5 Drivers That Determine What Your Business Is Worth 

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Understanding the true value of your business is crucial for making informed decisions

Selling your business? Yes. 

Attracting investors? Yes. 

Planning for the future? Yes. 

Going into any of these scenarios without knowing and understanding the value of your business puts you and your biggest asset at a huge disadvantage. 

Don’t be at a disadvantage when so much is on the line. In this article, we will explore five essential methods to assess what your business is worth, other factors in the value of your business, and how you can get started with a business valuation to help provide insights for your decision making process. 


Understanding The Drivers That Change Your Business Value And Why They Are Important 

The value of your business isn’t black and white. There are many components that are factored into its value and each one should be assessed for the best and most fair valuation of your business. 


#1 Financial Statements 

The foundation of any business valuation lies in its financial statements, of course. These documents offer a comprehensive overview of your company’s performance, including: 

  • Income statements 
  • Balance sheets, and 
  • Cash flow statements 

Properly analyzing these statements allows you to identify key financial metrics such as revenue, expenses, assets, and liabilities.  

Pay close attention to profitability trends, liquidity ratios, and debt levels, as they provide critical insights into the financial health of your business, especially to outsiders. A well-maintained set of financial statements is not only essential for internal decision-making but also serves as a key resource when engaging with potential buyers or investors. 


#2 Cash Flow 

It’s no secret that cash is king. And cash flow is always on a business owner’s mind – whether it be too much or too little. 

Evaluating your business’s cash flow is paramount when determining its worth. Positive cash flow is a strong indicator of financial stability and operational efficiency. Evaluate your operating, investing, and financing activities to understand how well your business manages its cash.  

A consistent and positive cash flow can enhance your business’s attractiveness to potential buyers and investors, as it demonstrates the ability to generate profits, meet financial obligations, and sustain business operations overtime. 


#3 Market Analysis 

A market analysis helps identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to your business. With a thorough market analysis, you can provide insight into the external factors influencing your business’s value – your target market, competitive positioning, and any regulatory factors that may be impacting your business.  

A deep dive into market dynamics allows you to position your business strategically, emphasizing its unique selling points and growth potential. This information not only enhances your understanding of the business’s current value but also provides a roadmap for future value creation. 

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#4 Comparables and Benchmarking 

Comparing your business to similar companies within your industry is a widely used method for business valuation. This method provides a real-world reference point and helps you gauge where your business stands in the market. 

Here you can identify comparable businesses based on factors such as size, industry, geographic location, and growth potential to analyze their financial performance, market position, and valuation multiples.  

This comparative analysis helps you gauge where your business stands relative to others, providing valuable insights into its strengths and areas for improvement. Benchmarking against industry standards allows for a more realistic assessment of your business’s value in the current market. 


#5 Earnings Multiples 

The earnings multiplier, or price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio, is a commonly used method to assess a business’ value. This ratio compares the market value of a company’s shares to its earnings.  

Calculating the P/E ratio happens by dividing the market price per share by the earnings per share. A higher P/E ratio typically indicates a higher perceived value by the market.  

Understanding the earnings multiplier for your business involves projecting future earnings and considering the associated risks. Investors often use this metric to determine whether the current market value justifies the expected future earnings. 


Your Key Employees Role In The Value Of Your Business 

In addition to these five best practices for assessing the value of your business there is another factor worth mentioning. Your key employees. Your workforce. 

A business is only as good as the sum of its parts and nothing is possible without your key employees. These employees drive your business’ value in more ways than you would expect. 

In fact, the key employees in your business are those that have a disproportionate impact on your company’s bottom line. And losing them would not only hurt your business’ value but would pose a threat to a potential sale.  

In fact, you can better position your business for a sale if you can provide as much of a guarantee as possible that the new business owner will have those key employees in place for the first two years of the transition from owners. You can do this by working with the right professionals to curate meaningful strategies including: 

  • Retention Plans, and
  • Incentive Plans 

Often times a mix of retention plans and incentive plans offers maximize staying power.

The value of a business can not be solely determined by its tangible assets but must account for the intangible contributions of key employees. Identifying, retaining, and developing key talent is a critical aspect of strategic management for businesses seeking long-term success and value growth. For the sale of your business or a better retirement. 


Determine The True Value of Your Business 

Regardless of the stage your business is at, it’s ALWAYS a powerful tool to know its true value. This allows you to better plan for the future to keep building value for the ultimate exit from your business.

To start understanding the value of your business, BizEquity is the largest provider for online business valuations. This model incorporates methods from each major valuation approach (income, asset and market) and utilizes market data (comparable sales), financial data (benchmarking) and industry data (risk assessment) from a diverse, growing and global collection of resources. Both qualitative and quantitative.  

For a complimentary BizEquity valuation report, talk with an experienced advisor at Consolidated Planning to help you generate a customized report showing the value of your business. 

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2023-165354 Exp. 11/2025

Published:  January 4, 2024