There are factors that can make your company unique in the marketplace. Certain attributes of a company can make it more attractive to a possible buyer. It may even make it more valuable to a potential buyer. Potential buyers will look beyond the numbers. Factors that make your company unique can often make the difference in a possible sale or merger. It can also increase the value of your company. Here are some examples of factors that can make your company unique.
A Dominant Market Position
A major player in a niche market is a dominant position. A company doesn’t have to be a Fortune 500 business to have a dominant position. Possible buyers, such as buy-out groups, look to the major players in a particular industry regardless of how small it is.
Identity or Brand Name
Do any of your products have a name that might be well known? It doesn’t have to be Nike or Kleenex, but a name that might be well known in a specific geographic region. It could be a name that is identified with a specific product. A product with a unique image, taste, or appearance is also a big plus. For example, Tim’s Potato Chips have a unique regional identity, and also a distinctive taste. Both factors are big pluses when it comes time to sell.
A recognizable franchise name can be a big plus. A long and favorable lease (assuming it can be transferred to a new owner) can be desirable for a retail business. Other examples of intangible assets that can create value are customer lists, proprietary software, and an effective marketing program.
Many companies have built mailing lists and subscriber lists over the years. These create a unique loyalty base. The resulting loyalty may allow the company to charge a higher price for its product or service.
The ability to charge less for similar products is a unique factor. Some companies do this by building alliances with designers or manufacturers. In some cases, these alliances develop into partnerships so that a lower price can be offered.
Difficulty of Replication
A company has an advantage over other firms if it produces a product or service that cannot be easily replicated. Some companies have government licensing or agreements that are granted on a very limited basis. Others provide tie-ins that limit others from competing. For example, a coffee company that provides free coffee makers with the use of their coffee.
Technology, trade secrets, specialized 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 other factors that can make your company unique, add a special appeal to a prospective buyer, and at the same time increase value. Business owners need to go beyond the numbers and take an objective look at the factors that make their company unique. The team at EBIT Associates can help you identify these factors.