Realizing Value Potential
I’m a big fan of antiquities. Old world design is a beautiful thing to look at and it gives you such an amazing insight into how the world was years ago. What was important to people now was never even thought of 200 years ago. I have a favorite antiques store that I often frequent. I struggle to imagine the huge amount of history that is in every one of the pieces for sale and the story of how they came to be in this store and the value placed on them by their previous owners and new buyers.
Once in a blue moon, the owner will come up to me and tell me of a great new item he’s just got in. It may be a piece that has been stowed away for a hundred years by its precious keeper. The piece may only just now be seeing the light of day. The dealer tells me the owners always think they have the greatest newfound treasure; something that he has never seen before. The man has been in the business for 50 years. He knows what he’s talking about and can tell you the worth of an object immediately. The owners are all right of course, the objects they bring to his store are worth something, but none of them ever knows how much.
In order to make a good decision on what to do with an object, you have to know how much it is worth. Worth may be based on its current value, its ability to appreciate or even its sentimental value. We will be faced with the decision with whether to sell it now or assume the risk that it might appreciate. At Sukay & Associates, we find most agency owners have some knowledge of the value of their business. As financial advisors who represent insurance brokers in business transactions, we are commonly asked one question “How much is my agency worth?” Besides market and economic conditions and location, factors such as revenue growth and lines of business all have an effect on the valuation of an agency.
It is impossible however to estimate the value of an insurance agency without performing a financial analysis. You could be sitting on a treasure. Most likely you own a valuable asset that could become more valuable if it certain additional actions are undertaken. We have been very successful by working with agency owners to help them take off the dust off their treasures. An owner is more satisfied with the results of a sale if we are able to increase their profit margin from 10% to 35%. This sounds like an impossible exercise. It is not difficult if the process is conducted properly. Most importantly, it isn’t about just profits. It is about having the best structured company that serves the interests of the owner, employees and clients. When we take the agency to a potential owner, we want them to be very excited that we have just brought them a valuable treasure.