If you business is large enough, you can consider an initial public offering (IPO) in which you will sell your company's shares publicly on the open market. This can be a good alternative to selling the business, but IPO's require the outlay of large sums of money that may be out of reach for your company. If you have money available to finance an IPO, research the IPOs of similar-size companies in your field and look at their track record and whether they experienced accelerated growth.
An IPO for your company will mean that you will lose a significant amount of control. You will be face outside investors, strict Securities and Exchange Commission regulations and record-keeping rules. Your company information will become a matter of public record.
Selling Corporate Assets
Sometimes it becomes difficult to cut back or restructure your business into a smaller business by selling some of your corporate assets, but this may be the best alternative to selling the business outright. If you consider selling off part of your business, hire an outside financial advisor to appraise your assets and determine a fair market price for the assets you are considering selling. Choose assets that are not directly tied to your core business. Choose assets for which there is a strong market. Obtain input from legal and accounting experts.
2. Ways to Determine The Value of Your Business
If you decide that you must sell your business, there are a number of ways to value your company and determine your selling price.
Informal and formal appraisals
Find out the selling prices of similar businesses in your area and compare their companies to yours. You can also contact the national trade association for your industry. You can also hire a professional business appraiser. This method is the most credible and your potential buyers will be more likely to accept the formal appraisal.
One commonly used method of valuation is based upon past experiences selling of similar businesses. A business broker may recommend an asking price based on the sale prices of similar businesses in your area and industry. This is similar to find comparable sales for residential real estate, and it is the least expensive. It is commonly used for the sale of small businesses.
Your business assets may be considered at book value to determine the liquidation value of the business. The result is a fire-sale price that will be the bare minimums value.
Your company's historical financial results will be considered and future income projections will be calculated and multiplied times a "Cap Rate," the interest rate usually earned in the market.
Price building is a valuation method that looks at the assets, leases, real estate, and goodwill of the business. It considers the value of the tangible assets on the balance sheet and the valuable intangibles that create the company's value in determining the amount a buyer would be expected to pay for the business. The intangibles include location, unique product or service, profitability, favorable lease, goodwill, and good employees. The tangible assets will be real estate, equipment, and inventory.
After you inventory the tangible assets and calculate their value, you will estimate a value for the intangible assets. The rule of thumb for valuing these intangibles is that their combined value should be approximately one year's net income. Add together the value for the tangible assets, the intangible assets, the agent's commission, and other costs of sale to calculate your asking price.