How Much Is Your Home Based Business Worth?

If the electronic energy in your body’s hydrogen atoms could be utilized, scientists have calculated that a person could supply all the electrical needs of a highly industrialized country for almost a week. By this estimate, the average person is worth about 85 billion dollars! Never sell yourself short. You are unique and immensely valuable as a human being. The payments you receive from life are what vary from person to person.

Anyone building a business for themselves is actually building a lifestyle regardless of who signs the paycheck at the end of the week. You hold the office of the President of your own corporation, which makes you responsible for success and failure. The members of your team are the stockholders and it is your job to see that the value of the stock increases in the years ahead.

Even though the operations of a corporation are complex, they can be reduced to four basic functions: Finance, Production, Sales and Research. Without proper financing, there would be no production. Without production you would have nothing to sell. Without sales you would have to stop production. Without research you could not keep up with the changing times. All four of these functions must flow in unison in order to have a successful business. How successful you are in meeting these challenges will determine your present and future growths.

You must be concerned with growth because nothing in this world stands still. A body in motion tends to remain in motion until acted upon by an outside force. A company that is growing has a tendency to keep growing. The same goes for a company that is either standing still or falling backwards. All responsible business owners should be able to look into the future and predict how well they will progress based on their current level of activity. Never before in the history of mankind has an individual had the opportunity to make a brighter future for themselves than now.

Stand back and look at yourself and your future objectively, as an intelligent stranger might. Ask yourself what you are worth right now. What is your value to your business and what is the value of your business in the marketplace? If you were an outside investor, would you want to invest in your company? If not, then change the reason why. Give personal attention to the growth of your business so it doubles in one year instead of eight. Find a timely business model that has achieved what you want and follow it. If you do twice as much, you are bound to receive twice as much. It sounds simple, but 95% of business owners can’t grasp it. Knowledge is power.

Sales is more than selling a product or service, it’s the way in which we sell ourselves to everyone who is interested in what we have to offer. It is the way we get along with our associates, our families, friends and neighbors. One extra call a day leads to 250 extra calls in a year. In 5 years that comes to 1,250 calls that you wouldn’t have otherwise made. A person can triple their effectiveness in less than a month. How have you been handling the four basic business functions? How much time are you really putting into moving forward?

Home based business owners have to be harder on themselves than any strict boss at a regular job could ever be. Yes, the reason we want to work from home is the have the freedom of doing what we want, but we can’t build a business with that attitude. You have to put the time in to set your business up first. Then we have to constantly strive to improve our effectiveness so we never have to worry about going back to being a puppet of the corporate giant. It’s all up to you to make these decisions. It’s the difference between being worth an average amount of money and an above average amount.

Tomorrow is a brand new day. Begin to think of ways in which you can increase your effectiveness.

How Much Is My Business Worth?

Did you ever notice that the attitude of a seller of real estate is often substantially different than the attitude of a buyer? Sellers have been known to irrationally claim their property has more value than it does, despite evidence to the contrary.

The buyer often sneers at the seller’s price, and claims the property is hardly worth buying, that the seller is crazy, and that as long as the seller thinks he has such a treasure trove, he can keep it.

Now here’s where it really gets fascinating. All buyers eventually become sellers. Some well meaning folks will display both attitudes, first the buyer’s attitude when they purchase (This property is hardly worth buying.), and then years later when they are ready to sell, they display the seller’s attitude (This property is a hidden treasure worth far more than I paid for it, and any buyer would be lucky to have it.). I love to watch and learn about human behavior, and this behavior fascinates me.

Let me bring this home to roost where the most eggs are laid. Small business owners. Many small business owners drive a hard bargain when they purchase their business. During the years they run the business, many don’t show all the income on their tax return. For example, it is commonly known that coin operated businesses are ripe with opportunities to skim coins off the top without reporting that as income. Another approach, within legal limits, is to deduct the heck out of everything and show virtually zero net income. And the Trap . . .

Is that when it comes time to sell, they want more than they can justify, because they can’t prove to the buyer it really makes all that income.

Key Point. When you purchase a business, always operate the business as though you intend to sell it to get the highest possible FMV. If you can’t prove income, you won’t get your price.

What’s My Business Worth?

Probably one of the most common questions business owners ask is “What is my business worth?”. Perhaps you want to do some retirement planning, succession planning, divorce planning, estate planning, etc.. This simple question has no simple answer, however. Valuations differ based on their purpose. For instance, the courts and accountants focus on a “Fair Market Value” without compulsion. For the sale of a business, brokers and valuation experts create a “Most Probable Selling Price” that takes the current market conditions into consideration. Let’s assume we’re looking to sell our business, and we want a valuation.

There are three main approaches to determining a most probable selling price:

1) Market Approach
2) Income Approach
3) Asset Approach

The market approach is based on the comparison of “similar” businesses that have sold when compared to ours, then projecting a value for your business. The principle of substitution would suggest that this is a reasonable way to come up with a valuation. There are several problems, such as comparing businesses in different parts of the country, or even state that might make this comparison inaccurate since local economic conditions vary. Also, comparing companies of significantly different sizes can skew the results since buyers typically pay higher multiples for larger companies.

The income approach looks at a view that presumes that a business is a cash generation machine, and you should compare your business to any other investment that generates cash. The big difference here is that small business is risky, so an accommodation for risk needs to be built in. A key part of the process is to identify the cash coming from the business through a process known as recasting. Recasting will take tax returns or financial reports and estimate the cash flow of the business that benefits the owner. This is often referred to as “Sellers Discretionary Cash Flow” (SDCF) or “Seller’s Discretionary Earnings” (SDE), or something similar. This cash flow number is then multiplied by industry specific ratios to estimate a value. Other variations on this method include a capitalization rate applied to the SDCF or looking forward and estimating the SDCF for several years and calculating the net present value of that cash flow (what the sum of future benefits is worth today).

Finally, the asset approach depends on the fair market value of the company’s assets. This is sometimes called the cost approach, since it deals with the physical assets of the business, and doesn’t provide much value for goodwill. In most businesses, goodwill is the majority of the value of the business. This approach is most useful for unprofitable businesses or businesses that have a significant investment in equipment or other assets.

Ultimately, the market determines the price of the business. Because every business is unique, expect negotiation on the price. Buyers buy the whole package, it’s not just price, but the perceived risk of the business, the prestige of owning that business, the volatility of earnings, strength of the industry, the local economy and a host of other factors not easily quantified. The opinion of value is the start of the discussion on what the business will actually sell for. You should get some help when its time to price your business.