The value of your business comes down to a single equation: what multiple of your profit is an acquirer willing to pay for your company?
profit × multiple = value
Most owners believe the best way to improve the value of their company is to make more profit – so, they find ways to sell more and more. As experts in their industry, it’s natural that customers want to personally engage with them, which means spending more time on the phones, on the road and face-to-face to increase sales.
With this model, a company can slightly grow, but the owner’s life becomes much more difficult: customers demand more time and service, employees begin to burn out, and soon it feels like there are not enough hours in the day. Revenue flat lines, health can suffer and relationships get strained – all from working too much. Does this feel familiar?
If you’re spending too much time and effort on increasing your profit, you could find yourself diminishing the overall value of your business. The solution? Focus on driving your multiple (the other number in the equation above). Driving your multiple will ultimately help you grow your company value, improve your profit and redeem your freedom.
What Drives Your Multiple:
Differentiated Market Position
Acquirers only buy what they could not easily create, so expect to be paid more if you have close to a monopoly on what you sell and/or are one of the few companies who have been licensed to provide the specific product or service in your market.
Lots of Runway
Most founders think market share is something to strive for, but in the eyes of an acquirer, it can decrease the value of your business because you’ve already sopped up most of the opportunity.
An acquirer is going to want to know how your business will do once you leave – recurring revenue assures them that there will still be a business once the founder hits eject.
The size and profitability of your company will matter to investors. So will the quality of your bookkeeping.
The You Factor
The most valuable businesses can thrive without their owners. The inverse is also true because the most valuable businesses are masters of independence.
Most business do not adequately plan for the ultimate exit of their business whether that means selling it or passing it down resulting in far less value received when they want to sell or retire. By preparing now you can dramatically increase your company’s value and the cash that you receive down the road.
To see how your company scores in terms of the ability to sell one day, you can complete the Value Builder questionnaire and get a report on how you’re doing in each area.
It only takes 15 minutes and even if you are not thinking of exiting in the short term, it can give you tremendous insight on the areas where you are strong and the areas that you can improve on to increase the value of your business.