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In many cases an advisor, such as an estate or tax attorney, CPA, or financial advisor, may refer you to a valuation specialist for an independent appraisal of your business or assessment of damages. It is important that you understand why the services of an independent appraiser are valuable to you.
There are many reasons for getting a business valuation. As a business owner, you may be considering one of the following activities:
Additionally, both business owners and others may find themselves in disputes that necessitate a valuation. Such situations include:
Regardless of the purpose, independent appraisals are valuable to you. Consider the following:
1) The ownership interest in a business is usually very large compared to other assets.
2) The value is not readily available (you can’t just look it up in the Wall Street Journal).
3) Ownership interests in businesses are complex. Most people can’t do it themselves and require outside expertise.
Business Valuation Process
The business valuation process starts with a confidential, no-obligation meeting to understand the clients’ needs and address any questions they may have. This meeting generally includes a discussion about the purpose of the engagement, the scope of the engagement, the subject interest to be valued, the nature of the company, the standard of value, and the valuation date.
After the initial consultation, we will send out an engagement letter to formally outline the terms and objectives of the engagement. Once the signed engagement letter is returned to us, a data / information request is issued. Although every valuation engagement is unique, the requested data typically consists of items such as historical financial statements and tax returns, governing documents and agreements, management bios, forecasts, budgets, accounts receivable aging reports, accounts payable data, and a detailed management questionnaire, among other items.
The requested data are then reviewed and a management interview is scheduled to better understand the business and to discuss the operations, outlook, industry, normalization adjustments, and any other outstanding items that are pertinent to the valuation. This interview typically takes place at the subject company if a site visit is an important component of the valuation. Alternatively, this discussion can be conducted over the phone if warranted.
We will also gather and analyze other company-specific data, as well as data about the company’s industry and economic environment throughout the valuation process. Once we have had a chance to analyze the company’s historic financial statements, and if the relevant information is available, we will compare the company’s financial results to other comparable companies within the respective industry.
Based upon these analyses, we will also review each of the asset, income, and market valuation approaches and applicable valuation methods to determine the most appropriate valuation methods to arrive at tentative conclusions of value. If warranted, adjustments will then be made to these conclusions of value that relate to the degree of ownership control, or lack of it, and the degree of the subject business interest’s marketability, or lack of it, as appropriate to the purpose of the valuation engagement. When all the relevant valuation factors have been individually analyzed and assessed, we will bring them together to arrive at a final conclusion of value.
The analysis is then documented in a written report that is prepared in conformity with professional standards and is subsequently issued to the client. This may also include follow-up discussions with clients and/or their professional advisors to address any questions they may have about the valuation analysis.
What Do I Need For a Valuation?
Once you’ve decided to have your company valued, your valuator will present a company questionnaire. This questionnaire is designed for many types of business so all of the sections may not be applicable to yours. However, the initial reporting requirements are standard for any type of business. Providing this information as the first step of the valuation process allows your valuator to efficiently complete the project. If you don’t have some of the information, or you are unsure about what you can provide, speak to your valuator.
Valuations are designed to clearly communicate the value of an ownership interest in your business. For this reason, you can expect to receive very specific statements such as:
The value of the Company’s common stock as of June 30, 2015 is $10,000,000
or $10.00 per share with 1,000,000 shares outstanding
While the conclusion of value is the end result of the process, a well-prepared valuation will also provide you with other useful information about your business. Examples of this information include:
A comparison of the business to publicly traded companies, similar firms that have recently sold in mergers & acquisition transactions, and prior transactions involving the business’ equity securities.
Increasing the value of your company will attract buyers, strategic partners, and investors. Our value enhancement services are designed to improve the value of your company through proven methods delivered by our experienced professionals. One tool we use extensively is a Lean management technique called “Value Stream Analysis” that has helped many clients substantially improve specific business processes and improve profitability.
Value Stream Analysis ("VSA") is one of the tools we offer as part of our value enhancement service portfolio. With VSA, we work alongside clients to design tactical plans that rapidly improve the value of the organization. We have successfully facilitated VSAs that dramatically improved the sales and marketing, operating, and administrative processes of clients in industries ranging from professional services to manufacturing.
Our experts will work with owners and senior management to identify opportunities for rapid improvement. Once the opportunity is identified, our experts will organize and facilitate a one to three day VSA "event" that will involve selected company personnel ranging from senior management to hands on staff.
The final product of the VSA event is a tactical rapid improvement plan. Within as few as thirty days of the completion of the event, the company can realize improvements within the analyzed process. Typically, the plans are fully implemented within three to six months.
Our proven track record in delivering value to our clients using the VSA tool is evidenced by a long list of success stories. Our clients have realized dramatic results after conducting a VSA with our experts. For example:
Contact our expert to learn how your company, and your equity investment, can benefit from our VSA services.