If you are buying a business for the first time, you will find that buying a business is a unique experience that requires extensive knowledge and skills in a broad spectrum of areas–legal, accounting, banking, financing, understanding of government regulations, especially in areas of environment, safety and employee relations. You must learn how to obtain and screen leads, how to evaluate and price prospective companies, and how to conduct due diligence. But even highly experienced entrepreneurs who have completed dozens of deals still rely upon professional expertise for certain phases of the process. Thus expect that even after you learn more about the deal-making process, you will still need to hire consultants to assist you in making a successful purchase.
Buying a company is very demanding because it is an intellectual, pragmatic and emotional process, all in one. It is an intellectual process because to be successful you have to think it out. It is a pragmatic process because you have to be realistic about the company you are looking to buy, whether it is worth buying, what its real value is, and what it should be priced at. And buying a company, finally, is an emotional process. Throughout negotiations, beginning with first contact with the seller and continuing through to the closing of the sale, you experience tremendous highs and lows. You must be able to handle both extremes of emotion. You must handle the highs, so as not to reveal your enthusiasm to the seller, and after the lows, to be able to come back and find a solution to the problem that might otherwise kill the deal. The emotional component holds true even after many deals but you do learn to control those emotions with practice.
Reasons for Buying Your Own Business
Some of the reasons for buying your own business are similar to those of any entrepreneur: to control your own destiny; the personal challenge, making money, the satisfaction of building and running something on your own. Continue reading WHO BUYS COMPANIES AND WHY
Dr. John Psarouthakis, Founder and former CEO, JPIndusries,Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation. Publisher of www.BusinessThinker.com
Before you can begin final negotiations on price, you need to determine the value of the company. You can use several techniques to value a company. We recommend the discounted cash flow value approach as the most accurate method although other approaches are useful in preliminary stages of your search to give you a sense of the range of the estimated price.
Timing and Scope of the Valuation Process
An initial calculation of valuation can be done on a fairly mechanical basis, based on information provided to you by the seller using established formulae and guidelines. However, determining the accuracy of the financial data that the seller provides you is an on-going part of the evaluation process that should take place throughout preliminary and formal due diligence up to the closing. Thus valuation takes place along with negotiations throughout the deal-making process. One of the key objectives of due diligence is to surface any information that might affect the accurate valuation of the company. If your team does not have a financial auditor you should hire one to verify the accuracy of the historical data.
Once you verify the completeness and accuracy of existing documents, historical valuation of a company is often relatively easy from a technical standpoint. But it may be a fairly inaccurate reflection of what you can expect from the firm’s financial performance in the future. Thus, although a preliminary valuation of the company might be done initially when you first receive financial data from the company, refining the financial assumptions about the company’s future performance must take into consideration a wide array of non-financial considerations. Accurate forecasting requires a thorough understanding of general trends as well, trends specific to your industry, the economy, and of course a thorough understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the particular company you plan to purchase.
Continue reading VALUING AND PRICING THE COMPANY (Reposted)
By Dr. John Psarouthakis, Executive Editor of www.BusinessThinker.com, Founder and former CEO, JP Industries, Inc., a Fortune 500 industrial corporation
This is the 11th of a Series of 15 short articles on “HOW TO BUY THE RIGHT COMPANY” They will be posted at one a week
In acquiring a company you must determine the value to you and the price you want to pay for the company / business you are considering.
Although four basic approaches, the profitability and multiple (price/earnings ratio)method, the asset method, historic cash flow and discounted cash flow, are all used, the discounted cash flow method is considered the most realistic valuation of the candidate company. However, a comparison of values from different methods can provide useful insights, especially in the early stages of valuation of the business.
Continue reading Value and Price in acquiring a Business