98% of small business owners are unaware of the value of their assets, calling for increased audits 

13/06/2023

MANAGING a small business, whether you’ve just set it up or want a handful of employees, requires efforts on all fronts, from the recruitment process to coordinating daily operations. Add accountability to the equation, and you’re in for a journey where you barely have time for your hobbies and personal life. The same story goes for business owners in the United States responsible for taking care of enterprises with a smaller client base and lower annual revenue than regular-sized businesses or corporations. 98% of employees lack enough information or avoid conducting the necessary analysis to discover how much their small business is worth, with a significant proportion putting this procedure low on their list of priorities. 

Understanding the value of an asset is essential for more reasons than just knowing where you stand financially. A business valuation must be done once a year or every several years to provide insight into the enterprise’s strategic knowledge or determine how much they could receive if they exposed their asset to the marketplace. It is also critical in a wide range of processes, like taxation, partner ownership shares, selling prices, and even the proceedings of a divorce. However, entrepreneurs are so caught up with daily tasks that they often overlook this aspect, focusing on making the business thrive but lacking in-depth details about more complex financial aspects. Another reason behind their reluctance to conduct audits is that they don’t want to waste money on a seemingly unimportant process that they don’t deem impactful for the bottom line. 

Determining the business’s worth is a good starting point for creating a strategy that secures the assets’ long-term health. Still, entrepreneurs would instead invest money and time into other aspects, putting off valuations and keeping hopes high that no incident would happen, necessitating the accuracy of this information. 

Knowing valuation information would help entrepreneurs determine more efficiently how to split investments between different areas

Selling the business is far from an entrepreneur’s goal when developing their start-up project. It’s all the more disheartening when the factor behind the liquidation is the lack of profits and lost clients due to different reasons like damaged reputation, which can stem from unanticipated areas, such as overlooking employee health and safety in a culture that gives this aspect particular emphasis. Indeed, some areas could benefit from more heavy investments, while it is a paramount need in others. As the number of work-related accidents and injuries has experienced a downtrend, with figures reaching 565,000 as of 2021/22, it seems like businesses have turned their focus and capital to the health and safety of their employees, regardless of the last time they conducted an assessment. Improvements on this front occur as businesses seek ways to protect their employees, avoiding any financial and legal repercussions that may result from accidents or injuries sustained while on shift. As experts from https://www.accidentclaims.co.uk/accident-at-work-claim point out, accidents can happen in any business, and most of the time, employees are within their rights to seek justice. Investments in maintaining employees’ health and safety in and out of the workplace are the order of the day.

On the other hand, only some necessary operations might be as easily recognised as this one. Many underperforming areas may pass under the radar as entrepreneurs focus on daily tasks and need to gain valuation data. And how can managers determine where to pour more money and where to stop investments without conducting business valuations when the time calls?

Entrepreneurs must analyse the company’s financial statements to identify where cutting costs makes sense and what other investment areas are more important. 

A significant proportion of small business owners lack a thorough understanding of the valuation process

As exciting as managing an enterprise can be, it is undeniable that it necessitates a lot of knowledge in many aspects. In this regard, entrepreneurs nowadays tend to put a value on short-term priorities that impact their business by and by, like dealing with customer complaints and employee troubles, cutting income taxes, and other daily matters that may arise out of the blue. 

In the corporate world, one of the prevailing issues is a lack of understanding of the full spectrum of elements involved in a business valuation process. Business owners focus on EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) but stop their journey after grasping these elements. With so much at stake for them, one can’t help but wonder what justifies the ongoing lack of resources to determine what the business is worth. Many factors can be pointed out that contribute to entrepreneurs’ reluctance to assess their assets’ value, with the most common ones including the following: 

  • Often, entrepreneurs don’t have sufficient knowledge about their competitors and all types of buyers, disregarding that the prices potential purchasers are willing to pay vary significantly among them. Value is differently perceived among business owners, each having a different purpose behind their actions. For instance, a strategic entrepreneur with the potential to boost sales revenue tenfold by taking over a business may be more prone to pay a higher price than an investor seeking to reduce market competition.
  • Entrepreneurs may find business valuation short-sighted formal processes, therefore opting to save the money a similar undertaking would consume. However, neglecting that this is the way to ensure they’re receiving what the business is worth is commonplace. When similar accurate data can’t be found, strategies to boost the asset’s value or create a successful exit are off the table.
  • No accounting program can create “business value”, nor can it be accessed in accounting records. Not finding a “business value” on any financial statement can be misleading and inflict the idea that it is a small-time aspect. 
  • Entrepreneurs need e deeper understanding of the elements of business valuation and learn how to assess their firm from approaches based on income, market, and asset.

Business owners can make use of the wide array of tools at their disposal in their attempts to figure out and understand how much their business can be sold for when put on the marketplace. In this regard, big data can be among their main and biggest allies.

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