“You’re not worth anything till you’re profitable!” Read this article to learn how to value business.

How To Value Business

What makes a business valuable? No doubt a lot of factors will be drawn into valuing a business. The number of years of operation, the employee strength, the facilities and supplies, condition and quantity of equipment are all pertinent aspects that aid us in arriving at a clear-cut analysis of a business. Moreover, the quality of customers, the reliance of each customer to the business product or service, the footfalls and the overall stability of an enterprise’s earnings boost the rankings of a business. The amount of earnings triggered by a business holds more value than the fruits borne by tangible assets. However, one can find solace in the fact that if a business venture fails, the assets can always be sold off and part of the investment can be recovered. There are several methods, some traditional and some modern which are widely used to determine the value of a business, some of which are mentioned below.

Valuing A Business

The Market Approach
This is the most common and preferable method which is based on the expectations of future profits and return on investment. It uses ratios derived from the earnings, sales or assets of past transactions of similar businesses.  Buyers and seller are compelled to give attention to the trends in sales and profits, capitalized value of the business, and expectancy of return on investment. Also identified as the ‘Rules of Thumb’, the ‘Market Approach’ method entails the business parties to be up to date with the market scenarios around the world. 

Asset Based Approach
During negotiations, businesses are evaluated on the basis of appraised value of the assets. This method clings strongly to the notion that assets will continue to be utilized in the business. In concordance to the present market, values of each are determined. This method, although simple is less reliable since it is difficult to determine future profits of the business. Nonetheless, this approach implies that if the earnings fail to support a value greater than the assets, then irrefutably the value of the business is practically equal to the value of its tangible assets.

The Income Approach
This method employs the conversion of a certain level of earnings into a value with the help of a capitalization rate, discount rate or multiples. Appraisers generally resort to five different kinds of Income approach methods to obtain indications of value, each of which requires some level of earnings and a conversion factor. It is essential to match the selected level of earnings (pre-tax, after-tax, discretionary or some form of cash flow) with the correct conversion factor (cap rate, discount rate or multiplier) in an appropriate manner. This ensures that insightful indications and values are obtained. 

Multiple Of Discretionary Earnings Method
This comprises a two-step process which is frequently used by business brokers and appraisers to derive an indication of value. Start the procedure by tabulating the discretionary earnings which are bound to occur in the near future. Determine this by obtaining the average of the last several years on condition that the most recent year’s earning indicates what you expect to be ongoing! Discretionary earning is defined as reported pre-tax earning, plus your salary, interest expense, depreciation and any personal expenses run through the business. The next step includes a multiplier. Pick any one number from the range of 0 to 3. Majority of the small businesses sell in the range of 1.5 to 2.5 times the discretionary earnings. The resulting value typically includes all the tangible assets which are required to operate the business. This could be the fixtures, furniture, equipment and inventory. Additional value that you can keep or sell is the net liquid assets and non-operating assets owned by the business such as your personal car.

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