How To Calculate a Business Valuation for Construction Trade?

Calculating a Business Valuation for Construction Trade

Are you wondering how to calculate a business valuation? Valuing any business can be challenging and overwhelming be it a construction trade or screen printing business. In the business valuation industry, valuing construction companies can be particularly difficult due to factors such as demand cycles, work in process valuation and bid versus time and material estimating/billing. Thus, it requires a professional, experienced construction valuation professional who understand industry factors and can help you get the best valuation possible. So, to understand the valuation of the construction trade, we will learn about some of the key factors that influence the valuation.

Key Factors to Consider in Valuation for Construction Trades

Do you want to get the valuation of a construction business or construction trades business valuation? If so, you must be perplexed or curious about the factors that might affect how much your construction company is worth. Some of the important criteria are listed below.

1. Income-Based Valuations

Maximizing owners cash flow (eg total compensation to owner including perqs and adjusted for non-recurring income-expense) is one of the most crucial factors in considering how to calculate a business valuation. The historical and predicted cash flows of the company are used in income-based appraisals to calculate value. Appraisers can employ either the capitalization of earnings method or the discounted cash flow method with this approach. The cash flow method enables appraisers to predict future earnings over a predetermined period. The capitalization of earnings technique uses a single normalized annual cash flow estimate to assume a constant growth rate.

2. Valuations Based on Assets

The asset-based approach determines a company’s estimated equity value by subtracting liabilities from assets adjusted to market values. Assets can include real property, tangible personal property, intangible assets, notes, work in process, backlog, and accounts receivable. An equipment appraisal is sometimes recommended when using this approach. This method is particularly important in heavy construction which often heavily invests in large, expensive or specialized earth-moving equipment.

3. Valuations Based on Market

The performance of the business is assessed using transaction data from similar industry and sized companies (competitors). For instance, an appraiser may study performance data from related or comparable construction firms to create a fair market value assessment. The end goal is to evaluate a company’s value by applying various ratios of value to financial indicators or non-financial variables of roughly comparable benchmark companies based on actual sales of comparable companies.

What Factors Drive Value in the Construction Trade?

adamnobleSo far, we have gotten to know some of the basics of how valuation of a construction business is calculated. Next, we will learn about factors that drive value. It will help the business sellers prioritize, plan and execute accordingly.

1. Fixed Assets of the Company

Fixed assets, such as furniture, machinery, structures, and land, must be considered when valuing a business. If a business has a lot of assets, debt financing may be used. The procedure may include a qualified equipment appraisal to establish fair market value based on age and condition. CapEx (capital expenditures) need to be estimated for future replacement of these fixed assets.

2. Backlog

As the intention of any valuation is a future picture of the company, the organization’s backlog is a good metric. In particular, if the appraiser employs an asset-based strategy, backlog must be considered as the business can count on future profit from these jobs.

3. Company Leaders’ Relationship

What is the role of the Company Leaders?  Are they also owners? Family members? Relationships between business executives, client base, and important project partners can materially affect a company’s value. Spreading customer relationships among employees (versus owners) can increase the value of the business, while reducing potential buyers’ fears of customer loss. When evaluating a company, contractual agreements should be considered, particularly those that produce a competitive advantage.

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4. Customer Base 

Does the business have a diverse customer base, or does most of its income come from a small number of important clients? A concentrated customer base increases risk, which could impact value.  Are the customers in diverse industries, or mainly concentrated in one or two?

5. Risk of Litigation

In the construction industry, litigation is a real possibility. The appraisal will need to consider liabilities related to past, ongoing, or upcoming litigation. And it can also play an important role in the valuation of the construction trade business.

6. Source of Work – Owners or General Contractors

Construction trades work may come from owners or general contractors. GC work is typically less favorable as the relationship can turn based on a poor bid.  And it will also play an important role in the valuation of the construction trade business or any patented products business valuation.

7. Bid Versus Negotiated Time and Materials Pricing

Pricing in the construction trades industry is driven by many factors.  Open, competitive bids typically result in reduced margins.  Negotiated time and materials pricing, based on trusted relationships with the customer, usually are the best for all parties.  The customer is provided dedicated service and skilled trades;  the construction company earns higher margins for providing a long term commitment.

Need Help with Your Construction Trade Business Valuation? We Got You!

Adam Noble Group, LLC is a leading national M&A advisory firm that helps qualified strategic, corporate, private equity, partners, management, and first-time buyers acquire valuable firms from exit-minded business owners. As business owners prepare for and complete their company’s discrete, confidential exit, we develop a rapport, create trust, and instruct them in the processes to achieve their exit goals. Construction trades, manufacturers, aerospace and defense industry, oilfield services, craft breweries, partnership buyouts, manufacturing, service, and wholesale distributors are just a few of our M&A and business broker specialties. Confidentially contact us regarding how to calculate a construction business valuation.

For 3 decades, we have been guiding business owners and their families CONFIDENTIALLY to exit their construction trade businesses with the BIGGEST paycheck of their life!