Many experts say no! These experts believe that only half of the business valuation should be based on the financials (the number-crunching), with the other half of the business valuation based on non-financial information (the subjective factors).
What subjective factors are they referring to? SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats – the primary factors that make up the subjective, or non-financial, analysis. Below you will find a more detailed look at the areas that help us evaluate a company’s SWOT.
Industry Status – A company’s value increases when its associated industry is expanding, and its value decreases in any of the following situations: its industry is constantly fighting technical obsolescence; its industry involves a commodity subject to ongoing price wars; its industry is severely impacted by foreign competition; or its industry is negatively impacted by governmental policies, controls, or pricing.
Geographic Location – A company is worth more if it is located in provinces or countries that have a favourable infrastructure, advantageous tax rates, or higher reimbursement rates. A company with access to an ample educated and competitive work force will also enjoy increased value.
Management – A company with low turnover in management and a solid second-tier management team comprised of different age levels is also worth more.
Facilities – A company operating profitably at 70 percent capacity is worth more than a company currently near capacity. Equipment should be up to date and any leases – either equipment or real estate – renewable at reasonable rates.
Products or Services – A company is worth more if its products or services are proprietary, are diversified with some pricing power, and have, preferably, a recognizable brand name. In addition, new products or services should be introduced on a regular basis.
Customers – A company is worth more if there is not heavy customer concentration, but rather recurring revenue from long-time, loyal customers, as well as from new customers created through a regular and systematic sales process.
Competition – A company not contending head to head with powerful competitors such as Microsoft or Wal-Mart will rate a higher value.
Suppliers – Finally, a company is worth more if it is not dependent on single sourced key items or items available from only a limited number of suppliers.