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How to value a business

 In "how to value a business", one must consider several first-principle questions.

The nuances are wide-ranging and different for every business. 

Broad determinants will start with the answers to some important questions.

  •   Who is the valuation for?
  •   Is the business a "going concern?
  •   In what industry is the subject business?
  •   In what country is the subject business?
  •   What size is the business?

How to value a business of mine

The owner of a business will always have a different value in mind to everyone else. It is usually higher. This is not as raw as it may sound. It is not because of an anticipated negotiating squeeze. For most business owners, their businesses are de-risked because they:

  •   have a good understanding of how a business operates
  •   understand the supply chain
  •   know all about the route to market
  •   understand its cash flow imperatives
  •   know all the weaknesses and strengths
  •   know all about the route to market

How to value a business I want to buy

A buyer of a business is usually at a disadvantage in estimating a fair price at which to make an offer. When they consider how to value a business that interests them, they have unknowns.

They cannot know the minutiae of the target, the current owner, and its management.

A diligent buyer will do their utmost to uncover the value in the price. But at some stage, they will need to make a call.

In the raw, it looks like this:

  •   If the buyer believes the value to them to be higher than the agreed price, the deal will happen
  •   If the buyer cannot see the value in a deal at a particular price, it is unlikely to happen
  •   If the buyer cannot see the value in a deal at a particular price, it is unlikely to happen

How to value a business for a successful deal

The seller usually has the information. The buyer is well motivated to discover the information to appease his fear of risk. It is up to them to construct a pitch story in such a way that mitigates risk for the buyer or investor.


And that starts with an objective business valuation by a trained professional. They know how to value a business to uncover the inherent risks. On the business valuation report, it is up to the business owner, seller, investor, or buyer to act.


Owners and sellers can deal with the risks or adjust their expectations. Investors and buyers can address unmitigated risk through price or terms adjustments

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