow, the rate of grow is slowing down.
And from SDR’s unique perspective into the privately held marketplace, we’re starting to see company valuations and multiples top out. Acting sooner, rather than later, is likely a prudent strategy to avoid being caught up in this downturn and then being forced to wait out a subsequent recovery.
Conversely, for business owners who are not considering an exit in the next three to five years, focus on growing your business now. Lending conditions remain favorable, but historically low interest rates don’t have anywhere to go but up.
According to Beaulieu, it’s vital for businesses to invest in the right people and technology to grow, but they’ll need the capital to do so. And while we do face the possibility of a downturn in 2019, business owners should no longer be operating in fear of another “Great Recession,” at least within the next 14 to 15 years, Beaulieu stated.
To watch Beaulieu’s entire presentation, please click here.