Musings on business value, sale preparation, sale negotiations, sale structure.

Archive for January, 2019

This little piggy went to market

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A market valuation is an expression of the expected offer price in a business sale. It assumes the current prevailing economic conditions and political sentiment. It also assumes an adequate demand from prospective buyers with access to capital.


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The market valuation is also a product of strengths and weaknesses in the business. We call them key valuation indicators. Compare the KVIs to the financial statements to justify the valuation. They must align. Information must be accurate, and available in a standard format. The format is very often not standard. That does not diminish the value.

The valuer must draw on experience, exposure to deals, and insight of negotiations. This skill will inform the calculations and their variables.

The market valuation result is what one can expect the Business to sell for, as it is, where it is. It is neither definitive nor prescriptive. It does not take into account the vagaries of negotiation, greed, fear, and force of character. By definition of the balance sheet at the end of a financial period, valuation is also time-dependent.

The market valuation puts a stick in the ground. Use it to plan your next step. It is key to building wealth in your business. Don’t be the pig around the stick which rests above the coals of business transfer.

One day when you sell

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You know how you, as the owner of your business, like to be a bit of a control freak?


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Well, one day when you sell your business, you will no longer be in control of some things. As a seller of a business, you will agree that the new owner must obviously be free to take the business where she sees best. For better or for worse. You will lose control.

  • So She will take control of the overdraft – what a relief.
  • She will be losing sleep over labour relations and wage negotiations – lol.
  • She will have to juggle the cash flow at month end – she wanted to be an entrepreneur.
  • She will have access to your email account – say what?!?

Yip. It’s a thing. You cannot just delete your emails. There is stuff there which belongs to the business. It is stuff which may be – how do we put this – sensitive.

  • You know when you told your broker about what you thought of the purchaser mid-negotiation? That.
  • Or when you debated about whether to tell the purchaser about a problem with a customer. Yip.
  • That string of comments about pushing a price which is already fair. Embarrassing!

Let’s be frank. Things are said. Email exchanges are had.

So right up front. We ask all our clients to create a private email address. They should use it for all correspondence between them and brokers, advisors, and whoever else may be told about what is going on. It is just good practice.
And of course, you probably have a private email address already. So no biggie. Right?

First, you want some assurance that in the future your discussions will not be shared.

Second, you want access to the record of discussions after the sale. Because… Well please just trust me on this. A private email address costs you nothing.

Our CSuite clients know what I am talking about. This is put to bed right up front. About the same time as we put our NDA in place. It is all good practice.

There is a webinar waiting for you here. Put your feet up for an hour, and see what I am on about.