How do you make a business more valuable?

It seems like a simple question, with a simple answer: make it more profitable. Profit is a core measure of business health the same way your blood pressure is a core measure of your physical health.

However, profit is an objective measure and value is not objective, it’s subjective. The fancy coffee I buy from a friend of mine is valuable to me, but you might be happy drinking tea (heathen). What we value differs.

Your business will differ in value depending on who is evaluating it:

  • It might be valuable to you because of the freedom it provides, the control it offers, or the higher upside possible in your compensation.
  • It’s valuable to customers in porportion to the value it creates for them.
  • It’s value to employees may be in culture, compensation, purpose, flexibility, experience, or people.
  • It’s value to an acquirer is often in its predictability or potential.

For each of these stakeholders, you can work to improve value. But it’s easiest to start with yourself, because you have perfect knowledge of your likes and dislikes.

So how do you make your business more valuable to you?

The temptation is to think of what you want for the business, like more leads or a higher profit, but think of it instead in terms of your experience within the business as an owner-operator.

What things are within your direct control today, that if you changed them, would make it more valuable to you tomorrow?