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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Your hands-on guide to calculating — and understanding — business value

Want to determine the value of a business, but not sure where to start? This plain-English guide gives you step-by-step directions for the major valuation methods, supporting them with real-world examples. You'll work with easy-to-understand valuation models and apply them to different types of businesses to achieve the fairest, most affordable valuation solution.

  • Business valuation 101 — learn what it is, why it's a challenge, and the approaches that experts take to uncover value (or the lack of it)
  • Grasp key valuation tools — understand valuation reports, financial statements, and "rule of thumb" guidelines for specific businesses

  • Get to the heart of it — analyze historical performance, evaluate assets and income value, and estimate cost of capital

  • If you're selling a business — see how to conduct due diligence and increase your company's value

  • If you're buying a business — incorporate valuation into the necessary prep before negotiation

  • Seek help from the experts — from divorce to estate planning to attracting outside investors, know when and why you should get outside valuation help

Open the book and find:

  • Real-world advice on planning and executing valuation
  • The role of the supporting players in the valuation process

  • Detailed case studies on buying and selling businesses

  • How forensic accounting fits into valuation

  • The soft and hard skills needed for successful valuation

  • What to build into a partnership agreement

  • Why you should pause before transforming your company into an ESOP

About the Author

Lisa Holton is a former business editor and reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times. Today, she heads The Lisa Company, a writing, editing, and research firm. She's a writer for corporations, colleges, and nonprofits nationwide, and has written more than 13 books.

Jim Bates is Vice President, Transaction Support, for the Christman Group, a middle-market investment banking firm based in Palatine, IL.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (May 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470344016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470344019
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #155,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lisa Holton/Biography

Lisa Holton heads The Lisa Company, a writing, editing and research firm. She is a former Business Editor and reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times and a busy writer, blogger, producer and project manager at publications, corporations and institutions in the United States and Europe.

Lisa has more than 25 years of experience writing about business, management and money topics. She has authored, edited or co-written 15 books as an author or as a ghostwriter. Lisa's most recent titles include "Business Valuation for Dummies" and "For Members Only: A History and Guide to Chicago's Oldest Private Clubs."

At the Sun-Times, Lisa was a Pulitzer Prize nominee and a business section generalist covering a variety of beats, including finance, healthcare, personal finance, retailing and technology.

Lisa is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and a former national board member of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW). She is a current member of the Authors Guild, ASJA and the Society of Midland Authors.

In her spare time, Lisa writes screenplays and short stories and is addicted to movies and theater. Her feature screenplay "The Plant" was a quarterfinalist for the 2002 Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting offered by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She has attended the film program at Chicago's Columbia College and completed film production courses at Chicago Filmmakers Workshop.



Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Dan C. on August 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am an M&A professional so valuations are key in my business. As of recently (August 09), I now have a decent book that I can hand out to my interns as an introduction. I've read many Valuation books over the years and this is the best intro I've seen to date. Not that some of the others were bad, rather, this one is really really good. Good show! Five well deserved stars!!!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gustavo on April 25, 2010
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It's well written for both beginners and professionals, and let's you have a good understanding on the steps needed for a comprehensive business valuation, whether you are a seller, a buyer or an advisor.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By James Poag on March 23, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There's no exact value that you can put on a business. Instead of explicitly stating that, this book dances around real valuation techniques and instead suggests enlisting professional help at just about every turn.

Warren Buffet says, "Price is what you pay, value is what you get." Owners will try to overvalue their business, buyers will try to under pay for it.

The book would have been better off as a collection of valuation examples. The two examples in the book are anecdotal and lament the lack of a professional valuation expert. There's not a lot of math in the book, and the math that is in it isn't served by any hard examples.

Seriously, I learned more in five minutes on YouTube than I did reading this entire book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By captainmidnigt on April 17, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Nice quick start for subject. Wish there had been a template or sample valuation, model, or discounted cash flow to follow.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon user on January 23, 2013
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This book seems over obsessed with Divorce. While divorce is a reason one would want to do a business evaluation, it does not merit more than a paragraph or two. I certainly don't expect a detailed discussion of prenuptial and post nuptial agreements in a book on Business Valuation. Also, the advice to seek expert counsel was rampant through the book, we get it already. There were only two chapters worth reading which contained information on financial ratios. The rest was garbage.
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By Rodger Dodger on March 14, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The dummy book gives more information that the more expensive hard bound valuation books.
It is written in language the even my clients can understand. It should be required reading
for all business majors, since nothing practical is being taught in today's Marxist curriculum.
It has more rule of thumbs than I have fingers and toes. It has valuation formulas for all the common
business classifications.
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The book Business Valuation for Dummies is a very basic introduction to the world of business valuation. It feels like more of an overview of what to look out for or situations that cause a need for valuation. A few data ratios are given on what to look out for but the rest just recommends to hire a professional.
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Ok as very general introduction into the subject matter. I realize it's a for dummies book, and I've read several of them before, but I feel a little more in depth information would have been vary helpful. Maybe super dummies would like this, but regular dummies like myself could've used more useful info.
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