Business valuation services

There are so many theories about business valuation. Business owners, we must accept, are very good at doing their jobs. If they weren’t we would not have developed a growing business valuation services division.

So why then, do business owners leave their final cashing-out value to speculation, chance, rumour, and the wiles of some buyer?

We surpass the realm of mere pricing

 Our business valuation services go beyond the numbers

So many business valuations relate value only to income statement results, with no explanation of why multiples are chosen other than: "that's our policy", or: "it is generally accepted".

Seriously: people want to retire on the proceeds of somebody’s pricing policy?

That’s not valuation. It’s reckless abandonment of retirement nest-eggs. And it’s always the sellers who get the short end of the deal. Because you can be quite sure that no policy-wielding CFO is going to offer “5 times EBITDA” if they think they can get away with 3 times.” But they will always refer to it as “valuation”.

Howzit, I'm Mark Corke

We have produced business valuations for more than two decades in South Africa. In that time we have been party to countless negotiations across all industries. That includes businesses from small-team, closely-held specialists at one end. And medium-size, multi-shareholder industrialists at the other.

Towards the end of the last century we disputed the concept that businesses are worth 2,2727 times the owner benefit. Others believed this regardless of asset intensity, customer density, or gross margins. It remains preposterous, as do most rules of thumb.

Small and medium-size enterprises want to be attractive to the bigger buyers. They need to take a more professional and nuanced approach to business valuation. You cannot justify your business valuation with a plug 'n play spreadsheet in the Excel template library.

Our business valuation service continues to improve. Many returning customers testify to this. I hope you see the benefit too.

Suitegum business valuation services

Our business valuation service involves proper person-to-person engagement. The valuation interview is in a discussion format because we need to know how the business interacts internally and externally. And we need to know from the person in charge - the CEO, a director, or the owner. Even our accountant and attorney lead-providers know that we have to talk to their clients directly.


We don't do intermediary check-box interview templates. 


Internally: Tell us about things like its systems, employees, and the board. We need to know about premises, governance, and the culture of the organisation. The internal frustrations, challenges, and solutions.


Externally: We will need to know about your customers - the good, the bad, and the ugly. And something similar about your suppliers. What are the issues which keep the C-Suite on their toes, and who gets the least sleep? 


Results that make sense

  •   Well considered, well written, properly illustrated business valuation reports that make sense
  •   Our business valuation services give you a business valuation, not just an entry point for price negotiations.
  •   You will understand exactly how and why the valuation is correct.
  •   Comparisons of your business's key performance indicators to those of peer companies will give you context.
  •   Our unique key valuation indicator profiling will provide guidance to improvement.

What's possible with our business valuation service?

Valuation as well as prices

Too many business valuation services deliver price, not value. We give you both.

Up to date industry metrics

Performance data for your business compared to the latest in your industry.

Your exposure exposed

Prepare for your negotiation understanding why your asking price offers good value

We are USPAP compliant

Subscribed to the tenets of the Uniform Standards of Appraisal Practice.

NO MORE WASTED NEGOTIATION TIME

Get to the point in your negotiations. Why see dozens of buyers who all go away thinking the asking price is too high?

Pitch it correctly from the start. Then concentrate on the quality of buyer and the terms they offer.

DON'T LEAVE MONEY ON THE TABLE

Pitching your business for sale too low takes money away from your future.

Don't miss out on sceptical buyers who think: "if it looks too good to be true, it probably is."

Business Valuation Services

Every business has a unique fingerprint of valuation determinants. We call them "key valuation indicators" (KVIs). The Suitegum Business Valuation tests the business for 23 broad indicators and hundreds of sub-indicators - 957 in all. We examine a potential 1300 relationships between KVIs and how they could affect the key performance indicators of the business.

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Aswath Damadoran on value

"

Knowing what an asset is worth and what determines that value is a prerequisite for intelligent decision making—in choosing investments for a portfolio, in deciding on the appropriate price to pay or receive in a takeover, and in making investment, financing, and dividend choices when running a business.


Aswath Damadoran - Damodaran on Valuation (Wiley Finance) (p. 1). Wiley. Kindle Edition.

Damodaran is a Professor of Finance at the Stern School of Business at NYU. He teaches classes in corporate finance and valuation.

Mark gave me a valuation on my business. A business broker gave me a much higher valuation. We pitched to three different buyers, and one made an offer on the broker’s valuation. However, after the due diligence the buyer expressed unhappiness with the price. We ended up settling at Mark’s valuation.

Barbara Hilton-Barber

The professionalism and the expertise provided by Mark and his team far surpasses any previous experiences that we have encountered through business brokers.. 

Chris de Wet

Many, many thanks for the valuation. I am so grateful for having found you on “Google”. 

Beth Wallace

I know that if you're looking for a more accurate valuation, the best thing you can do is speak to someone like Mark for proper, professional advice.

Peter Smythe

If you are looking for a professional, Mark Corke from Suitegum is your man.

Renier Richter

What makes us different?

We are independent of any sales process because we don't use our business valuation service to persuade you to give us a mandate to sell your business for you. What does that mean? Well, we’re not going to flatter you with an inflated result. But it also means that we won’t be chasing you with “a potential buyer” in the coming weeks and months.

Our business valuation techniques do not rely on only your financial statements. We designed our interview process help us understand the subject business. You know where it has been, and where it is going. That story is important to uncover both hidden value and breaking points.

The Suitegum protocol encompasses pure income-based valuation, and market comparison techniques.

We subscribe to pure industry data, including performance data for your peers. So there will be no “generally accepted multiples” nonsense. If your business exceeds the norms for your industry, we will show you how, where, and why.

The price we quote is what you pay. We are do not subscribe to the notion that the cost of the valuation should be linked to the result. I mean, what is that? And why wouldn't it tempt valuers to inflate values?


My company had previously received two valuations from accounting firms with an enormous disparity in the results. It was clear that they had only used our financial statements without looking at the myriad of other factors that make up a business.

Mark has a far more holistic approach which takes into account over 30 valuation indicators to produce an unbiased and realistic assessment of a company's true market value.

I cannot thank Mark enough for going the extra mile in completing the report for us on time
and for all his valuable insights.

Jeremy Robinson

50-50
 

R

31,950

 
  • 50% with order, balance on completion
  • A redacted version with final invoice
  • Unredacted version on account settlement
  • 10 day project
  • Free follow-up session
Post-paid
 

R

35,500

 
  • Full payment on completion
  • Redacted version on completion
  • Unredacted version on full payment
  • 10 day project
  • Free follow-up session

Mark, just a note to say thanks. I like the presentation and the justification for the value given. We expect this to become an annual thing and we will do it again at about the same time next year.

Keith Dodkins
Keith Dodkins
Kat Medical

The Suitegum business valuation, in my experience, is a robust business valuation mechanism which is easily understandable and completely transparent.

John Lightfoot
Quotient Financial Solutions

Frequently Asked Questions

About the Product

Do you need our latest financials?

Oh, you better believe it! Did we mention anywhere that this is a professional exercise? In fact we want the annual financial statements for the last five years, or if your business is younger than that, for as far back as you have.

There may be other related information which we may ask you for at the interview.

What must I prepare for the interview?

If you are the person running the business, and know about all the decisions on a day to day basis, then it would be very surprising if you don't have all the information in your head. The worst case scenario is that you may have to dig out something after we're done.

Where do you do the interview?

Good question! We have done most of our business valuation interviews by phone, Skype, or Zoom for years. It has always made more sense. There is no need for either of us to sit in traffic, dodge the inquisitive receptionist, or drink one another's lousy coffee.

Of course the Covid pandemic, regardless of your stance on masks, vaccines, or nano-chips, has made the Zoom or Whatsapp call much more acceptable. The only difference is that everybody is doing it now, and we have better equipment.

A few photos around your business will fill in the gaps. And if it is easier to talk after hours, I won't be late for supper if I have to nip into my study for an hour.

Can my advisor attend the interview?

Of course. We can talk to you on your own, with other members of the board or the C-Suite, an attorney, your accountant, or your jealous cat. If you feel they need to be there for any reason, we have no problem with that.

Who do you send the valuation report to?

We send the report to whoever commissions us to conduct the business valuation. If you are looking for a valuation of your own business, then that would be you. 

Sometimes a buyer of a business may ask us to run the project on their target business. Then we will interview the owner (or seller) without the buyer being present. But we will send the report to the buyer when we're done. If they choose to share it with you, that is their prerogative. 

What if I am unhappy with the result?

That happens.

Particularly if the reader dives into the last page to see the answer, and it is far from their expectations! But on a proper read they usually see the sense in our reasoning.

We act in total independence of the feelings of whoever reads the report. There is no benefit to us in inflating the result to win a mandate to sell any business. We are independent of all business broker groups, investment banks, private equity funds, banks (urgh), attorneys or accountants.

This also means we never accept kick-backs, "spotter-comms", or other form of secret profit. The practice is unethical, potentially compromising, and even illegal in some circumstances.

So we have no incentive to lean one way or the other.

Would you correct any mistake I find?

Of course. We're not infallible. Sometimes we make mistakes, although with the care, and multiple touch-points in our process, glaring errors are very rare. If we need to revisit something which we misunderstood, of course we'll make good on it. And there will be no charge for that.

About the team

Are you an accountant?

Not at all. But we know where the holes are. Actually if accountants do things properly, our job is very easy. We get great pleasure from dealing with properly compiled annual financial statements (which balance!) with all the proper notes and statements in place.

Annual financial statements are designed for non-accountants, and are easy to deal with.

What experience do you have?

Suitegum Business Valuations has been a thing for 20 years. Since the lead-up to the implementation of capital gains tax in South Africa on 1 October 2001, to be exact.

Before that, my first evaluative roles started as a young officer in the SADF, sitting on the board evaluating the capacities of soldiers to become non-commissioned officers, junior officers, or remain as privates for the time-being. 

Once my time was served, I joined Nedbank as their first job-evaluation specialist, tasked with grading the jobs of all the managers in the bank, from branches to head-office and the special emerging arms of the most proactive bank at the time. That was the last formal employment I had.

In 1990 I established a computer security company with some friends. I started, bought, sold, and crashed several businesses in various industries for ten years.

I was screwed over several times, which forced me to concentrate on the legalities of contracts of sale and company laws. By then I was helping other people buy and sell businesses, and a few years later when capital gains tax was introduced in South Africa, I took the valuation gap. And here we are.

Are you an attorney?

No.

Next question?

You, over there...

Do you understand my industry?

We probably do. But we refresh ourselves all the time, usually through the interview. If your industry is unique, emerging, or obscure we will learn about it with you.

Which leads to "what do you know about my business?" We take the stance of starting afresh with a clean slate for every business we run through our valuation process. Preconceived ideas lead to mistakes which can be costly. 

And it would be embarrassing to say I have done your sort of business before, when the central tenet in our marketing is that no business is identical to any other!

Can I talk to you before placing my order?

Oh, I insist on it. You will notice there is no provision here for you to give anybody credit card details. Our business valuations don't work like that. Fill in the form, and I will call you within a few hours. We will discuss your needs and the application. You will have, by then, received our business valuation product sheet so we can have an informed discussion. There is no charge or obligation for that call.

Do you offer a money-back guarantee?

Certainly not. The Universal Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), Std10, requires valuers' remuneration to be independent of valuation results, and not compromised in any way by the results.

Look out for the guys who base their fee on a percentage of the result obtained! I mean, seriously? They do have nicer cars than ours, though.

We charge a professional fee, commensurate with our experience and the level of work every exercise demands. You can pay when we're done, but before we send the report to you. Or we offer very favourable discounts for payment in advance. 

You're in good company

Thousands of business valuations over twenty years have help temper expectations of sellers in advance of making irreversible life-changing decisions. Instead, they have been able to get their businesses in order, make a few changes, and come back to the original plan with improved, more valuable businesses.

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