What Are Buyers Looking for in a Company?

It has often been said that valuing companies is an art, not a science. When a buyer considers the purchase of a company, three main things are almost always considered when arriving at an offering price.

Quality of the Earnings

Some accountants and intermediaries are very aggressive when adding back, for example, what might be considered one-time or non-recurring expenses. A non-recurring expense could include costs like meeting some new governmental guidelines, paying for a major lawsuit, or adding a new roof on the factory.

The argument is made that a non-recurring expense is a one-time drain on the “real” earnings of the company. Unfortunately, a non-recurring expense is almost an oxymoron. Almost every business has a non-recurring expense every year. By adding back these one-time expenses, the accountant or business appraiser is not allowing for the extraordinary expense (or expenses) that come up almost every year. These add-backs can inflate the earnings, resulting in a failure to reflect the real earning power of the business.

Sustainability of Earnings

The new owner is concerned that the business will sustain the earnings after the acquisition. In other words, the acquirer doesn’t want to buy the business if it is at the height of its earning power; or if the last few years of earnings have reflected a one-time contract, etc. Will the business continue to grow at the same rate it has in the past?

Verification of Information

Is the information provided by the selling company accurate, timely, and is all of it being made available? A buyer wants to make sure that there are no skeletons in the closet. How about potential litigation, environmental issues, product returns or uncollectible receivables? The above areas, if handled professionally and communicated accurately, can greatly assist in creating a favorable impression. In addition, they may also lead to a higher price and a quicker closing.

LET IT GO? SHOULD YOU SELL YOUR FAMILY BUSINESS?

When the variable of family is added to the equation of selling a business, the situation can get rather messy.  Family usually complicates everything and businesses are, of course, no exception.  Ken McCracken’s recent article “Family business: to sell or not to sell?” 6 questions to help you make the right decision,” seeks to decode the complexities so often associated with family businesses.

Consider the Market 

The foundation of determining whether or not now is the right time to sell must begin with market forces.  Determining how much your business is worth is a key variable in any decision to sell.

The best way to determine the worth of your business is to have an outside party, such as a business broker, evaluate your business.  What you believe your business to be worth and what the market dictates could be very different.  You may discover that your business does not have the value that you hoped for.  If this is the situation, then selling simply may not be an option.

What is Next for You?

Tied to knowing your market value is understanding what you will do next after you sell your business.  For example, do you have a family member who can run the business without you?  What will you and any family members who work for the business do after the sale goes through?  You may discover that the sale could be very disruptive for you personally.  All too often, people fail to recognize the emotional and mental stress that comes along with selling a business.  Many owners begin the selling process only to discover that they are not emotionally ready to do so.  While everyone wants to be unemotional in making their business decisions, this is not always the case.

Due Diligence

You will also need to deal with the issue of due diligence.  Working with a business broker is an excellent way to handle the due diligence process.  Business brokers usually vet prospective buyers ahead of time, which can save you a great deal of aggravation and wasted time.

McCracken believes business owners should investigate how the prospective buyer handled previous acquisitions.  Specifically, McCracken believes that business owners should look to how well the prospective buyer honored previous commitments, as doing so is an indicator of how trustworthy a buyer may be.

Planning for Negotiations

Finally, McCraken believes it is essential to know who will oversee negotiations.  It is key to note that many deals that could have otherwise been successful, fall apart due to poor negotiations.  A business broker can be invaluable in negotiations.  After all, who wouldn’t want someone with dozens, or even hundreds, of successful transactions advising them?

Selling a family business can be emotionally charged and can cause significant life changes for not just you, but for members of your family as well.  Often, family businesses were built up over a lifetime or even over generations, which can make the decision to sell quite emotionally charged. Contact us for help navigating the challenges that come with this opportunity.

Should You Buy a Turnkey Business?

There are plenty of benefits to purchasing an existing business, but running a successful business can become overwhelming. If you’re considering buying a small business, but don’t know if you have enough time to commit to a significant venture, then a turnkey business model might be the right fit for you. Continue reading to discover if you’re someone who should buy a turnkey service business.

3 People Who Should Consider a Turnkey Service Business

Turnkey opportunities exist in a variety of industries including painting, cleaning, financial services, and more. Even if you’re not an expert in the industry, a true turnkey business provides everything except for staff. That means you can skip the stressful startup and jump right in. If you identify with one of the following characteristics, a turnkey service business might be the right choice for you.

  1. Entrepreneurs Looking for a Side Hustle

    As an entrepreneur, you’re continually seeking ways to earn money in addition to your current commitments. Buying a turnkey business doesn’t typically require you to drop your full-time job, or any other side hustles to be successful. Once you learn how to manage the company, you’re in control of your schedule and your workload.

    Compared to a franchise opportunity, turnkey operations often cost more to purchase initially. However, long-term costs are lower because you aren’t required to pay franchise fees, royalties, and marketing fund fees. Plus, a non-franchise, turnkey business doesn’t obligate you to follow regulations and guidelines when running your new gig. Owning and running your service-based turnkey business on your terms can help you achieve financial freedom.

  2. Seasonal Business Owners

    Whether you own an ice cream shop or a window-washing business, your goal is the same. You aim to make as much as you can during your most lucrative months. Buying an established turnkey service business can supplement your income during both your busy season and off season, creating an opportunity to drastically increase cash flow every year.

    With an established turnkey business, the services provided have already been defined and proven, so your startup phase is minimal. You may even be able to find a company that compliments a business you already own. Not only is this a fantastic way to generate additional income during your off-season, but it also provides more service variety for your existing customer base.

  3. Retirees Seeking a Job with Flexible Hours and Low Commitment

    During retirement, you can appreciate your free time without having any commitments or obligations to attend to. But sometimes, you desire additional activities and responsibilities, or you may want to supplement your savings. Investing in a turnkey business opportunity allows you to create your schedule and work as little or as much as you want. The more you work, the more chances you have to earn money, but a service-based business doesn’t have to require a high level of commitment. If you need a specific day or week off, you can always schedule around your obligations.

If any of the above descriptions make you think that you’re someone who should purchase a turnkey service business,we can help. Look through our listings to find the turnkey business for you or contact us to get started!

Corporate Social Responsibility and Preparing Your Business to Sell

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is increasingly seen as something that companies of all sizes need to be aware of, so let’s take a closer look at a few of the finer points.

There are 4 basic pillars in CSR: the community, the environment, the marketplace and the workplace.  The community pillar of CSR refers to your company’s contribution to the local community; this contribution can take a variety of forms ranging from financial support to personal involvement. There are 4 basic pillars in CSR: the community, the environment, the marketplace and the workplace.  The community pillar of CSR refers to your company’s contribution to the local community; this contribution can take a variety of forms ranging from financial support to personal involvement. Millenials are especially interested in using their growing purchasing power to support companies that share their values.  According to Forbes, “75% of Millennials consider it fairly or very important that brands give back to society instead of just making a profit.” They  care that brands practice authenticity, local sourcing, ethical production, a great shopping experience, and giving back to society.

The second pillar of CSR is the environment.  The simple fact is that people around the world are becoming much more environmentally aware.  You can be quite certain that a percentage of your customers and/or clients have environmental concerns.

Increasingly, consumers want to know that the companies that they are purchasing from have good environmental practices.  There are many ways that businesses can show that they are environmentally aware.  They range from recycling and using low-emission and high-mileage vehicles whenever possible to adopting packaging and containers that are environmentally friendly.

The third pillar of CSR is the marketplace.  Proper corporate social responsibility includes the responsible utilization of advertising, public relations, and ethical business conduct.  Another key element in the marketplace pillar is adopting fair treatment policies towards suppliers and vendors, contractors and shareholders.  In other words, the marketplace aspect of CSR means rejecting exploitative business practices in favor of fairer and more equitable business practices.

The final pillar of CSR concerns the workplace.  In the workplace pillar, CSR encourages the implementation of fair and equitable treatment of employees, as well as observing workplace safety protocols and embracing equal opportunity employment and labor standards. We’ve written before about fostering a culture of employee engagement. Research shows that employee engagement tends to rise in response to a strong connection to a business’ vision and mission.

Adopting CSR practices in today’s business climate is a prudent decision, as it serves to increase both shareholder and investor interest, while simultaneously encouraging a company’s value.  Likewise, embracing CSR practices can make it easier to attract a buyer and that party may be willing to pay a higher selling price. CSR helps you to create and share a compelling narrative about your business. These stories are powerful vectors of brand awareness and loyalty.  It helps you to focus on what your stand for and reinforcing people’s association between you and those values.

Typically, buyers want a business that has many of the attributes supported by the four pillars of CSR.  Buyers want businesses that enjoy a high level of customer loyalty and have good overall relations with the local community.  Additionally, buyers want businesses that have quality relationships with their suppliers and vendors as well as loyal and dependable employees.

Sellers must realize that buyers want products, goods and services that are in line with the current trends of the marketplace and have an eye towards future trends.  Finally, buyers want as little “baggage” as possible.  You can be certain that buyers don’t want to find any skeletons lurking about in the company closet.  The proper utilization of CSR can address all of these concerns and, in the process, make your business more attractive to a potential buyer.

What Do You Need to Do to Get Your Business Ready to Sell?

In his recent article in Smart Business entitled, “How to get your business, and yourself, ready for sale,” author Adam Burroughs explores the key points of getting your business ready to sell.  Burroughs points to the truism that, at some point, almost every business owner must sell his or her business.  For this reason, it is critical to think about what it takes to get your business ready to sell.  Simply stated, it is best to explore and plan for selling your business long before you actually need to place your business on the market.  Let’s explore some key points for selling your business.

Broadening Your Options

Burroughs interviews Scott McRill at Clark Schaefer Hackett.  McRill notes, “The sooner you think about your exit, the more options you’ll have for yourself and the business when the time comes.”  A savvy business owner will always want to give himself or herself as many options as possible. McRill wisely points out that early planning is key, and a failure to engage in early planning could lead to a lower selling price.  If you want to get the best price for your business, then planning for the eventual sale as far in advance as possible is a good move.

Planning in Advance

According to Burroughs, business owners should start planning to sell their business at least 2 to 3 years before they actually plan to sell.  Part of the reason for this is so that business owners will have enough time to make operational improvements designed to maximize the business’s overall value.

A Financial Review

At the top of every business owners “preparing to sell” list is to have a third-party review the business’s financial situation.  This is excellent advice for, as frequent readers of this blog know, any serious prospective buyer will look long and hard at your business’s financials.  Getting your business’s financial house in order means that you should turn to an accounting firm for help.  You’ll want to review financial statements for at least the previous 2 to 3 years. This will be a crucial step in arriving at your optimal valuation.

Burroughs points out that when it comes to selling a business, there are many variables that business owners often overlook.  At the top of the list is the management team.

Your Management Team

Prospective buyers can get very nervous about the stability of the management team once ownership has changed hands.  Often, the new buyer may only sign on the dotted line if the owner agrees to stay on after the sale during a transition period.  Having a competent and proven team in place, one that is dedicated to staying with the company will help you get your business ready to sell.

There are a lot of variables involved in preparing to sell a business.  The sooner that you get experts involved in the process, the better off you will be.  A business broker can serve as a guide – one that can point you in the right direction.  Find a broker with an abundance of experience, and you’ll have an invaluable ally who can help you navigate the process.  It can take a lot of time and effort to sell a business.  Working with a business broker can keep you from reinventing the wheel at every step of the process.

Encouraging Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a hot topic in workplace research. According to a recent Gallup survey,

“The percentage of ‘engaged’ workers in the U.S. — those who are involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace — is now 34%, tying its highest level since Gallup began reporting the national figure in 2000. The percentage who are ‘actively disengaged’ — workers who have miserable work experiences — is now at its lowest level (13%), making the current ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees 2.6-to-1 — the highest ever in Gallup tracking. The remaining 53% of workers are in the ‘not engaged’ category. They may be generally satisfied but are not cognitively and emotionally connected to their work and workplace; they will usually show up to work and do the minimum required but will quickly leave their company for a slightly better offer.”

While the engagement increase is good news, it’s still quite likely that something like two thirds of your team is not at peak potential.

Does it matter?

Emphatically yes, according to Kevin Kruse, author of Employee Engagement 2.0. In this Forbes article, he presents arguments from 28 studies detailing the positive impacts of employee engagement. Employee engagement correlates positively to improvements in service, sales, quality, safety, retention, and profit and share holder return.

For instance,

A study of 64 organizations revealed that organizations with highly engaged employees achieve twice the annual net income of organizations whose employees lag behind on engagement. (Source: The Impact of Employee Engagement. Kenexa)

Gallup’s research finds that 70% of the variance between engaged and disengaged teams comes down to management and/or leadership. This has some big ramifications if you are a business owner. It’s probably worth your while to seriously consider the culture of your business and how to facilitate a sense of commitment and motivation in your team.

How to go about this?

Purpose emerges in the research as a crucial factor. Employees report far higher levels of engagement when they understand the mission of the company and feel their work advances the cause in a significant way. They also need to feel a pathway exists for them to learn, develop new skills, and advance personal goals. According to Deloitte,

We need to make sure jobs are meaningful, people have the tools and autonomy to succeed, and that we select the right people for the right job. This is anything but a simple undertaking…We each thrive on our ability to contribute to a greater good, and management’s job is to set goals, support people, coach for high performance, and provide feedback to continuously improve.

Training, trust (and the other side of its coin, accountability), team, and work-life balance all contribute to a sense of fulfillment as well.

Leadership strategy expert Brent Gleeson outlines these check point questions that your team should be able to answer positively:

  • I know what is expected of me and my work quality.
  • I have the resources and training to thrive in my role.
  • I have the opportunity to do what I do best – every day.
  • I frequently receive recognition, praise and constructive criticism.
  • I trust my manager and believe they have my best interests in mind.
  • My voice is heard and valued.
  • I clearly understand the mission and purpose and how I contribute to each.
  • I have opportunities to learn and grow both personally and professionally.

Onward and Upward

While valuable, facilitating change in your work culture is not a simple undertaking. Gleeson warns that leaders should be prepared for challenges in trying to cultivate work culture. “Change is hard, takes longer and usually has higher hard and soft costs than managers and leaders generally plan for. Change can be intensely personal for employees, causes fear and can actually reduce productivity when approached improperly,” he says.

But don’t be daunted, especially if you are planning to sell your business at some point. A well-developed team who will support the mission even when ownership conveys is a major selling point.

 

 

Albuquerque “Surging” Ahead: Top 50 Cities to Start a Business in 2020

Quite the week for Albuquerque, which made the Top 50 U.S. Cities for Starting a Business in 2020, according to a study conducted by Inc. and entrepreneurship researchers Startup Genome. These “Surge Cities” leverage local assets, human capital, and development strategy to drive success, with interesting lessons to be learned in each case. Entrepreneurship through acquisition can be a savvy path to business ownership, side-stepping some of the associated risk. Learn about about businesses for sale in Albuquerque and opportunities to join the community of business owners who are enjoying the city’s advantages!

Here’s what Inc.’s write up has to say:

Startups are growing in this desert community thanks to high-density work spaces.

No. 12 Rate of Entrepreneurship; 19 Net Business Creation; 29 Wage Growth

The economic development puzzle is coming together in New Mexico’s largest city, with a shiny new innovation zone downtown called InnovateABQ. It includes a startup incubator, an 11,000-square-foot maker space, and tech transfer offices from all of the area’s research universities and national labs. It also boasts a state-run $20 million Catalyst investment fund designed to bolster local VC investment that’s already seeing results. One promising example, which has received Catalyst backing, is advanced medical lab startup BennuBio. Licensing technology from the University of New Mexico, the company develops and prototypes instruments on the InnovateABQ campus to measure the characteristics of cells. “We’re in the middle of the desert, so we’re resource constrained,” says John Freisinger, InnovateABQ’s executive director. Now with a physical space to bring together entrepreneurs and support organizations, he notes, collaboration within the startup community is getting more efficient. “It’s one stop and you can see what’s available,” he adds. Though Albuquerque’s startup ecosystem is still young, it enjoys a higher degree of founder connectedness than the global city average, according to a 2018 report from innovation policy startup and Inc.’s Surge Cities partner Startup Genome. That’s key to building a strong long-term entrepreneurship culture. –Lindsay Blakely

Find Work-Life Balance in Albuquerque

More accolades for Albuquerque! The Duke City ranks 11th for work-life balance in American cities. A recently published study compared cities across data representing work intensity, societal/institutional support, and city livability in order to determine where people do—and do not—enjoy well-rounded lifestyles. This is a handy compilation if you’re involved in site selection or debating where to buy a business.

The introduction to the study, by security company Kisi, states,

“We know first-hand how much of a difference it makes to work smarter rather than harder. Whether in or out of the office, we understand the value of time and believe that dedicating too much of it to your job interferes with life outside of work, and vice-versa. To explore this topic further, we conducted a study determining the cities whose residents have the most well-rounded work-life balance, in terms not only of work intensity, but also their livability and the well-being and rights of their inhabitants.”

According to the study, Albuquerque residents work an average of 42.3 hours a week, take 9.4 days of vacation per year, and start work relatively gently around 10 am. Burqueños’ Happiness Score is 90.7 out of 100. Not bad at all!

The top 5 American cities for work-life balance were: San Diego, Portland, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and New York.

The most overworked cities were Washington, DC, Houston, Atlanta, Seattle, and Chicago.

While Abq just missed the top ten for work-life balance (so close!), it’s worth noting the city did make the top ten for affordability in a recent study by Move.org. By comparison, many of the best rated work-life balance cities are in the top five most expensive.

Significantly, Albuquerque’s low cost of living contributes to its also being ranked one of the top five cities in which to build wealth by pay experts Salary.com. This ranking, “based on census data and Salary.com analysis, focused on local salaries, the cost of living, and unemployment. Secondary factors, such as diversity of the local economy, residents’ education, percentage of population below poverty level, and commute time were also measured,” according to CNN Money.

If you’re looking for the right place to buy a business, Albuquerque also offers an extremely supportive policy and economic environment.

“The Southwestern city is witnessing an entrepreneurial renaissance with the help of startup-friendly culture, excellent universities and a great cultural scene for that ever-elusive work-life balance [told ya!]. Albuquerque’s tech scene is so vibrant that even Facebook is setting up an outpost in the area, and the city has seen a nearly 10% increase in average salaries over the last four years. With STEM jobs galore, Albuquerque also earned a spot on our 2018 list of the Top 10 Best Cities for STEM Workers,” Claire Hannum reports for Livability.

Learn more about opportunities and Albuquerque businesses for sale here!

Multiples, Demystified

Multiples are tricky things to figure out when you’re valuing a business for sale. Lots of opinions are floating around, most stemming from imperfect information. Uncle Bob’s golf buddy sold his widget store for a million bucks based on a multiple of five! Such “buddy wisdom” can lead you astray. Unrealistic expectations can result in a price point that the market simply won’t support. Your business languishes with little to no buyer activity.

First Things First

So, what is a multiple to begin with? Basically, a multiple is a number by which you multiply the economic benefit enjoyed by the owner of a business. With large businesses, this benefit is frequently expressed as EBITDA, an acronym for Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization. While EBITDA makes sense in the M&A realm, where businesses generating $10 million or more in annual sales are exchanging hands, EBITDA isn’t always the best fit with for small businesses. Besides the difference in sheer size, the owners’ group frequently doesn’t play an active, hands-on role in the operation of these larger businesses. Think passive investors.

In contrast, Main Street businesses are frequently helmed by an owner/operator. It’s also relatively common for the owner/operator to run some personal expenses through the business. These could include their personal health and life insurance, the lease expense for a personal vehicle, which they don’t plan to convey with the sale of their business, or the cell phone plan for their family. After all, such practices are one of the benefits of being a small business owner. In essence, SDE (Sellers Discretionary Earnings, also known as Cash Flow) is EBITDA with a few adjustments, including owner’s compensation and personal, discretionary expenses.

There’s more to SDE than this, but that’s it in a nutshell. While multiples can also be applied to the business’ Gross Revenue, SDE shows how much income a new owner will have to live on and pay off pay debt service incurred by taking out a loan to secure the purchase. When done right, SDE is a buyer’s potential Return on Investment for a given business.

Multiples in Action

How is the multiple determined and used, besides Uncle Bob’s questionable tips? Let’s take a simplified example.

You would like to sell your small to medium-sized business, Widgets R Us. What price should you ask?

Ideally, there’s a lot of market data to inform this decision. In the field of comparable widget stores that have sold (based on sector, size, revenue, location, etc.) what is the average sales price? Say it’s $300,000.

Now, what’s the average SDE of those widget businesses that have sold? Say that is $100,000.

The multiple is the result of dividing the average price by the average SDE. In this case, $300,000/$100,000 = 3.

Let’s further say your business’ average SDE over the last three years comes out to $130,000 because your sales team is good at selling widgets. Nice! The price for your business would be $130,000 x 3 = $390,000.

Ze Plot Thickens

That is a pared down example. In real life, the process can be complicated by the quality (or lack thereof) of the financials, market trends, client concentration, how dependent the business is on you, and a host of other factors.

Keeping with the same example above, let’s say that you’re the genius behind your business’ eye-popping widget sales. Over the years, you’ve cultivated relationships with key clients who refuse to deal with anyone else at your widget shop. How does this effect the transferable value of your business? You’ll need to wrestle with such questions.

But Wait, There’s More…

Also keep in mind that multiples, no matter how fact-based, are not the end-all, be-all. A sophisticated buyer will also take into consideration the income they’ll be earning, after debt service, based on their down payment. This is known on as the Internal Rate of Return. An experienced broker can work with you to understand and interpret all this information. You can drastically help this process by having well organized, professionally-prepared financial records. At a minimum, we like to analyze the most recent three years of P&Ls, tax returns and a current balance sheet to get a clear picture of the performance of your business. Buyers want to study these in-depth, often bringing in their CPA or financial advisor, to understand what they’re potentially getting into!

If there isn’t a lot of useful data to go on, there are some tricks of the trade that are based on way more experience than Uncle Bob’s sample size of one or two stories. Brokers have access to information that isn’t available to the general public. They frequently have experience selling businesses similar to yours. The best sales data aggregates the actual sales price of businesses provided by financial institutions and certified business appraisers. They check and double-check the information that goes into making up the SDE number.

Onward!

It’s well worth your while to consult a knowledgeable expert to make sure you’re valuing your business at an optimal price to both sell the business and maximize your achievable profits.

Is Your Business Ready to Sell?

“Even if you build a business with zero intention of selling it for a big payday, and even if you never do actually sell, you should still build your business as if you are going to sell it someday. Building a business with this mindset will make the entire operation run more efficiently—you’ll be able to see how your business is trending overall, maintain a cleaner financial picture, and implement better standard operating procedures,” writes Gregory Elfrink in this Foundr article.

It’s never too soon to prepare. There are all kinds of reasons to sell a business – retirement, cashing in on ROI, moving on to the Next Big Thing. Whatever your reason, you’ll want to maximize your profit. This requires preparation and forward thinking, and we can help.

Here are some areas to consider to make sure your business is sellable.

Money Talks

Buyers want to know they’ll be getting a business that will allow them to make money. The best way to prove your business fits that ticket is to have great financials. This means

  • Records over at least 3 years if possible
  • Strong (and, ideally, improving) cash flow, Seller Discretionary Earnings, and gross revenue
  • Well organized, professional documentation

Buyers understandably balk at weird numbers. If you have missing information or sloppy bookkeeping, they wonder what might be wrong or hidden. Consistent, professionally prepared P&Ls and taxes tell the most compelling story.

Value Proposition

Competitive advantage increases the value of your business. “If your competitors can’t match your differentiation without investing time, money and effort, buyers will pay more to have your edge,” writes Kevin Daum for Inc.

Standing out can be easier within a niche. “To maximize the value of your business, you are better off focusing on one or two areas that your business can do really well.  It’s much easier to duplicate your process with others this way, and it also increases the quality of the work you do as you can train and hire specialists as opposed to generalists,” says Shawn Sparks in this ThinkAdviser piece.

Onward and Upward?

Growth potential is another big factor. Do you have ideas to offer a buyer about how he or she might grow the business? Maybe there are untapped markets? Unexplored marketing channels? Tech-paved pathways to scale?

Identity Crisis

The success of the business can’t be wrapped up in your knowledge, relationships, charisma, etc.  A seller may support new ownership for a transition period, but make sure you have clear, accessible documentation on all operating procedures. If you have experienced managers on your team who can take the reins, all the better. A well-trained staff who will stay with the new owner is also helpful.

A (terribly burdensome!) way to vet your business’ ability to function without you is to take a vacation for a while. See where your systems snag in your absence and respond accordingly—rested and tan.

Distribute Your Eggs Over Enough Proverbial Baskets

Diversity in your client base and supply is important.  Customer concentration is a red flag to potential buyers. A company with more than 15 percent of its revenue dependent on one client is vulnerable. That client might leave shortly after you sell your business. A buyer will recognize this attrition risk. Follow these tips to minimize concentration trap for the potential buyer and better position your business to sell at a premium value. 

Likewise, multiple suppliers for all your products are important. According to Elfrink, this adds value in the following ways:

  • Profit Margin Increase: [Foundr has] had ecommerce sellers say flat out that they increased their profit margins by double percentage points simply by finding a different product supplier that gave them a much better deal.
  • Avoid Shutdowns: What happens if you only have one factory making your product and that factory suddenly goes out of business? You’re out of luck. You need backups for emergencies like this. Without a good supplier, you are effectively out of business.
  • Avoid Suppliers Getting Leverage on You: The supplier knows that without a product, you have nothing to sell, and they may try to increase their price over time, thinking that you will just accept the price hike. Having multiple suppliers will greatly increase your ability to negotiate for better terms.

Recurring Revenue

High-volume, reoccurring revenue indicates stable, ongoing success. Customer renewal saves on acquisition, indicates a satisfying product or service, and provide a bankable model, according to “exit guru” John Warrillow. “If you currently eat what you kill, find a way to make your product or service renewable and addictive,” he suggests.

Timing

So many factors are involved in determining if the time is right to sell your business. What are the prevailing market conditions? How are your financials trending? Do you have everything in ready, in ideal order to maximize your profit? A business broker can help identify and answer all the questions you should be asking.

Contact Us to Learn More

If you’d like to learn more or sell a business, contact us! We can help you assess all these criteria and perform a valution to determine the right price to bring your business to market.