Our bread-and-butter up-front engagement is to help small business owners understand the likely market value of their businesses. Through the broker’s opinion of value phase, we take 3 – 4 weeks (on average) to study the business, its financials, and the market to draw a healthy conclusion about how the business should be priced… and if it should even be sold at that time.
Clients can expect to submit four years’ of financial data, participate in a clarifying conference call, and to have some follow-up homework assignments (not too painful, we promise). The #1 rule of this process: Our clients don’t tell us what they’re heard or what they hope to hear about the market value of the business. We insist on keeping the process pure by concluding as objectively as possible what we believe the selling price should be… even if that ends up upsetting our client. It can be a cold pail of water in one’s face when they hear what we believe, but at least the news is delivered in the spirit of straight feedback.
For those situations that involve lending, estate settlement, divorce, gifting, a certified – and frankly, more expensive – valuation is required. While we quarterback the engagement, we refer to several trusted certified valuation analysts to do their brilliant work.
We advise owners to proactively seek feedback on the likely market value of their businesses. Whether we win the opportunity to help or another firm does isn’t the point; the point is to be prepared for one of the most important processes you’ll ever navigate: the transition and/or sale of your business.