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3 Non-Financial Factors That Could Impact Your Business’ Value

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3 Non-Financial Factors That Could Impact Your Business' Value

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Determining a business’ value is not all about adding up revenue and subtracting expenses. While an important piece, these hard numbers are only half the equation for computing what a company is worth. To come up with the true value, we also look at factors like the level of owner involvement, company goals and growth opportunities. When we use the complete equation, we get a comprehensive picture of a business and can better understand the story of its past, present and future.

Calculations may vary depending on the company, but in a healthy one, there is about a 50/50 split between the quantitative (financial) and qualitative (non-financial) sides of performance. If the business isn’t profitable, it’s more important to focus on the quantitative side and fix the numbers first. Many owners don’t want to hear that, but if they’re not hitting their numbers, it may mean the business is not working. They must fix the quantitative issues before moving to the qualitative side.

Related: What Is a Balance Sheet and Why Does Your Business Need One?

For healthy companies that want to maximize their value, the qualitative indicators can be bundled into three main categories.

Evaluating quality

1. The owner’s goals

We’ve found significant research showing that if an owner has defined goals and plans for the future that are in line with market expectations for their company’s value, they’re going to have a much stronger exit. What is the owner’s defined goal for exiting the business — to get the most money, to take care of their employees and to ensure a legacy? You must then get to the “why” behind the goals and devise a plan of action. It almost doesn’t matter what the answers to the questions are; having achievable goals and a strategy for reaching them can increase the company’s value because it keeps the owner focused on improving the other areas of the business.

2. The owner’s role

The extent of the owner’s involvement is a critical indicator, but perhaps not for the reason you think. The more involved the owner is in day-to-day operations, the more central they are to the business, the less the business will be worth down the road. If the owner is the linchpin that holds everything together, what will happen to the company when they leave? Evaluating operations is more about the system and the structure of the team. Look at the organizational chart and who’s on it – are they good employees or bad employees? Examine the company’s processes and procedures and how new team members are trained and onboarded. The owner sets the vision, but it’s the team that increases company value by carrying out the vision.

3. Growth opportunities

Nobody wants to buy a business and keep it exactly as it is. They want to see potential for growth in the future, especially the potential for return on their investment as a buyer. Whether it’s a simple price increase or new locations, whoever buys the business is going to ask about growth opportunities. Indicators like product or service diversification in both the company and the industry it’s in give a good sense of whether the company is moving forward or standing still (and at risk of going backward). The more potential you can show, the more upside there will be for the next owner — adding up to greater value.

Related: 8 Factors That Determine the Financial Health of a Business

Cycle of success

When the qualitative side of the equation is working, it all ties together. The owner knows the goals, which are aligned with where the company is going, and is leading the organization but working themselves out of the day-to-day operations; the business grows and creates more growth opportunities for the next owner. Paired with profitable numbers, it’s a cycle that builds a high-quality business.

For the best owners, it takes a minimum of three to five years to get that cycle working for you and have reliable indicators of your value. Making it part of a 10-year strategy is even better.

At Exit Factor, we have 62 different qualitative indicators that we use for determining company worth. We don’t use them all, or even close to that, for every business; it’s usually a matter of tweaking three to five of the 62 indicators. Figure out which of those 62 are essential for your company, and you’ll have a truly forward-looking strategy for profitable growth.

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Barbara Corcoran Says All Good Leaders Have This 1 Quality

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Barbara Corcoran Says All Good Leaders Have This 1 Quality

Corcoran Group founder and “Shark Tank” star Barbara Corcoran knows how to run a tight ship — but she also knows when to relinquish control.

The 75-year-old real estate pioneer and entrepreneur took to Instagram on Wednesday to share advice on hiring and delegating.

Related: Barbara Corcoran: All ‘Really Successful Entrepreneurs’ Do This

First, she says, embrace your inner “control freak” — it’s part of the job.

“Anybody who’s a good boss, I’ve learned, is a control freak. It just comes with the territory, and control freaks have a heck of a hard time delegating,” Corcoran explained. “They’re the last people who want to give away what they do so perfectly.”

Corcoran says in order for your business to grow, though, it’s important to find someone who can do the job 80% as well as you can. If you find a candidate who can do that, invest in them to “build your business and move it ahead.”

Corcoran said she goes through a three-question litmus test before hiring someone to create a strong pool of employees.

Related: Barbara Corcoran Issues Statement, Warning on NAR Settlement

“I ask myself, ‘Are they happy? Do they work hard? Are they talented people in one regard or another?’ And if they are, I hire them, and I delegate something to them that’s above their pay grade, above their talent pool, so they have to reach and show me how good they are, and that’s how you develop talent,” she said.

“It’s not just a matter of delegating, it’s a matter of developing talent, and then delegating to the talent,” she added.

Corcoran’s net worth is an estimated $400 million.



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Beware of These Risky Sales Tactics That Are Doomed to Fail or Backfire

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Beware of These Risky Sales Tactics That Are Doomed to Fail or Backfire

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

True story: Recently, my daughter was at a major brand car dealership with her boyfriend, intending to purchase a pre-owned car. Note I made up the numbers for the sake of my daughter’s financial privacy, but the takeaways are still the same.

The dealership asked for, let’s say, $26,000 “all in” for the car, but my daughter had already decided that $20,000 was the most she would pay. There was a lot of ground to cover to actually make a deal happen. After some discussion, the salesperson did his best, dropping the price to $25,000. But that still left a big gap, so he told her, “Let me go check with my manager and see if he has any ideas.”

After five minutes, the salesperson and his manager entered the room together. The manager explained that at $25,000, this was a great price; it was already well below their MSRP, and the deal was “very thin” as it was for him. He then used the famous line, “Okay, here’s what I’m going to do to get you into this car today.” The manager pulled out a piece of paper with revised numbers that showed his price now at $23,995. He explained to my daughter that this was the absolute best possible price. He was “all in;” this was his “best offer,” and he told her to take it or leave it. For the grand finale — keeping in mind that this is a 100% true story — the manager took out a big red ink stamp and smacked it down on the paper. The stamp read “FINAL” in bold red ink. $23,995. FINAL.

My daughter responded, “Thanks, but I’m sorry; it looks like it’s not going to work out.” Without hesitation, he immediately blurted out, “How about $22,500?”

When my daughter told me the story, I had a wonderful laugh. After the big show, the manager held his price for a full six seconds. And the idea of the red final stamp just made the story even better. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized there’s actually quite a lot to unpack here regarding sales tactics, psychology and effectiveness.

Related: 3 Unconventional Sales Tactics That Will Close More Deals

I’m not in the car business, and I’ve never sold cars, but I can see some familiar sales tactics (and mistakes) playing out here:

Playing the waiting game

All this went down after my daughter had spent hours on the lot. It was getting late in the day on a Saturday, and the manager knew she was hoping to get it done. At some level, the manager was wearing her down and playing out the clock, playing the “waiting game.” It didn’t work in this case, but often, this notion of using time as a weapon can be very effective. Utilizing time as a strategic element in the negotiation process can be effective, but it must be used carefully and respectfully. Pushing too hard on time constraints can backfire.

Closing the deal by changing the sales lineup

When the salesperson reached his personal negotiation line or felt he would lose her, he brought in his manager. In addition to adding some time to the clock, this step created a new opportunity for a new dynamic. The dealership never really wants a potential buyer to walk out the door, so if one person doesn’t get the job done, it’s always worth trying someone else. Involving a manager or company administrator in the negotiation process can create new dynamics and opportunities for closing a deal.

Proposing your best and final offer

Although I laughed hysterically when I heard about the red stamp, I soon realized it was actually a smart move. Once upon a time, I’m guessing some sales and marketing people sat in a room, and someone said, “I have an idea — let’s make a red stamp that says final and use that during negotiations.” Everyone probably laughed, and they would have said, “No, I’m serious!” And then everyone thought about it and agreed, as funny of an idea as it was, it actually made sense. It’s one thing to tell someone something verbally, but when it’s “official” and in red ink on paper, it’s human nature to believe it and take it as indisputable. Using psychological sales tactics to create a Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) effect, such as a “Final Offer” stamp, can be effective in conveying seriousness and finality, but you have to honor your word, or you will likely lose credibility.

All the tactics I outlined above were smart, but here’s where I think the dealership dropped the ball:

Trying a shutdown move too soon

The manager came in cold, and rather than take some time (again, time is on their side) to talk about the value, create some alignment, and build some rapport, he went straight for the kill. That tactic may work, but I felt it was too aggressive. He would have been better off discussing the pain points and goals concerning the product, coming up with some extra incentives, etc. Understanding the customer’s needs, discussing the product’s value and building rapport and trust can be crucial in successful sales.

Related: How to Master Your Sales Success — Why Every Answer and Rejection Matters

Putting an out-of-reach offer on the table

The manager decided to go for the close in a fairly aggressive way. In some cases, that tactic makes sense. But he played it all wrong with the numbers. He knew they were a full $5,000 or 20% off, and he decided to put it all on the line at $23,995. Obviously, given how fast he dropped another thousand, he had plenty more room. If he was going for the hard close and “FINAL” offer, he should have made it more compelling. By putting on the big show and then immediately dropping his price, he completely lost credibility and lowered the odds of closing. In this case, he lost my daughter’s trust and the sale. In negotiation, it’s important to understand the other party’s budget and limits before making an offer. Being aware of their constraints will increase the likelihood of closing a deal.

Saying your offer is “final” when it’s not

If you offer something of value at a good price and tell them it’s “final” (which I personally don’t recommend as a sales tactic), then stand by it and mean it. Your word has to mean something. Once he realized his “final” price was not going to work, rather than lower it, he could have thrown in some additional valuable incentive, perhaps some amount of free service or some kind of special financing. If a “final offer” is presented, standing by it as your final word is essential. If adjustments are needed, they should include additional incentives or value to maintain trust and credibility.

Sales is an art, no doubt about that. A great salesperson builds a relationship, asks questions and listens, understands the client’s pain points, is honest and transparent, and operates with integrity. Of course, strategies, techniques, incentives, and a lot of human emotion and psychology are at play, but all of them can happen successfully without losing your credibility.

So, the overall moral of my story? Choose wisely before using the big red stamp!

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Why Morgan Stanley Analysts Doubled Apple iPhone Predictions

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Why Morgan Stanley Analysts Doubled Apple iPhone Predictions

Apple entered the AI game last month with Apple Intelligence, a suite of new features designed to bring AI straight to iPhone, iPad, and Mac screens. Apple’s AI has a catch though: it only works on the newest iPhones and it could be the reason why millions of iPhone users with older models seriously think about upgrading, say Morgan Stanley analysts.

Morgan Stanley analysts named Apple a top-pick stock on Monday, after which Apple shares jumped to an all-time high, per Bloomberg. Apple Intelligence is a “clear catalyst” for iPhone upgrades and will enable Apple to sell nearly half a billion iPhones in the next two years, analyst Eric Woodring stated.

Apple Intelligence is expected to come out this fall for the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max — older iPhones will not have access to Apple’s AI. The update offers AI-generated emojis, a smarter Siri, and direct access to ChatGPT, though some anticipated Siri AI upgrades may arrive next year.

Related: Apple Is Expanding What The iPhone Can Do. Here’s What’s Changing Right Away.

“We believe that there is record level of pent-up demand entering the iPhone 16 cycle later this year,” Woodring noted, adding that Apple Intelligence delivers “unique-to-the-Apple-ecosystem” value.

Morgan Stanley previously forecasted that Apple would sell around 230 million iPhones in the same time frame, making the new prediction more than double the previous one.

Apple is also uniquely positioned to be the AI “base camp” for its customers, “just as it has done for digital content (iPod) and social media (iPhone),” wrote Morgan Stanley analyst Ananda Baruah.

Apple CEO Tim Cook waves to customers before they enter Apple’s 5th Avenue store. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Other analysts at different firms have made similar predictions. Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives told Reuters in June that more than 15% of existing iPhone users could buy the new iPhone Apple is expected to release this fall.

Related: Apple Labels These 3 Iconic Products ‘Vintage,’ and Soon-to-Be ‘Obsolete’

Ives estimated that 270 million iPhone users have not bought a new model in the past four years.

More than half of Apple’s overall revenue in the second quarter of 2024 came from iPhones; Apple has the majority of the market share for smartphones in the U.S.

At the time of writing, Apple was the largest company in the world with a $3.584 trillion market cap. Microsoft, Nvidia, Google, and Amazon followed.

Related: Warren Buffett Had to Work From His iPhone After Telephone Lines Went Down at Berkshire Hathaway: ‘I’m Glad We Didn’t Sell All of Our Apple’

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