What Is Your Business Worth?


There are three traditional valuation methodologies utilized in determining the worth for a private company.

They are:


Recurring Revenue Business in the 21st Century


A fundamental metric in measuring the value of a business is the degree to which it can generate recurring, repeat profitable revenue from its customers. From businesses as diverse as wireless data providers to potato chip manufacturers, the ability of a business to both consistently predict its future revenue streams and retain its existing customer base on an ongoing basis have traditionally been considered "holy grail" metrics of business value.
The unique structure of business in the 21st century, however, make building recurring revenue business models uniquely challenging:


Manage for the Intermediate Term


With financial headlines dominated by the recent declines in the stock and bond markets, a creeping sense of economic foreboding has entered into the thought and decision-making processes of managers across the corporate spectrum.


The Coming Credit Crunch


The recent stock market correction, mostly triggered by both the perception and reality of a burgeoning credit crunch in the real estate sector, has driven most media coverage regarding the robustness (or lack there-of) of the overall investment markets. For managers of emerging and middle market companies, the questions that naturally are a) is this credit crunch real and will it continue and b) how will it affect their access to capital -- both debt and equity?


Real Estate Bust to Private Equity Boom


If history is any guide, last week's stock market correction, driven by liquidity concerns in the real estate sector, may signal (counter-intuitively, perhaps) continued strong activity in the emerging and middle market company investment arenas. Here's why:


The Great Global Economic Boom

A feature story in this week's Fortune Magazine presents the case that we are right now living in the greatest global economic boom ever. A few salient statistics from the article drives the point home:
  • World GDP growth averaged 4.9% from 2003 to 2007 on a total GDP of over $36 trillion (!). To put this number in perspective, right now GDP annual growth is approximately $1.8 trillion, or an amount greater than the entire annual economic output of France, the world's 8th largest economy.

Management Buyouts in Today's Environment


Frothy private equity markets and the desperate need of financial and strategic financiers/acquirers to identify and incentive-ize quality management partners have combined to create a heightened interest in management buyouts (MBOs). An MBO is a form of leveraged buyout (LBO) used to transfer all or part of the ownership of a company to the individuals with the primary operational responsibilities for the enterprise. Both debt and equity investors are particularly interested in financing MBO because of the three "I's":



The State of America's Economic Leadership


The 4th of July is a traditional time to reflect upon and be grateful for the freedom and prosperity of American life, culture, and its economy. American capitalism - the greatest wealth-creating engine in the history of the world - remains despite stresses - the envy of the world in its ability to encourage and reward innovation and new business models. From the airline industry to biotechnology to the Internet, the great growth businesses of the 21st century are led and will continue to be led by American business.


The Coming IPO Torrent


According to Dealogic, the value of tech companies waiting to go public has quadrupled -- from $1.1 billion in January 2006 to $4.7 billion in 2007. This build-up is being driven by a number of factors -- the NASDAQ composite index being up over 16% since May 2006, the number of filings by private tech companies being up 31% in the first 3 months of 2007 over the comparable period in 2006, and perhaps most importantly, the fact that technology IPOs in 2006 returned an average of 37% over their offering prices (renaissance Capital).


India as Threat and Opportunity


According to this month's Red Herring magazine, India's software industry is growing at an average rate of 28 percent a year, with revenues for the 2006-7 fiscal year topping $47.8 billion, up nearly tenfold from 1998. Close to two-thirds of this total represents exports -- namely Indian software firms selling products and services to overseas customers.

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