The Numbers Don’t Tell the WholeStory

You’re considering selling your business.  Your accountant or financial advisor has reviewed your profit and loss statement, and told you what he or she thinks your business is worth. Is this a valid figure? Do the numbers reflect the real value of your business? Below are some other factors to consider regarding the true value of your business. These factors may not have a specific dollar amount attached to them, but they certainly influence value and the price a business may sell for.

•    Are you serious about selling, and is it the right time? (Use this only if selling is the reason for the valuing.)

•    What are the two or three biggest obstacles to growing the business?

•    Why is your business different than the competition?

•    If you don’t own the real estate, what is the status of your lease?

•    What is the short-term and long-term trend of your business and the industry?

•    Does, or can, international competition impact your business?

•    Why do customers patronize your business, or why do clients use your services?

•    Have you increased prices recently, and if not, why not?

•    How much will you need to invest in your business over the next three to five years to maintain your customer/client base? How much to increase it?  How will you spend it?

•    Are there any legal or governmental issues facing the business?

•    If you got hit by the proverbial truck, is there someone who could run the business?

•    Can the business be relocated? Should it be relocated?

•    What are the secrets to the current success of the business?

•    What prevents the business from growing?

•    If the business is based on your personal goodwill with customers, knowledge of the product or services, etc., are you willing to stay for a fairly long period of time to assist in transferring this personal goodwill?

•    If you were given an additional $100,000, and you were much younger, what would you do to grow the business?