Mike’s client froze when he asked, “Have you thought about retirement and what that might look like for your business?” He inquired because the last tax season had raised a few red flags. There seemed to be a discrepancy between his client’s expectations and the likely sale price of his business. So, as his accountant, Mike wanted to ensure he positions himself to receive the highest ROI upon transition. To do so, they have to talk openly about what it’ll take to grow the company value.
Today, many accountants are taking on a more forward-looking role. In fact, a study conducted by Sleeter Group revealed that small and medium sized business owners want and expect proactive advice from their CPAs. Thus, many firms have started discussions with clients about business valuation during the off season. It’s a natural next step. CPAs already help clients maintain good accounting and management records. Adding an educational component to their services is a smart next step to help build credibility and earn trust.
Follow these steps to increase the value of your client’s business:
1. Approach the subject – Tough questions are hard to ask. Especially when it comes to someone’s greatest asset like their business. But what if the hard questions could increase your client’s worth? Would you be more willing to probe? The best way to start is by asking your client how much they think their company is worth today. You may be surprised to find a gap in their beliefs and their reality. If there is, ask them if they’d be interested in learning about the valuation process and how it can increase the price of their business. Then set time to meet in-person to talk.
2. Share your knowledge – Valuations often reveal operational issues. Once identified, show them how simple improvements could boost financial performance. Money speaks volumes and can be the driving force needed to get your client to act.
3. Schedule routine meetings – Growing a company is an ongoing conversation. A business valuation can help determine the critical data that needs assessment. From there, regular meetings can be set to track KPIs. Get started by downloading and reviewing with your client Quist Valuation’s Checklist: 6 Key Drivers for Increasing Business Value.
Preparing to sell or transition a business is one of the most difficult decisions your clients will face. Be the trusted advisor they need. Start by showing them the real value of their business as it stands today. Together you can work towards a plan for growth. Then, when it comes time to act, they’ll be equipped with records that confirm strong earnings, good management, and great accounting; three fundamentals all buyers seek in a desirable company.
Commit to setting up your clients for success. There is no time like the present. Get the conversation started today!
Want to bounce your ideas off an expert? Colorado-based Quist Valuation has 35-years of experience in business valuation. Let’s set a time to brainstorm how we can help you increase business. We can discuss specific clients and some general ideas we’ve recently shared with a few key partners like you.
Schedule a consultation with Quist here.