Have you ever wondered why two companies in the same industry with similar financials and growth projections can be valued completely differently? What makes a buyer pay a premium for Company A while not paying a premium for Company B? Why can two buyers look at the same company and come up with valuations that are widely divergent? Aren’t both buyers essentially using the same projected financials to determine the “worth” of a potential investment? The answer to all of these questions can be summed up in two words: intangible assets.
The official definition of intangible assets is found below:
The assets of a business that have value but are nonphysical and not shown on the balance sheet
Intangible assets (also known at “off balance sheet” assets) are those items that essentially make your business unique. Their relative value will vary from buyer to buyer. As part of your evaluation process, it is vital that you do a complete analysis of what sets your company apart from other companies in your industry.
Quite often, identifying intangible assets is a very difficult process for a business owner to accomplish. We find that because business owners are so close to their companies, they often take what makes them unique for granted. Or they simply don’t have the time to adequately brainstorm a full list of intangible assets.
To help you out, we have compiled a sample checklist that you can use for your company. This list is designed specifically to focus on intangible assets for manufacturing enterprises. However, many of these apply to any business regardless of its focus. Use this list to help you brainstorm your company’s specific intangibles. (Note: This is simply a sampling of possible intangibles.)
By no means is this list exhaustive. Nor does it cover all the possible permutations and intangibles that your company may have. If you are attempting to market your company on your own, we would strongly suggest that you set aside three to four hours to meet with your trusted advisors who can help you brainstorm on this topic. This step is so vital that we cannot stress it enough.
When you develop your list of specific buyer types, you will base whom you approach on these intangibles. Again, each buyer will value what you do differently. If you do your homework and clearly document what makes you unique, your odds of finding a buyer willing to pay a premium for your business go up dramatically.
If you are fortunate enough to be using an M&A advisor, they will do most of this work for you. They will have the experience needed to ask you key questions in order to really get to know your business and to delve into areas that you may take for granted. If you would like to learn more about how the Generational Equity evaluation process works, please contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. If you qualify, you will be invited to attend one of our M&A workshops that we hold around the country on a weekly basis. While at a workshop, you will learn more about the value of intangibles and how they can be used to find the optimal buyer for your business.
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The process was much more involved than I expected and your help, experience and advice was a big factor in making the negotiations go as smoothly as possible.Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
I am pleased that I was able to work with Andrew Byrd throughout this experience. From the first meeting we had in Minneapolis I felt that I was in good hands. His knowledge and expertise is second to none. He guided the process consistently throughout. I feel lucky that I was pared with Andrew and could not be happier that I chose Generational Equity to handle this major life event. Thank you Andrew and GenEq for everything!Eric Erlandson, Owner, Action Fastenings, Inc.
Michael worked tirelessly, He followed every lead meticulously and urgently to make sure nothing was missed.Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
We were happy to see the interest in our company and what we cherished has not just a valuable company but an important company to the communities we served in.Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
I need to say an immense thank you to Don Ho for his stellar work ethic, attention to detail, and tireless effort. Also thank you to the whole crew at GE! Without you, Don could not do such a phenomenal job. We were shooting for closing and funding before the end of 2020, due to the uncertainty of the political landscape and taxes. I am happy to report we closed last week and will be funding tomorrow.Dr. Caty J. Catron PhD, RN, VA-BC – Owner, Vic The Picc, LLC
We are extremely pleased with the way Generational Equity handled the sale of our company. Your associates, Tom and Chris, did an outstanding job of getting us (me) through the process.Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
Thanks again Phil and feel free to have a future client call me if they would like a referral. You are a true professional!Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
I would like to thank you and your firm, Generational Equity, for being our valued advisors in our journey.Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
We will highly recommend Generational Equity and Musa Jagne to any business owner about to embark on the same process.Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
T.D., thank you so much! You are a great leader! I love how you are using your gifts and talents to better others. You are clearly a GREAT COACH! This 3 day session undoubtedly changed the future of our business, and very well may have been the sole catalyst to save my company, my health and my marriage! A genuine “thank you” from the bottom of my heart.Bryan D. Horn, Owner, Over Under Clothing
We knew it would be a difficult task to have someone really understand our business and our market, prior to researching a possible buyer, so it was imperative that we found someone of your caliber, with definite proven experience in this area.Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
Dear Chris and Andre, I just wanted to say thanks for all your help. Even though this process was not an easy one, it was comforting to know that I had a capable team standing beside me. You made me feel like we were almost your only client or at least the most important one. Thanks again, and I will recommend your service in the future.Shenille Engelhart, Owner – CLS Technology
I quickly recognized that Don was working for Sharpe Mixers above all else, and held our interests above others.Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
Greetings Mike. Thank you for the captivating and compelling presentation you made at the Phoenix presentation last week. Over many years in business yours was the most informative and well-presented presentation, on any subject, that I have ever attended! Your energy and enthusiasm combined with your concise and captivating support of your positions with easily understood examples and data was compelling.Pete L.
I couldn’t have asked for a better team than Michael and Deborah. We couldn’t have done it without them.Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
We thank you Eric and Generational Equity making our dream come true.Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
Tom Staszak is one of the most professional people I have dealt with in my last forty years of business. You’ve got a great group of people and you have built a truly professional organization.Michael J Polarek, President, Paragon Packaging
Generational Equity’s assistance was invaluable in compiling and marketing our business.Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
Thank you again for all your guidance and support. Any company will achieve what they intend, if they have you on their team!Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
I must say that I have never worked with a more driven, competent and focused individual as Don Ho.Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
Generational Equity educated and informed us – so that we could be on the upside of a good decision (to sell).Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
Bruce and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank Generational Equity for assigning Musa Jagne to our transaction. In Bruce’s words, “Musa did one hell of a job for us!”Karen S. Williams, CFO, BW Manufacturing
Your wisdom and experience were invaluable to me during this once-in-a-lifetime transaction.Ralph Noblin, President of Noblin & Associates
I wanted to write you a quick letter to express our appreciation and our delight on the outcome of helping us through the process of our recent sale. We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
The help you provided us during each step of this process made us feel very comfortable and confident we were selecting the right approach to transition our Company.Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
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