The COVID 19 Era has begun. In addition to lives lost, there’s an economic toll that has yet to be determined at the time this content is being written. With small businesses on life support, these are scary times for business owners and for the intermediaries helping owners navigate through them. So how has COVID 19 affected business transactions?
As a business intermediary helping owners determine the “Most Probable Sales Price,” or MPSP of their businesses here in the Triangle, I hear a common question:
“That value makes sense, but what about all my stuff? Can I get paid for that too?”
The answer is rarely what the business owner wants to hear, but there’s a sound reason for it, and understanding how businesses are priced can help an owner with decisions on how to allocate resources for assets; especially if they are planning to sell in the near future.
In this article, we’ll explore the market approach for small businesses and what value the assets carry…
Doing deals can be expensive. A lot of entrepreneurs want to save money by not hiring an advisor or they don’t know when they should make the investment on an advisor. It’s important to understand the roles of the broker and other advisors, especially legal counsel, and to know when to bring in a professional. Here are some milestones in a deal, and how to know when to hire a business advisor.
One of the greatest risks any buyer faces is what will happen to the business’ best customers post-sale. Will the top customers celebrate the founder’s great accomplishment or maybe decide it’s a good opportunity to negotiate better pricing or payment terms with the new owner? Or worse yet, will they be spooked by the new owners and find an alternative vendor?
Astute buyers measure this risk quickly. Typically, one of the first questions experienced buyers ask the business broker is about the presence or lack of a customer concentration.
For the business owner considering the sale of his business in the near future, having a clear understanding if a customer concentration exists is vitally important. In fact, the lack of a customer concentration is a great selling point.
Depending on the circumstances and objective of the owner, the value of a business can vary considerably. For instance, upon sale to unrelated party, an owner would expect to receive the maximum purchase price for their business the unrelated party is willing to pay. However, that same sale to a family member or employee may need to be structured so the cash flow of the business can support the purchase price.
For a closely held business, owners generally have little idea about the value of their business, or whether their business is generating an adequate return on investment, and what drives its value.
A Broker’s Opinion of Value, or BOV, can help an owner determine what the business would sell for on the open market. This, in relation to an owner’s “pain” level, are often enough to make a decision if they are ready to sell.
Anyone who owns a family business is intimately familiar with the blood, sweat, and tears associated with building and then keeping the business viable. Nevertheless, it is not unusual for the business entrepreneur to postpone consideration of various issues involved in transferring the business to the next generation, including determining the value of the business.
At some point in time, every business owner will leave their business (voluntarily or involuntarily). Through proper planning, an owner should expect to achieve their desired goals. Statistics show that the value of an owner’s business accounts for over 90% of their personal wealth. However, more than 75% of all business owners do not have a formal transition plan in place.