There are unique attributes of a company that make it more attractive to a possible acquirer and/or more valuable. Certainly, the numbers are important, but potential buyers will also look beyond them. Factors that make your company special or unique can often not only make the difference in a possible sale or merger, but also can dramatically increase value. Review the following to see if any of them apply to your company and if they are transferable to new ownership.
Brand name or identity
Does your product or services have a well recognisable name? It doesn’t have to be Kleenex or Coke, but a name that might be well known in a specific geographic region, or a name that is identified with a specific product or service. A brand with a unique appearance or image is a big plus.
Dominant market position
Being the major player in a niche market is a dominant position. Possible purchasers and acquirers look to the major players in a particular industry regardless of how small it is.
Newsletters and other publications have, over the years, built mailing lists and subscriber lists that create a unique loyalty base. Just as many personal services have created this base, a number of other factors have contributed to the building of it. The resulting loyalty may allow the company to charge a higher price for its product or service.
Difficulty of replication
A company that produces a product or service that cannot be easily replicated has an advantage over other firms.
Technology, trade secrets, specialised applications, confidentiality agreements protecting proprietary information – all of these can add value to a company. These factors may not be copyrighted or patented, but if a chain of confidentiality is built – then these items can be unique to the company.
There are certainly other unique factors that give a company a special appeal to a prospective purchaser and, at the same time, increase value. Many business owners have to go beyond the numbers and take an objective look at the factors that make their company unique.
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