Select Page

Okanagan Entrepreneurs at Risk

A wave of baby boomers retirements is putting Okanagan entrepreneurs at risk. With a staggering 80 per cent of owners failing when trying to sell their company, Business Finders Canada is urging small businesses to plan their exit, protecting both profits and people.

“This is an alarming statistic; I have met far too many people who think they can wake up one morning, decide to sell their business and go out and do it,” says Steve Harvey, CEO of Business Finders Canada. “Unrealistic valuation and owner’s expectations can throttle a potential sale and owners are forced to close their doors. It’s hardly the exit plan any owner would desire and the impact on the local economy can be substantial.”
Okanagan business finders
Canada is at risk for a massive closing of doors with the majority of the 1.08 million small and medium-size enterprises owned by baby boomers. In 2012, CIBC reported that 310,000 business owners would exit ownership or transfer control of their businesses within five years. Within the next ten years, business exits will grow to 550,000. BC will see the largest transfer of ownership with no less than 40 per cent of businesses expected to change hands before the end of the decade.

“In the Okanagan, approximately 200 businesses were listed through the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board last year, yet only 32 sold; that’s only a 16 per cent sell-through rate,” says Harvey.

Getting ready is paramount, says Harvey, whose firm specializes in supporting owners through this time of transition. “Most people who own a business are focused on making it a great success; few of us spend much time thinking about winding down the business or transitioning it to someone else,” he says.

In the coming five years, an estimated $1.9 trillion is expended to change hands, yet CIBC reports that close to 60 per cent of business owners aged 55 to 64 have yet to start discussing exit plans with their family or business partners.

An exit strategy is what every investor looks for — and “must have” if a business owner wishes to get money out of their enterprise. With a proper valuation and positioning, a successful sale to another business or on the open market is realistic, says Harvey. For owners looking to leave a legacy, family succession or selling to employees can be the right exit strategy.

“You need to be honest and look at your business objectively and realistically,” says Harvey. “Having a professional valuation can help you consider your options, know your timelines and ready the businesses for sale.”

Owners can reach the certified business brokers at Business Finders Canada at 1652 Pandosy Street in Kelowna or online at

Related Post

About The Author


Okanagan Life captures the essence of life in the Okanagan Valley with informative and entertaining features on issues that matter to people who live or vacation in this great region, plus stories on Okanagan destinations, personalities, wine, food, history, outdoor recreation and more. We're now in our 30th year of publishing. Subscribe

30,000 giveaway for small business okanagan

Current Issue

yearly-subscribeDigital Edition - Yearly Subscription

Each month, we're giving away 30 free annual subscriptions to celebrate our 30th year in publishing! With a digital subscription, you can enjoy Okanagan Life on your tablet.

Upcoming Events

6:00 pm Communal Table Dinner Series @ Quails' Gate
Communal Table Dinner Series @ Quails' Gate
Mar 21 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Communal Table Dinner Series @ Quails' Gate | West Kelowna | BC | Canada
Join us on Wednesday’s for our long table dinners, each time exploring a different theme or region in the world. Enjoy 3 family-style courses for $55 per person (plus tax & gratuity). January 10: France[...]
7:00 pm Hedley: Cageless Tour @ Prospera Place
Hedley: Cageless Tour @ Prospera Place
Mar 23 @ 7:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Hedley: Cageless Tour @ Prospera Place | Kelowna | BC | Canada
HEDLEY Cageless Tour With special guests Shawn Hook and Neon Dreams Friday, March 23 PROSPERA PLACE, Kelowna All Ages / Reserved Seating Doors: 6:00pm / Show: 7:00pm Facebook Presale: Wed, Sept 27 at 10am –[...]
7:30 pm Kelowna Fan Experience 2018 @ Kelowna Community Theatre
Kelowna Fan Experience 2018 @ Kelowna Community Theatre
Mar 23 @ 7:30 pm – Mar 25 @ 10:03 pm
Kelowna Fan Experience 2018 @ Kelowna Community Theatre | Kelowna | BC | Canada
Kelowna Fan Experience March 23, 24 & 25 at Kelowna Community Theatre, Rotary Centre For The Arts, The Black Box Theatre & Okanagan Regional Library New Vintage Theatre is ready to party! It is our[...]
7:30 pm New Vintage Theatre presents The... @ Kelowna Community Theatre
New Vintage Theatre presents The... @ Kelowna Community Theatre
Mar 23 @ 7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
New Vintage Theatre presents The Debaters @ Kelowna Community Theatre | Kelowna | BC | Canada
New Vintage Theatre proudly presents The Debaters LIVE! at KFX 2018 You have heard the hit show on CBC Radio, now see it live as part of our amazing, three day pop culture festival. Headlining[...]


Error: Please enter a valid email address

Error: Invalid email

Error: Please enter your first name

Error: Please enter your last name

Error: Please enter a username

Error: Please enter a password

Error: Please confirm your password

Error: Password and password confirmation do not match