What I’d Tell You About Business Value if We Only Had 5 Minutes


Everyone is pressed for time these days. Running here and there and yet the stakes and risks we face in our business have maybe never been higher. If we only had five minutes to speak about business value, what would I tell you?

Focus on Cash Flow
I’ve spoken about this in other posts including here, herehere, and here. For non-valuation experts, it bears repeating. Cash flow is what you have left after everything. All your operating expenses, capital expenditures, taxes, debt, and working capital needs. Despite its importance, cash flow is often difficult to find on your financial statements and tax returns. The good news is you can learn how to calculate cash flow or work with me to help. Once you understand it, you will be light years ahead of many of your competitors and other private companies, many of which put all of their focus on sales. After you have a handle on cash flow, you’ll start to ask, “What will drive this number up?” 

Focus on People
You would be wise to look to experts in human capital and leadership. Two of my favorites are Patrick Lencioni and Jim Collins. What they found is that the right people with the right behaviors (which can be learned) can win in any industry. Product or service advantages often dissipate over time. What’s interesting is this falls under the category of “simple but not easy.” The tools are there and they work but many do not stick with them long enough to see the incredible results. You can be one of the few who do if you want to invest the time and effort. More hereherehere, and here. How do we get cash flow and people to work?

Focus on Time
This is where we started since you only had five minutes. And that’s how we’ll end it. Make every minute count and focus on activities as an owner, CEO, or manager that add the highest value you bring with your unique abilities. Delegate [and/or] outsource everything else. Many of us get sucked into tasks, meetings, and various interruptions that add no value to our business. We must get comfortable saying “No” and spend most of the precious few hours we have each day on dedicated, deep work that adds business value. You’re not going to be good at everything that will bring more value to your business and that’s okay. More on this herehere, and here


Sign up for this blog here if you want tools to increase the value of your business or want a refreshing view on business valuation from a recovering CPA. I’m Josh Horn, CPA, CVA of Horn Valuation. I value businesses for growth and exits with a focus on HVAC and trade contractors. I also assist litigation and divorce attorneys as a business valuation consulting or testifying expert. My clients are business owners and attorneys. If you’d like more information, email me at [email protected], or call me at 217-649-8794.

I’m a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and credentialed in business valuation (CVA). I’ve been a tax and business consultant in a top 100 CPA firm and a controller in a large international company. I’ve also valued and advised small family-owned and multimillion-dollar companies. You can connect with me here on LinkedInFacebookTwitter, YouTube and Instagram.

“Once-in-a-lifetime events demand an expert.”
 Josh Horn, CPA and Certified Valuation Analyst