How I Figured Out What My Company Is Worth: A Recap
Is a dollar a dollar no matter what the source? Should you lavish attention on your biggest client? Or the most prestigious client? These are the questions Phil Patrick had to answer in order to maximize the value of his company when he sold it in 2011. Patrick, founder and former CEO of PharmaStrat, helped the audience of business owners from the Greater New York region understand how the answers to these and other questions can help determine how "sellable" your company is.
How many hours a week do you work? That's a trick question that buyers ask you to figure out how strong a team you've built. Are your products well-diversified? If the answer is "yes," a financial buyer will be happy but a strategic advisor may not.
In the end, Patrick helped the audience understand many of the rarely discussed twists and turns a business owner faces when selling his or her company.
In the end, Patrick sold his business to a strategic buyer who offered the largest payout with the fewest strings (such as earn outs) attached. Patrick attributed the value of his company to four areas (in descending order of importance):
1) Company reputation and high profile clients
2) Cash flow and profit
3) Processes and operations
4) Human capital and knowledge
Patrick also shared with us how he assembled a team of advisors, the terms on which their participation was agreed upon and the ways that he was able to keep control as it wound its way through the sale process.
The attendees agreed--building a business is something they know how to do. Selling it? Now that's tricky stuff.
Thank you Phil Patrick for your presentation to our audience and thank you to our program sponsor, Vu Telepresence, for sharing your solutions with the community.
LEWIS SCHIFF is the executive director of the Inc. Business Owners Council. His latest book is Business Brilliant: Surprising Lessons From the Greatest Self-Made Business Icons.
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