Obtaining a Fair Market Value When Selling Your Business

Divestopedia published a rather insightful article, “Letting the Market Bridge the Valuation Gap.”  In this October 2018 article, Dave Kauppi dives in and explores how fair market value can be used as a way for business owners to “bridge the gap between the valuation they feel they deserve and that which they’re likely to receive.”  This, of course, increases the chances of a deal actually taking place.  Let’s turn our attention to some of the key points in Kauppi’s informative article.

Understanding the Reality of Selling a Business

One key point is that only a low percentage of businesses actually sell on their first attempt.  The article points out that a mere 10% of businesses that are for sale are actually sold three years later; this is a simply brutal fact.  Few facts, if any, help underscore the value of working with a Business Broker / M&A Advisor more than this point.  Selling a business can be difficult under even the best of circumstances.  The process is complex, and most sellers underestimate what is involved.

Divestopedia believes that it is critical for business owners to have realistic expectations regarding valuation and terms.  As the article points out, the market doesn’t care “how much money you need for retirement,” or “how much you’ve invested” or “paying you for potential that is essentially unproven”.

Four Points to Consider

According to the article, it is important that business owners understand that a few business characteristics will ultimately drive the sale.  There are four key factors to consider: contractually recurring revenue, durable competitive advantage, growth rate and customer concentration.

There is a lot packed into these four points, but here are a couple of big takeaways.  In terms of customer growth, if a large percentage of your business is derived from one or two customers, then that is going to be seen as a problem.  As Divestopedia points out, if your company is dependent and partially dependent on a couple customers, then you can expect a lot of pressure for you, as the business owner, to stick around a lot longer to ensure that these key customers aren’t lost.  If intellectual property, such as software, is involved, then things can get even more complex.  In the end, determining value in technology-based companies can be more challenging.

In the end, working with a seasoned Business Broker / M&A Advisor, one that understands valuation and how best to get there, is a must.  You want to receive the best possible price for your business.  An experienced Business Broker / M&A Advisor will help you understand how to navigate the complex process of determining a price.  However, and most importantly, a Business Broker / M&A Advisor will help you achieve a fair market value, so that your business doesn’t remain unsold for years.

Copyright: Business Brokerage Press, Inc.

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Matt Coletta, CBB, CBI, is a Certified Business Broker and a Certified Business Intermediary with over 25 years of experience in successfully representing Business Sellers and Buyers in various industries. Matt is a Los Angeles Business Broker and represents Business Owners and Businesses for Sale throughout Southern California including: Los Angeles County, Orange County, Ventura County, West Los Angeles, City of Industry, Downtown Los Angele, Gardena, Whittier, San Gabriel, Upland, South Bay, Torrance, Newport Beach, Irvine, Brea, Anaheim, Long Beach, San Fernando Valley, Woodland Hills, Chatsworth, Sherman Oaks, North Hollywood, Northridge, Van Nuys, Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, Sun Valley, Valencia, Santa Clarita, Palmdale, Ventura, Camarillo, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley and other cities in the greater Southern California area.