Two Similar Companies ~ Big Difference in Value

Consider two different companies in virtually the same industry. Both companies have an EBITDA of $6 million – but, they have very different valuations. One is valued at five times EBITDA, pricing it at $30 million. The other is valued at seven times EBITDA, making it $42 million. What’s the difference? One can look at the usual checklist for the answer, such as: The Market Management/Employees Uniqueness/Proprietary Systems/Controls Revenue Size Profitability Regional/Global Distribution Capital Equipment Requirements Intangibles (brand/patents/etc.) Growth Rate There is the key, at the very end of the checklist – the growth rate. This value driver is a major consideration when buyers are considering value. For example, the seven times EBITDA company has a growth rate of 50 percent, while the five times EBITDA company has a growth rate of only 12 percent. In order to arrive at the real growth story, some important questions need to be answered. For example: Are the company’s … [Read more...]

Three Basic Factors of Earnings

Two businesses for sale could report the same numeric value for “earnings” and yet be far from equal. Three factors of earnings are listed below that tell more about the earnings than just the number. 1. Quality of earnings Quality of earnings measures whether the earnings are padded with a lot of “add backs” or one-time events, such as a sale of real estate, resulting in an earnings figure which does not accurately reflect the true earning power of the company’s operations. It is not unusual for companies to have “some” non-recurring expenses every year, whether for a new roof on the plant, a hefty lawsuit, a write-down of inventory, etc. Beware of the business appraiser that restructures the earnings without “any” allowances for extraordinary items. 2. Sustainability of earnings after the acquisition The key question a buyer often considers is whether he or she is acquiring a company at the apex of its business cycle or if the earnings will continue to grow at the previous rate. 3. … [Read more...]

Why Should You Buy an Established Business?

A pre-existing business is a proven commodity. A new business, regardless of how great your idea may be, will always have a future that is uncertain. You can hire many consultants and plan meticulously. Yet, even with the best ideas and most experienced consultants, your newly minted business could still quickly fail. A business with a long track record of success provides you with a degree of security and certainty. It’s also important to note that an existing business has a myriad of established relationships, which are invaluable. Business is all about cultivating strong relationships and developing a positive reputation. An established business will have those relationships set up and ready to go. This can be tremendously beneficial and save you a lot of time and energy.  Whether it is suppliers, customers or key employees and management, this track record can help ensure your success. It will bring with it long-term customers, as well as an established and proven supply chain. … [Read more...]

How Business Owners Can Leverage AI

Artificial Intelligence has certainly received more than a bit of attention in the last two years. It’s no wonder that many business owners wonder how best to use this tool to gain an edge over the competition. Currently, the cost of ChatGPT-4 is only $20 per month, which is a very nominal cost considering its capabilities. For that cost, users gain access to a powerful large language model or LLM. ChatGPT-4 allows users to put in a prompt and quickly receive an answer. Since ChatGPT-4 is a neural network, it is possible for you to customize how data is generated.  An AI Virtual Assistant? Almost anyone can appreciate the benefits a virtual assistant can bring. With ChatGPT-4, it is possible to use the technology as a digital VA that can simulate the work you might otherwise need to hire people to do. AI tools have become better and better at providing pinpointed information. More and more, business owners are viewing artificial intelligence as a tool that can serve the function of a … [Read more...]