It often goes like this, the Seller will call our office for a meeting to discuss selling their business. I will then visit them at the appointed time (if it is at their place of business it will usually be after hours or weekends). We will then have a general discussion about their business, what they do, how long they have been around, some of the challenges and opportunities in the business....etc. sooner or later the discussion will star to narrow down to the business financials, revenue and the value of it. Most business owners will tell me that they have "no idea" on what is the value of their business. And most will tell me, "my accountant told me...", "my lawyer told me ....", "my financial advisor told me....", "my Banker told me.....", etc...it seems like these days there are no shortages of "free opinion" on business values and suddenly everyone is an expert in business valuation.
I then try and educate them about what really matters about the business value........"What the market tells you", after all that is the one that matters most. Anyone can come up with a value of the business on paper, but what matters is what someone is willing to pay for it and produce a cheque with that number.
So my advice to all business owners who are thinking of selling their business in Alberta is this, get a business value opinion of your business from someone who has actually sold businesses.....not from those who can only tell you, but do go out and has to defend the price and get you that value.