By Glen McCall
June 20, 2024

Unlocking your company’s true value

Learn how business valuation can guide your strategic decisions, attract investors, and more.

Understanding your business’s worth is not just a number on a balance sheet; it’s a strategic tool that can guide crucial decisions, attract investors, and drive growth. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or just starting out, grasping the fundamentals of business valuation is paramount. 

Why valuation matters

Business valuation is akin to taking a health check-up of your company. It provides a clear snapshot of its financial standing, growth prospects, and potential risks. Here’s why it’s essential:

Decision Making: From mergers and acquisitions to seeking investment or planning an exit strategy, understanding your company’s value is crucial for making informed decisions.

Attracting Investors: Investors need to know the value they’re getting for their investment. A robust valuation can make your business more attractive to potential investors or buyers.

Employee Incentives: Stock options, bonuses, and equity compensation often rely on a company’s valuation. Accurate valuation ensures fairness and motivates employees.

Legal Compliance: Valuation may be necessary for tax purposes, regulatory compliance, or legal proceedings, ensuring you stay on the right side of the law.

Valuation methods

Several methods exist to evaluate a business, each suited to different circumstances and industries:

Asset-Based Valuation: This method calculates the company’s value based on its tangible assets minus liabilities. It’s suitable for asset-heavy businesses like manufacturing or real estate.

Market-Based Valuation: Here, the company’s value is determined by comparing it to similar businesses that have been recently sold. This approach is common in industries with many comparable transactions, like tech startups.

Income-Based Valuation: Also known as the discounted cash flow (DCF) method, this estimates the company’s future cash flows discounted to their present value. It’s particularly useful for businesses with predictable revenue streams, such as service companies.

Multiples Valuation: This method compares the company’s key financial metrics (like revenue or earnings) to those of similar companies in the industry. It’s straightforward but requires access to comparable data.

Factors affecting valuation

Several factors influence a company’s valuation, including:

Financial Performance: Revenue growth, profit margins, and cash flow stability are key indicators of a company’s financial health.

Market Conditions: Economic trends, industry growth rates, and market demand can significantly impact valuation.

Intangible Assets: Intellectual property, brand reputation, and customer relationships can add substantial value to a business.

Risk Profile: Factors like competition, regulatory environment, and reliance on key customers or suppliers affect perceived risk and, consequently, valuation.

Getting your business valued

While professional valuations may be necessary for complex transactions or legal compliance, there are several steps you can take to estimate your company’s worth:

Financial Analysis: Review your financial statements, cash flow projections, and historical performance to understand your company’s financial position.

Market Research: Analyze industry trends, comparable company valuations, and market multiples to gauge your company’s relative position.

Future Projections: Develop realistic forecasts for revenue, expenses, and cash flow to assess your company’s growth potential.

Seek Expert Advice: Consulting with financial advisors, business brokers, or valuation experts can provide valuable insights and ensure your valuation is accurate and credible.

Knowing your company’s worth is about understanding its strengths, weaknesses, and growth opportunities. By mastering the essentials of business valuation, you can make informed decisions, attract investment, and navigate the complexities of the business landscape with confidence. So, invest the time and effort to unlock your company’s true value—it’s a decision that can pay dividends in the long run.

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About Glen McCall

Glen McCall leads First United Bank’s Oklahoma City and Edmond Markets and its purpose to inspire and empower others to Spend Life Wisely.

Glen is a graduate of Eckerd College, earning his degree in Business Management and ABA’s Commercial Lending School at SMU.

Glen serves his community through Scouting and Santa Fe Presbyterian Church in Edmond.

Glen resides in Edmond, OK with his wife of 27 years, Tracie, a Special Ed. Teacher, and their 3 sons. His free time is spent at his sons’ football games, band competitions and swim meets.