Benefits of Business valuation

Considering today’s highly competitive business markets, determining business valuation can be a bit of a challenge. This is especially a daunting task for startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as they do not have a set business model and the right strategies to perform this task.

Thus, to navigate through these challenges, they need to gain a clear understanding of them and devise innovative solutions. Let’s dive deeper.

Understanding Business Valuation & Its Importance

Business valuation meaning is the process of assessing the value of a company. It can be done using various methods like assessing its business model, income, asset value, analyzing empirical data, considering the external environment and other factors.

Now, conducting business valuation of a company is essential for startups and SMEs for several reasons. They may need to assess their business’s value to determine the price at which they can sell their business, offer equity to venture capitalists and angel investors, etc. There are various other types of funding as well such as Seed Funding and Seed capital.

Challenges and Solutions in Business Valuation

Here are some of the most common business valuation challenges and their solutions:

Making Complicated Financial Models

Assessing business valuation requires making complex financial models, which can be a challenging and time-consuming task. This is because it includes determining discount rates, forecasting future cash flows, and choosing appropriate valuation processes. Here are a few important tips to manage cash flow.

Solution:

Leveraging valuation software is one of the easiest ways to make a business valuator financial model. They come with automated calculations, pre-set templates, and a wide range of advanced tools that can simplify complicated tasks, enabling founders to accurately calculate their business’s valuation.  

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Choosing the Wrong Income Stream

While calculating business value, founders tend to use various income streams like cash flow, net income, SDE, or EBITDA. However, they often end up choosing the wrong one which can lead to incorrect outcomes.

For instance – EBITDA can lead to overvaluation in case it is too small. Alternatively, SDE can undervalue large businesses. Meanwhile, net income generally undervalues all businesses and is thus not a proper metric to calculate business valuation.   

Solution:

Companies with earnings lower than $1 million should use Seller’s Discretionary Earnings (SDE). While businesses with a valuation of over $1.5 million should consider using EBITDA. 

Lack of Reliable Data

The lack of accurate, reliable, and up-to-date data is one of the biggest roadblocks for determining value in a business. This can significantly affect the valuation process and lead to unreliable results.  

Solution:

To solve such problems, companies should diversify their data sources by leveraging market research, industry reports, and financial statements. Moreover, they can conduct management interviews to gain access to more qualitative information.  

Deriving Value from Future Performance

Several businesses try to project their business value based on future earnings as they believe their company to have adequate growth potential. Now, it is true that investors generally buy a company based on its future cash flow; however, the valuation is usually calculated using historical performance.

Solution:

If the company has performed well historically, the founders should consider averaging its value based on the last few years’ performance. This will portray the much-needed stability that most investors look for when buying a company. 

Dynamic Regulatory Landscape

Performing startup valuation based on the regulations and compliance requirements is essential for accurate findings. However, the dynamic regulatory landscape makes this difficult.

For instance, updates in industry regulations, tax laws, and accounting standards can have a huge impact on valuation methodologies and their outcomes.   

Solution:

A simple solution in this regard is to keep tabs on the latest industry standards, accounting standards, and tax regulations. Companies can consider facilitating continuous professional development via regular training, conducting workshops, and attending industry conferences to make sure that their team’s valuation procedures are at par with the current regulatory updates. Here are a few top tax planning strategies for small businesses.

Using the Wrong Approach for Determining Company Size

Some business valuers, especially those with banking backgrounds, recommend using discounted cash flow (DCF) models. However, this approach will lead to overvaluations as the normal discount rates do not apply to small-scale businesses.  

Solution:

Using EBITDA and SDE produces more accurate results when it comes to analyzing business value for small companies.

Taking the Comparable Sales at Face Value

Most valuation analysts determine business valuation by applying a multiple to the company’s earnings. To derive this multiple, they refer to the comparable sales of other businesses that have a similar size, location, and industry.

However, such analysts take the comparable sales at face value and do not research the underlying factors, often leading to skewed results. 

Some of them are:

  • Abnormally high or low multiples due to situations like distress sales.
  • Some companies include real estate while others don’t.
  • Company was sold off to employees or family members at a lower price.     
Solution:

Hire valuation specialists who properly research underlying factors before selecting comparable sales.

Bias and Subjective Judgment

Often, business valuation practices are affected by factors like bias, subjective judgements, and personal opinions. This can result in variations and discrepancies which can affect the analysis results.   

Solution:

Setting a robust framework that follows objective guidelines and valuation standards can be an effective solution. Businesses can also rely on income-based, asset-based, and market-based approaches to perform value analysis and document their assumptions to ensure transparency in their results.

Effectively Communicating Valuation Results

Now, business valuations may sometimes involve numerous complex findings that may not be understandable to all stakeholders. This can lead to miscommunications between them, leading to incorrect determination of the company’s value.

Solution:

Founders should consider bridging the gap between non-technical stakeholders and technical valuation concepts by presenting such findings in a concise manner. They should simplify technical terms and use visual representation tools like charts and graphs to help them understand better.  

Takeaway

You can see that there are several other factors that companies need to take into account while performing business valuation. They may include not considering rent and other fixed costs, misunderstanding what is included under comparable sales databases, and more. Thus, conducting proper research, using dedicated software, and hiring an experienced professional is a must while calculating the valuation of a business.

FAQs

  1. Where can businesses get funding from? 

Usually, businesses can get funding from crowdfunding sites, angel investors, venture capitalists, loans from friends and family or working capital loans from financial institutions like Indifi. 

  1. What is EBITDA? 

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) is a numerical measure of a company’s ability to generate cash. It helps business valuators and investors to understand the profitability of a company. 

  1. What is discounted cash flow?

Discounted cash flow (DCF) is a method of valuation used to determine the value of an investment based on its return in the future. 

4. Explain few business valuation methods?

The Income Multiplier Method, Capitalization of Earnings, Discounted Cash Flow (DCF) Analysis, Dividend Discount Model (DDM), Earnings-Based Valuation, and the Income Multiplier Method are some of the techniques used by the income-based approach to evaluate a company’s potential to generate income in the future.

By indifi

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