When it comes to valuing small businesses, you need to do more than simply look at their tax records. You’ll also need to consider other factors like its location, the way it’s being managed, and its financial track record. If the management style and location are good, closely examining its financial history is a good indicator of the company’s earning potential.
When you’re keen to take over a business, you’ll need to know just how much income you can expect to gain. Looking at the company’s financial history will enable you to work out the amount the business actually makes as well as how much its owner is currently making for themselves when the business running costs are subtracted. The advice that you’ll find offered by consultants such as those at CBS-CBS.com includes the following four steps to work out the company’s earning potential.
1.Determining The SDE
The main earning metric used to value any small business is the SDE (Seller Discretionary Earnings). This is the company’s net income before any depreciation, taxes, interest expenses, amortization, and any other owner benefits. The majority of small business financial records tend to be compiled to minimize their tax burden. Therefore, those records are unlikely to fully reflect the true financial performance of the company. This means that the financials will need to be formally reconstructed or recast to determine an amount of income that more accurately reflects the company’s earnings.
2.Asking The Seller About Specifics
To obtain greater insight, it’s necessary to ask the business’s owner specific questions about the amount their business is currently making for them. This might include details about how the sales have been calculated, adjustments that have been made for tax purposes and breakdowns of operating expenses. You may worry about asking the seller for this kind of detail, but there is no reason for concern. Sellers should expect this information to be requested and, if they’re serious about wanting to sell, sharing their financial specifics should not be a problem.
3.Using Annual Gross Sales
A business’ annual gross sales may be worked out by examining its tax returns and financial statements. Usually, small business owners make between 10% and 20% of gross sales. When you determine the figure, remember that if you decide to buy the business you need to subtract the acquisition’s cost then add the costs involved in improving the business in the future.
4.Estimate SDE By Using The Business’s Selling Price
In general, if you examine the selling price of the business, you may be able to work out the SDE. So if, as an example, the asking price is $625,000, it’s safe to assume that the business owner’s SDE is around $250,000 to $312,500. If the business is losing money, don’t automatically assume that it isn’t worth buying the business. After all, you’re buying it for its future and existing earnings potential. It’s possible the business is making a loss because it is poorly managed, but its employees may be skilled, it may have a good reputation and a great location. If you buy the business then improve its management, it’s possible to boost potential earnings and create healthy profits over time.