Valuing Your Business: A Guide for Medium-Sized Business Owners

Determining the value of your business is a crucial step when considering selling. The valuation process can be complex, involving both quantitative assessments and qualitative judgments. This article guides medium-sized business owners on how to value their businesses.

1. Understanding Business Valuation

A business valuation is a process of determining the economic value of a business or business unit. The goal is to create a fair, unbiased estimate of the company's value that the owner can use in business sale negotiations.

2. Valuation Methods

There are several ways to value a business; the best method depends on your situation. Here are three standard methods:

Asset-Based Approach: This method calculates the value of all assets minus the total of its liabilities. It's often used for businesses with significant physical assets, like real estate or manufacturing equipment.

Income Approach: The income or earning value approach is based on the idea that a business's value lies in its ability to produce wealth in the future. The most common method here is the discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis, which involves forecasting the business's future cash flows and discounting them to present value.

Market Approach: This method values a business based on how similar companies are valued in the marketplace. Comparable business sales, or "comps," are used to estimate the value of your business.

3. Understand the Factors That Influence Value

Several factors can influence your business's value, including:

Financial Performance: A history of profitable operations can significantly increase your business's value.

Industry Trends: Businesses in growing industries are often worth more than those in stagnant or declining industries.

Market Position: A strong market position, high brand recognition, or a unique selling proposition can enhance your business's value.

Customer Base: A diverse customer base with recurring revenue is a positive factor.

Employee Skills and Knowledge: A skilled, knowledgeable, and stable workforce is an asset.

4. Preparing for Valuation

Before the valuation, you must assemble various documents, including financial statements, details of physical assets, information about employees and customers, and any legal documents such as contracts and leases.

5. Use the Valuation as a Tool

Remember, business valuation is not just for selling; it's a tool that can identify strengths and weaknesses in your business, informing your strategy and helping you grow your business's value over time.

6. Hire a Professional

Given the complexity of business valuations, hiring a professional is wise. They have the expertise to consider all the variables that can impact your business's value, including industry trends, market conditions, and the value of your assets.

Valuing a business is a complex but necessary process when preparing for a sale. By understanding valuation methods and the factors that influence value, and working with a professional, you can ensure an accurate and fair valuation of your business. Combined with a solid sales process, this will help you achieve the best possible outcome.


Written and published by IG Wealth Management as a general source of information only, believed to be accurate as of the date of publishing. Not intended as a solicitation to buy or sell specific investments, or to provide tax, legal or investment advice. Seek advice on up to date withholding rules and rates and on your specific circumstances from an IG Wealth Management Consultant. Trademarks, including IG Wealth Management and IG Private Wealth Management are owned by IGM Financial Inc. and licensed to its subsidiary corporations.