If life is a highway, then being a business owner is driving in the fast lane. Even if you’re currently loving the thrill of risk, opportunity and high-speed decision making, it doesn’t hurt to know what your options are, should you decide to take that exit.
Owning a business is a bit like smoking: almost everyone who does it knows they have to quit at some point. Many would argue that the whole point of getting into business ownership is to get out of it again (with a healthy chunk of capital to sustain you or to fund your next venture, of course). After all, why would you want to hang on to something as time consuming and unpredictable as a business? Far better to cash in your chips while the going is good than to risk an industry change, dip in profitability or – worst of all – stagnation.
As John Hammett, an investment banker at Corporate Finance Associates and former business owner says (in the article 3 Reasons You Should Sell Your Business), “Anytime you have an opportunity to get liquidity in your company, you need to seriously consider it, because running a business is risky and the longer you hold on to that business and the bigger you get, the more chance your risk of failure.”
This is a controversial view and we aren’t sure that we agree with the second half of that quote. We do agree that any opportunity to inject liquidity into your life deserves your attention.
But business is good and I’m enjoying the ride. Why would I want to value my business?
According to Noam Wasserman’s study in the Harvard Business Review, four out of five entrepreneurs leaving their CEO positions in the companies they built are forced to do so. Why? Because founders generally do not give up easily on the things they founded.
It makes sense to form an emotional attachment to your business – after all, this is something that you created from your own ingenuity and hard work.
You’ve probably invested a significant chunk of time and capital, and if you’ve played your cards right, those investments are now producing fruitful returns. Valuing your business may be the furthest thing from your mind at this point, and you couldn’t imagine yourself selling anytime soon.
The nice thing about getting your business valued is that it doesn’t mean you have to sell. You may want to, of course, once you see your hard work reflected in numbers, but the truth is that there are many other benefits to knowing the worth of your business.
Say you’re a startup, for instance. Knowing how much your business is worth today will give you a clear indication of where you want to be down the line, and help you to lay out the milestones on your business journey. Since your main goal is most likely to add value to your business, it helps to have a ground-floor figure to work from, to keep you motivated as you expand and grow.
Knowing how much your business is worth will also allow you to make quick yet informed decisions when not-to-be-missed opportunities come along. Should you want to buy into another business or take advantage of a particular niche or trend, you’ll need to know how much capital you have to work with immediately. Combing through financial statements and waiting for reports from valuation firms could be the crucial delay that leads to you missing your chance.
You will also have to value your business in the event that you introduce employee share ownership schemes, as the value of your business will need to be shared going forward.
So now I have good reason to value my business. How do I get started?
If you’ve been following our recent series of webinars, you’ll know that valuing a business is equal parts art and science. Sure, you could go through the exercise of trying to do it yourself, and risk not only losing valuable time but also influencing the final figure through personal bias. Alternatively, you could pay a massive chunk of money to a professional valuation firm and get your report back in one to three months. Or, you could let bizval take care of the whole thing for you for a fraction of the price and a modicum of your time.
Our innovative business valuation calculator allows you to input a combination of financial data and growth forecasts – all in the form of easy-to-follow natural language questions – before converting your data into a comprehensive valuation report. It really is that simple. You’ll answer about 25 questions, click submit and receive your report within a matter of minutes.
Prefer to share your financial data with a human being? We’ve got you covered with our bizval Concierge option. We understand that some people may feel more secure knowing that an actual finance professional is overseeing the numbers. In more unusual cases or where you’re looking for actionable insights from the valuation (such as sensitivity to key growth assumptions), the Concierge option is also the right choice. Think of it as our business valuation calculator, but run by a person instead of an algorithm.
Plan your tomorrow by knowing your value today
As business owners ourselves, we understand how important your business is to you. That’s why we’re dedicated to helping you understand exactly what your business is worth. With our insights, you can make important decisions with confidence, knowing that you’re getting the best possible value for your business. Best of all, our prices are a fraction of what a professional services firm would charge, so you can rest assured that you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
You have nothing to lose and only valuable insights to gain. So what are you waiting for? Simply visit our bizval website and follow the prompts to get started. You can also check out the insights section of the website for webinars, podcasts and articles that can increase your knowledge about valuations.