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Priced to Sell

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With all of the valuation methods out there, you'd think calculating a selling price for you business would be easy. Just sit down with your financial statements, add in some goodwill numbers, jack up the price to what your competitor's recently received, and voila. Not quite.

Pricing a business to sell is more art than science, and many business valuation experts will agree, that going it alone, without the experience of an appraiser, could mean putting your company on the selling block for less than it realistically might be worth. Here, Inc.com offers a trio of articles on valuations, including examples of methods commonly used to value very small businesses (less than $1 million in revenue), the pitfalls of trying to determine a selling price on your own, and a discussion of valuation fees and what you should expect to receive for your money.

More to It than Numbers
You might know all of the methods in the book, yet pricing your business to sell is more complicated than adjusting balance sheets and scouring "rules of thumb." Two business appraisers weigh in on valuing small business, the pitfalls of going it alone, and the methods they use to arrive at a price.

Example Methods
Jeff Jones of Certified Appraisers based in Houston, Texas, uses many valuations methods when determining a selling price. Here, we highlight two of the methods he uses, the Multiple of Discretionary Earnings Method and the Accumulated Asset Method in this excerpt from Tom West's 2003 Business Reference Guide, 13th Edition published by Business Brokerage Press.

How Much Should a Business Appraisal Cost?
In this article, Steven F. Schroeder, a master certified business appraiser and the head of the Northern California offices of American Business Appraisers, discusses various fee schedules and what you can expect to get for your money.




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