Search Results

How Much is My Business Worth If I Sold It?

Does a business owner know what his business is worth – we suspect he thinks what the firm is worth, but in fact does not know if that is what the market would call a ‘ fair ‘ price.

When a company is private and the business owner is contemplating selling there are essentially two methods that one focuses on:

1. The value of the hard assets

2. The value of the business as an ongoing concern

When we look at category #1 above the focus gets more specific. The owner should ask himself if the business were liquidated what would be the price of those assets. Asset valuators actually break that category down into two other areas – fair market value, forced value. By forced value we mean a third party usually coming in and selling assets immediately at best bid. As one can imagine that is never the optimal selling strategy!

When someone is considering buying a business they consider the ‘book value ‘of the assets – which is simply the value on the accounting books relative to any debt on those assets. That clearly is also not an optimal number for the owner, and even the buyer sometimes, as it focuses on accounting and deprecation issues, not the true value of the asset in today’s market.

Focusing on our item # 2- Going Concern – when a third party looks to purchase a business he views the asset in the context of using those assets to generate future profits.

This brings us into the main category in the Going concern valuation method, which is the earning capitalization. Buyers, ( and sellers obviously ) focus on looking at the earnings over the last number of years, placing a realistic value on those earnings, and then determining how many more times over that level of earnings the purchaser will pay.

Lets use a simple clean example – A company has earned 200,000$ net over the last 5 years. But 100,000 of that is owner’s salary. That 100,000 are deducted from earnings in the value calculation. So we are left with $ 100,000.00.

If a potential investor wants to earn an over all return of 10% on his money then he should be willing to pay 1 Million dollars for the business – the purchaser has ‘capitalized’ the investment at ten times the return.

Business owners should also know that each industry has its own capitalization rates, and the owner would do very well to investigate what capitalization rates firms in his industry are selling at. Naturally many of those numbers are smaller private deals that aren’t published, so the owner can do two things:

Research comparable public firms in his market space

Or

Used the services of a trusted third party advisor who knows his firms industry.

The general guidelines for determining the capitalization rate are:

– growth potential of the business

– the current economic environment

– the firms position in the marketplace

– overall financial structure and stability

– management

In summary, business owners should probably be investigating valuations of their business far before they actually entertain an offer. This will allow them to focus and negotiate with strength based on solid data typically used by third party purchasers – The Boy Scout motto works once again – ‘Be prepared ‘!

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.

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.