The Playbook
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Think Strategically to Increase Your Valuation

With potential buyers, the first step is to identify whether their interest is purely financial or part of a larger business strategy.
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Video Transcript

00:10 John Warrillow: So, when it comes to evaluation, there are really two basic exit strategies to consider if you're thinking about external sale. You've got a financial buyer and a strategic buyer. When a financial buyer buys your company, they're buying your future stream of profit. And so as a business owner, the two levers you can manipulate to increase that are what's the future stream of profit look like meaning how much profit you expect to make in the future, and number two, how reliable are those estimates. When it comes to a strategic sale from a strategic buyer, really what they're buying is how your business will affect the performance of their business. So, think about how if a strategic buyer were to buy your business, how does that help them sell more of their stuff. A lot of business owners make the mistake and say, "Well, if a strategic comes in and buys our company, we'll be able to use their sales people to sell more stuff to our existing customers." Reverse that on it's head and say, "As a strategic, what can adding us do to their business?" That's where you get to pop in multiples.

Last updated: Nov 8, 2013

JOHN WARRILLOW | Columnist | Sellability

John Warrillow is the author of Built to Sell: Creating A Business That Can Thrive Without You and the founder of The Sellability Score, a cloud-based software company that helps business owners improve the value of their company.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.