Business Valuation Blog | Understanding Buying / Selling a Company

Business Valuation Consulting

Posted by Business Valuation Specialists LLC on Mar 28, 2022 7:00:00 AM

Business Valuation Appraisal Consulting Review of Work

Our blogs primarily cover topics related to the appraisal of small businesses however, there are other options for owners who may be in the middle of a potential purchase, sale, investor buyout, or dispute where a recent valuation exists, and there is a need to obtain an independent opinion on the reasonableness of the conclusions in the report.

This is considered a consulting or review engagement where a certified business appraiser will review relevant documents, and provide opinions as to the approaches, methodologies, and conclusions developed to arrive at a value for the company.

Review work is a more informal process where the consulting valuation professional will develop opinions of work already completed and potentially offer alternative perspectives as to valuing the business. Ultimately, they may determine if an adjustment is warranted to the value concluded upon in the report while providing support as to why; or they may state that the appraisal was well conducted and the value conclusion credible.

The review appraiser may also provide an opinion as to the credentials of the appraiser and the overall quality of the written report from a compliance perspective.

Much of the work that goes into a valuation review and consulting assignment is consistent with completing a business appraisal, given the need to support why the existing report conclusions may be reasonable or not. The primary difference is that the review appraiser is not completing a formal, certified appraisal report of their own. A preliminary opinion of value may be presented as part of the deliverable, in the context of the work performed and documents reviewed however, it would not be considered a certified appraisal.

In summary, these types of engagements can be useful anytime there is a concern regarding the reliability of existing appraisals being used as part of a business transaction or in settlement efforts for a buyout or dispute. The consulting assignments are quite common in the valuation industry and offer an alternative option to business owners in situations where a completely new valuation report may not be necessary.

Consider engaging with an experienced certified appraisal professional when you enlist this type of work to ensure you receive a supportable, well-researched analysis, that provides the additional independent perspective needed to make the most informed decisions.

Tags: Business Valuation, business appraisal, business appraisers, business valuation services, review, consulting

Goods and Services Marketers: Why Many Target Millennials Today

Posted by Business Valuation Specialists LLC on Mar 14, 2022 7:00:00 AM

Business Valuation Appraisals Appraiser Millennials Future Business

Believe it or not, Millennials are now in their late 20s and 30s and have become the most sought-after consumers of products and services for most commercial providers across all industries. Gen X and late-stage Boomers are still in the picture, however, over the last couple of years, it has become evident Millennials are making tremendous strides in gaining buying power due to a variety of circumstances.

In the valuation world, I have recently seen a growing number of young entrepreneurs and next-generation family members running companies with fresh perspectives that can’t be ignored, and will likely set the pace for the next 20-30 years of business development across the world. Many of these individuals have patiently bided their time during unprecedented events that have forever reshaped our future over the past few years.

Others have mocked them in the past for their habits and preferences, while underestimating their potential, and not realizing the vast majority of this generation are nothing like the stereotypical picture painted by so many who are engrained in “old school” mentality.

While it is generally true that Millennials had a tougher time breaking into the mainstream workplace a decade ago in a much different business landscape, they used conservative tactics in an effort to save money, such as living at home and holding off on marriage and family plans until more financially secure. This is somewhat of a unique circumstance created by this generation, however, we are now seeing the emergence of a hungry, wizened group that accounts for over 20% of the populace, well over $2 trillion in spending power, and 90+% employed.

Virtually every major entertainment event, both live and virtual, sees its advertising revenue campaigns geared toward these consumers, while the majority of the workplace is inhabited by those that fall into the Millennial generation. These trends, which have quickly grown over the last 5 years, are the building blocks for the future leadership of our nation’s business, economic, and political climate. It is not a surprise then, that this generation is becoming the focus of many service industries and product developers who realize that staying ahead of the competition will equate to favorable ratings from this group of individuals.

Millennials are the original masters of social media, and with venues such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram becoming dominant platforms for advertising, it makes total sense that the two are becoming entwined with how future businesses will be run.

In summary, if you own a small business, and are looking for growth opportunities that have otherwise been difficult to develop, consider targeting the Millennial generation as a potential expansion to your client base, and look to keep up with this new and exciting group as they continue to take over the future.

Tags: business appraisal services, business valuation services, marketing, millennials, future, business owners

Subcontracting vs. Adding Employees - How to Decide What is Best

Posted by Business Valuation Specialists LLC on Feb 14, 2022 7:00:00 AM

Business Valuation Appraisal Company Growth Hiring Subcontracting

Business owners who are enjoying steady growth over time with their sales volume moving ever upward will eventually need to determine whether it makes sense to subcontract out the extra work or consider bringing in a new hire on a part-time or full-time basis.

This decision depends greatly on the type of business you own, in that certain jobs involve tasks that can be accomplished from home or in the field, while others require the need to train and work within an office or factory environment.

For instance, as a business valuation and equipment appraisal firm owner, much of the time-consuming work for my employees revolves around field inspections and market research, while maintaining strong customer relationships and meeting delivery timetables. These job responsibilities lend themselves to working offsite in the field or from home.

Here are some other factors to consider:

  • What are the maximum capabilities of your current staff? Can you structure an improved compensation plan for existing employees to benefit from this growth while not overtaxing them or potentially creating a lesser quality product or service given the extra work demands?
  • This option should probably be considered and vetted before any others, as your personnel will appreciate the opportunity for growth. It will also help maintain positive morale if you ultimately determine the need for extra hires or subcontracting.
  • Are you confident that your growth is a consistent pattern that will continue to develop or, could it be a short-term aberration due to unique circumstances in your market? It’s always a good idea to look back over the last 3-5 years of revenue and determine what created this growth and if there are inconsistencies or steady patterns to your sales.
  • If you determine there is a strong chance the increase in revenue will continue in the foreseeable future, hiring full or part-time in-house will need serious consideration.
  • How much training is required for subcontractors or new employees, and can you afford to bring in a seasoned professional who will immediately take the ball and run? Depending on your overall role in the business, you may have the time to train lesser groomed staff or freelance help however, if this is not the case, you may need to consider spending the extra capital to engage someone with extensive experience.

There is always risk involved when bringing in additional human resources. Taking a leap of faith with new hires or subcontractors can help ease the pressure and help you better manage growth leading to prosperous future outcomes, where the sky becomes the limit.

Tags: business valuation services, subcontracting, hiring, growth

Completing a Business Appraisal for a Startup Company

Posted by Business Valuation Specialists LLC on Jan 31, 2022 7:00:00 AM

Business Valuation Appraisal Startup Company

Most business valuations involve a review of historic financial statements and current assets, with a comparison of existing competition for similar businesses in your market. The requirements change, however, when you have a startup operation that has yet to earn a single dollar and is still in its infancy.

Of the many decisions that you will be making during these early stages, how best to provide documentation as to the future value of your business to potential investors, such as private equity and your existing banking relationships, will likely be at the fore. Before you spend every dime of your own investment savings, you will want to consider alternate sources of working capital with these partners.

One of the tools you will need to independently support the value of your startup is a certified business appraisal. Without the existence of historic financial data, the appraiser will rely instead on your forecasted business plan, which will include projected revenue and expenses, as well as the tangible and intangible assets you have already purchased, or plan to acquire in the immediate future. These growth models are typically built over an initial 5-year period, and structured similarly to how typical financial statements and balance sheets are prepared by accountants.

The appraiser will utilize these forecasts to consider the value of your business today, assuming the business plan is realized while discounting the income streams using accepted methodologies for startups within your market and industry sector. They will also compare your growth plans to competitors in these markets who have similar businesses, to ensure the forecasts are in a reasonable range.

It is important to balance common sense reality with your aggressive growth plans, to ensure these potential investors, and your appraiser, are comfortable there is a good chance of success and that the forecasts are in line with existing successful companies. Many startups fail for any number of reasons, but two of the most common are poor planning and overly confident forecasts.

If you can find the right partners, who share your vision, while keeping checks and balances of the plans in place, and there are well-researched, realistic goals set, the chance of success will be much higher. Add a bit of patience and endurance into the mix, and you can set yourself up for the best opportunity of developing a profitable business for years to come.

Tags: Business Appraiser, certified appraisal, business valuation services, startup, startup company

What Happens When a Valuation Firm Works with my Business?

Posted by Business Valuation Specialists LLC on May 24, 2021 8:00:00 AM

Business Valuation Appraiser What to Expect

When you need to have a business valuation performed, a reputable valuation firm can provide you with significant insights into your company that in turn, can offer a wide range of benefits to your business. But what exactly happens when you're working with a valuation firm? What can you expect from a certified business appraiser? Here's a quick look at what takes place when undergoing a business valuation

To start with, a quality business valuation company will look at much more than just the basics of your business and its financial health. They will complete a comprehensive review of the industry and what factors may affect your business's ability to perform in the marketplace. They'll take a solid look at the risks and rewards of certain growth plans and provide you with a detailed report of what your business is worth along with areas in which it is strong and in those which could be improved.

Here are the typical steps that are taken in the process:

  1. The appraiser will gather basic information about your business. This will include the type of business, availability of key information, potential areas of importance to the business valuation. The purpose of the valuation is also determined, as particular types of appraisals are required for different situations.
  2. The business valuation appraiser will then provide a proposal including the timeframe expected for the appraisal report and the cost expected. They will also request all internal documentation for the valuation, including financial data, asset information, and data on specific areas that may be unique to your business.
  3. Next, they will take a look at what aspect of the industry your business falls into and what portion of the market share it holds, while examining key areas including finances, overhead costs, regularity of income, the actual market value of assets, and related documents. Intangible factors such as your reputation in the community, the desirability of the business location, and unique facets of the business will also be taken into account.
  4. Using all of this information, the certified appraiser will develop their analysis and issue the formal report. This report utilizes standardized, accepted methodologies and is designed to stand up to scrutiny that will hold up in insurance, tax, and legal circles.
  5. Once the report is issued, it will be reviewed with you to ensure it is an accurate reflection of your business and potentially make adjustments for any new details not taken into account.

By better understanding the process, as summarized above, you can better prepare and know what to expect when a business appraiser begins working with your firm. If you're not currently working with a certified business appraiser who has experience in your industry, please contact us and we will get things started for you.

Tags: Business Appraiser, valuing a company, appraisal, valuing a business, business valuation services, expectations

The Benefits of Using Nationwide Business Valuation Companies

Posted by Business Valuation Specialists LLC on Apr 12, 2021 8:00:00 AM

National Business Valuation Service

 

Savvy business owners and executives know that obtaining independent updated valuations of their company is a vital part of maintaining a sound, overall financial picture. When your organization has branches all over the country, how do you ensure you're getting the same quality of service and reliability at all these locations if you are using a local appraisal firm? One solution is to consider using a national business valuation service, which provides your company with professional appraisers who have valued businesses in every state and understand the broader marketplace your businesses operate in.

How are these types of valuation firms different than local single location valuation companies? Let's find out:

What are National Business Valuation Services?

If your company has multiple locations, and an updated independent business appraisal is needed, it makes sense to have consistency in the quality of the work as well as the methodologies used to measure value. This ensures the firm providing the valuation is familiar with your industry across all regions of the country and can provide the same level of service while following consistent guidelines and procedures for all of your operations.

A national business valuation firm will assign one project manager to handle the entire workload, so you only have to communicate with a single person throughout the process. Their job is to handle the day-to-day details of obtaining the documentation needed from your business as well as managing any other appraisers involved in the valuation effort. This beats the alternative of potentially having to work with multiple companies or individuals while taking a chance that a local appraiser might not be qualified to manage a much larger project.

The end result is a reliable, supportable valuation completed by certified, experienced appraisers with a consistent methodology that provides your company with the information needed to understand your current and future needs as you evolve into the next stages of your business plan.

Business Valuation Specialists LLC is a national business valuation firm that has been providing appraisal services across the country since 2003. Our highly-trained, qualified appraisers are Certified Valuation Analysts (CVAs) through the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts. We are available anytime to help answer questions you may have about getting a quality business appraisal performed on your company.

Tags: business appraisal services, business valuation services, nationwide, benefits, advanages

Transitioning the Family Business? Obtain a Certified Appraisal

Posted by Business Valuation Specialists LLC on Feb 15, 2021 8:00:00 AM

Certified Business Appraisal Transferring Leadership

 

Transferring ownership of the family business requires care and planning to ensure a smooth change of leadership. One frequently overlooked tool that can assist in the transitioning of the business to family members is a company valuation. Learn how getting the family business appraised can benefit all the relatives and related parties who work for the company.

Why You Should Obtain the Valuation Before Transferring Leadership

Imagine if you transferred the family business over based on a “ballpark” value thrown out by one or more of the current members involved. Older relatives who held leadership positions might be expecting a large payout. Others may have assumed the payout was certain and planned their retirement lifestyle on it. When the valuation of the company is not formally established by a certified independent appraiser when leadership transfers, the grounds might be set for a generational dispute if there is no real agreement or understanding of the true value.

If you engage the services of a business appraiser, the resulting analysis and report would act as an objective neutral framework for the company that would guide all the family members involved. While the appraised value might fall short or potentially be higher than the perceived value, the process of getting the business appraised will take some of the emotions out of the leadership transfer.

Once everyone understands the true worth of the company, you can allocate the fair market value by the number of shareholders, and provide the owners with an idea of their retirement income, and plan for the next steps with the transfer of the business.

The appraisal can also help manage expectations and allow the new leaders to chart a course forward with confidence that they have all the facts needed to succeed. Instead of causing strife, the change of leadership can now strengthen family unity.

Getting Family Business Appraisals for Tax Purposes

Not only is it important to have the company appraised from a personal perspective, but it is also necessary to do so for tax purposes. The IRS requires that businesses not subject to a special provision be valued at "fair market value" for federal tax purposes when the business is transferring family leadership. Fair market value denotes the price that a buyer, not related to the willing seller, would reasonably pay for the business. Since most company owners cannot objectively determine fair market value, a business appraisal will solve this requirement.

If the IRS were to ever examine the business transfer or audit company taxes, the appraisal can prove that the company's value was treated as "fair market" for the purposes of transfer.

If you sell the business to your relatives for less than fair market value, the new owners could be penalized with gift or estate taxes. Selling for fair market value is the best way to avoid this and ensure a smooth transfer of ownership.

Planning Your Business Appraisal

Now that you are aware of how a business appraisal can assist with the transfer of your family’s company, take action by finding a qualified appraiser. It is well worth the time spent to find an appraisal professional who understands your industry and your geographic locations, given that these two variables can directly affect the company's appraised value. A certified business appraiser will also have the experience and credentials needed to support their value conclusions.

Business Valuation Specialists can assist you in this process from beginning to end. We have the qualifications you are looking for and the experience you need to provide an accurate appraisal that will help you through the transition process.

Tags: business appraisal services, business valuation services, family owned business, transfer of ownership

What Can a Business Valuation Calculator Tell You?

Posted by Business Valuation Specialists LLC on Feb 1, 2021 8:00:00 AM

Certified Business Valuation More Accurate More Realistic

 

A business valuation calculator can provide you with quick insight into how your business is performing and what it might command for sale on the open market. Is this calculator really an effective replacement for obtaining a formal valuation of a company by a certified appraiser? Learn what a business valuation calculator can, and cannot tell you about your company's worth.

What is a Business Valuation Calculator?

A business valuation calculator is a simple tool that allows you to gauge the worth of your company by entering your total earnings, along with other variables, in a fiscal year. Add to your earnings the taxes paid, amortization, net profit, and interest, which is sometimes referred to as EBITDA, to estimate total earnings. By providing earnings data, along with an estimate of your annual growth, industry risk, marketability discounts, and related factors, the calculator can give you a range of values for your business using certain standardized formulas.

A calculator is a useful way for small business owners to get an independent idea of what their business is worth. However, it is no substitute for a business appraisal from an experienced valuation firm that understands the market you operate in.

Business Valuations vs. Valuation Calculator

Business appraisers not only review your income and earnings to calculate the financial worth of your business, they also integrate industry-specific trends and forecasts into the valuation. Since business appraisers take the time to research your business, community, and your assets, they add in subjective variables that would nonetheless affect your company's value if you were to potentially sell it.

For example, if your business is located in a rapidly gentrifying part of town where property values are on the rise and people are flocking to the neighborhood, your value may increase as the neighborhood gets more attractive. On the other hand, if your company is located in an out-of-the-way area, and business has been declining, it might be worth less.

A calculator has no way of knowing this level of information about your company. As a result, the information it provides is only accurate to a broad extent. Were you to rely on the calculator alone to evaluate your company, you might settle for too low of an offer or set an unrealistically high price for your business.

While a calculator is a useful, no-cost check on your business’s worth, it is not detailed enough to be considered a true benchmark. If you are seriously contemplating selling your business, raising capital, refinancing, expanding, or even acquiring a company, you should engage the services of a certified business appraiser. If you would like to get a professional valuation of your business, find an appraiser who is credentialed by a reputable industry organization, such as the American Society of Appraisers (ASA), or the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA), who can explain the appraisal process to you. Since you will want to rely on the appraiser's report to assist with your business goals, you will need to understand the logic behind the valuation.

Business Valuation Specialists offers business appraisals for a broad range of industries. If you have been holding off getting an appraisal because you have not found someone who understands the particulars of your business, give us a call. We have the qualifications you are looking for and can provide you with an accurate appraisal that will help you decide what is right for your company.

Tags: business valuation calculator, value of a company, business valuation services

What to Look for in Quality Business Valuation Services

Posted by Business Valuation Specialists LLC on Aug 24, 2016 11:30:00 AM

business_valuation_services.jpg

When you are looking at having the valuation of a company determined, business valuation services are one of the most common places to investigate having the business appraisals done. But how can you tell whether the business valuation services you're investigating are able to do the company valuation effectively , efficiently and accurately? Here are some tips on what to look for in quality business valuations companies:

What to look for in quality business valuation services

  • Certifications: Do the business appraisers have certifications from the American Society of Appraisers, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, National Association of Business Certified Valuation Analysts or Institute of Business Appraisers? These accreditation organizations have been set up to ensure that business appraisals are being performed in a uniform fashion using the methodology that best applies to that situation.
  • Business History: How long has the company been in business? You don't want to trust your company valuation process and your company's private records to a company that may not know what they're doing or may expose your company's data to any number of outside interests. A company that has a proven track record can get the job done right without a lot of changes needing to be made. One exception is a newer company that has proven professionals with significant experience behind them, but even then, you should be aware of the potential risk.
  • References: Any service providing the valuation of a company should be able to provide you with references from satisfied clients. If the company is unable or unwilling to provide these references, it's probably because they have poor customer service or have unhappy clients.
  • An Appeal Process: What happens if you feel the company valuation provided is inaccurate or didn't use the correct information when calculating the valuation of a company? Because company appraisal can be a somewhat fluid process, most company appraisal services offer an appeal process to ensure that the business appraisal provided is an accurate representation of your company.
  • Knowledge of Several Approaches: Business appraisal is not a one-size-fits-all process. Depending on your specific needs, there may be a need for one of several different potential options when valuing your business. A quality business appraiser knows not only the several different approaches available, but will also know exactly which one provides the best possible fit for your company and exact situation.
  • Availability and Approachability: Though part of the process of hiring a professional business appraiser means trusting them to get the job done, that doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to speak with them on areas of concern. Is the company appraiser available for consultation? Just as important, do they seem approachable if there is a problem? An appraiser who isn't willing to help explain their approach will leave you confused and wondering how accurate the final report will be.

Now that you know what to look for, it's time for action.

Tags: business appraisers, business valuation services