Franchise Business Valuation Multiples


How are Franchisees valued?

The franchise model is a great way to run a small business. Additionally, they end up being more sellable than the average small business.

Most franchisees will sell for 2.5 – 3.5 X annual profit.

Franchise portfolios sell for much higher multiples than when the franchise units are sold individually. This is because they appeal to larger investment groups and have more management infrastructure in place (not owner-operator reliant).

Talk to Raincatcher to see what your portfolio would sell for in our specialized auction process.

The franchise business model is desirable for a number of private equity firms and other investment groups. 

Many strong franchisors sell for 8 – 10 X+ their annual profit

If you have a large enough business to work with Raincatcehr or another firm that runs a true auction process, here is what you can expect:

It takes 1-2 months to get on the market, 2-3 months to market the deal and solicit offers, 1 month to meet with investment groups who submitted IOIs and another 2-3 months to get from LOI to close.

On average, It takes 8-9 months to sell a strong Franchisee or Franchisor Business.

Valuation metrics are crucial in evaluating the worth of a franchise business within its niche.

Understanding a franchise business’s worth is essential whether we’re talking about potential investors, buyers, or sellers. Valuation metrics provide valuable insights into the business’s financial well-being, growth potential, and competitive standing in the market. There are currently over 792,000 franchise businesses operating in the US.

This article will dissect the key valuation metrics specific to the franchise industry, shedding light on their significance, categorization, and the customary process for appraising such enterprises. We will also closely scrutinize the factors that influence these metrics and discuss how the distinctive characteristics of the franchise industry can introduce some variability within these metrics.

We will explore how the franchise industry’s ever-evolving landscape can impact these businesses’ valuation metrics, delivering invaluable perspectives and guidance for investors and franchise owners navigating the ever-changing industry.

How Valuation Multiples Work for Franchisee Companies

Valuation multiples play a pivotal role in gauging the worth of a franchise business. They provide valuable insights into your company’s financial standing and operational efficiency by benchmarking it against similar enterprises in the franchise market.

A comprehensive grasp of the mechanics behind valuation multiples and their relevance to the franchise industry empowers you to make well-informed choices regarding divesting your business or enticing potential investors.

Stay ahead in the franchise game by leveraging the power of valuation multiples tailored to your industry’s nuances.

What is Adjusted EBITDA and How Does it Affect Business Valuation?

Adjusted EBITDA stands for Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization, with adjustments made to reflect the company’s true financial performance. This metric is commonly used in the valuation of franchise businesses because it provides a clearer picture of the company’s profitability. Adjustments can include non-recurring expenses or one-time costs that may distort the financial results.

It’s worth noting that the term “Seller’s discretionary earnings” is frequently used interchangeably with Adjusted EBITDA in the context of a consulting firm valuation.

Finding the Appropriate Multiple for a Franchise Business

Pinpointing the ideal valuation multiple for your franchise business is essential. Elements like prevailing market dynamics, financial prowess, and industry standards are pivotal in zeroing in on the precise multiple.

This section is your roadmap to discovering the perfect multiple for your franchise business, ensuring you secure a favorable stance in the marketplace.

Franchise business valuation

The More Desirable Your Business is to an Investor, the Higher Multiple They Will Pay

When it comes to selling your franchise business, it’s crucial to understand your company’s appeal to potential investors. This can directly influence the valuation multiple they are willing to offer. One of the most attractive features of a franchise is the ability to use a proven business model. Most franchises have a uniform system for selecting store locations, hiring employees, and preparing the goods or services. A proven method gives a buyer the confidence and capability to operate a profitable business after the sale.

The business model also means that the products and services are consistent, regardless of where a particular franchise is located. Customers know what to expect, have confidence in the franchise brand, and drive repeat business — potentially leading to a higher valuation multiple.

Related Content

Learn more about the construction industry and check out a similar article on selling a franchise business.

The Valuation Factors That Make a Franchise Business More/Less Valuable:

Several factors can impact the value of your company. Understanding these factors will allow you to strategically focus on enhancing the value of your business.

  1. Brand Recognition: The strength of the franchise’s brand and its recognition in the market significantly impacts its value.
  2. Revenue and Profitability: A franchise with a consistent revenue and profitability history is generally more valuable than one with fluctuating earnings.
  3. Location and Geography: The franchise’s location, market saturation, and regional demand can influence its valuation.
  4. Growth Potential: Investors often assess the franchise’s potential for expansion and growth into new markets.
  5. Operational Efficiency: Efficient business processes, supply chain management, and cost control measures contribute to higher valuations.
  6. Franchisee Performance: Individual franchisees’ success and satisfaction can affect the franchise’s overall perception.
  7. Competitive Landscape: The level of competition within the franchise’s industry can influence its value.
  8. Longevity and History: A franchise with a long track record of success is generally seen as more valuable than a newer franchise.
  9. Industry Trends: Staying aligned with current trends and consumer preferences can boost a franchise’s value.
  10. Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Adherence to franchising laws and regulations is crucial for maintaining and enhancing a franchise’s value.

These factors collectively contribute to the overall valuation of a franchise business, impacting its attractiveness to potential buyers or investors.

Hear What Some of Our Clients Have to Say About Selling Their Business With Us

Who Buys Franchise Companies?

While potential buyers aim to acquire your business at the most favorable price, if your company holds significant appeal for sale and you’re collaborating with a reputable business broker like Raincatcher, you’ll likely receive multiple offers from prospective buyers. This multiplicity of offers holds significance as it provides us (and our clients) with negotiating leverage against the buyer, ultimately securing the highest possible value for your business.

In most cases, if your company generates profits exceeding $2 million, we anticipate receiving five or more offers from various entities, including private equity groups and strategic buyers. Private equity groups encompass teams of investment experts responsible for managing funds for external investors, often comprising high net-worth individuals or pension funds. These groups explore opportunities to acquire your company, acting on behalf of their investor base.

On the other hand, strategic buyers are companies that strategically align with your company’s area of expertise. They might be businesses with similar specialties or enterprises targeting the same end markets your company caters to. Generally speaking, strategic buyers are fewer in number. They often possess the capacity to offer a higher business valuation compared to private equity buyers, owing to their inherent synergies with your company’s operations.

With franchise businesses, there is also the opportunity to seek out interest from individual entrepreneurs, as many franchisees are individual entrepreneurs who want to own and operate their businesses. They are attracted to franchising because it offers a proven business model and brand recognition.

How to Increase the Valuation of Your Business

Are you looking to maximize the value of your franchise business? Here are a few strategies to consider:

  1. Strategic Planning: Develop a clear and comprehensive business strategy to demonstrate future growth potential.
  2. Financial Management: Improve financial health by optimizing cash flow, reducing expenses, and increasing profitability.
  3. Market Positioning: Strengthen your market position through effective branding, marketing, and competitive analysis.
  4. Customer Base: Expand and diversify your customer base to reduce dependency on a few clients.
  5. Product/Service Enhancements: Continuously innovate and enhance your offerings to stay competitive and attract more customers.
  6. Operational Efficiency: Streamline processes and operations to boost productivity and reduce costs.
  7. Talent Management: Attract and retain top talent to drive innovation and growth.
  8. Financial Reporting: Maintain transparent and accurate financial records to build trust with investors and buyers.
  9. EBITDA Improvement: Focus on increasing Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization (EBITDA).
  10. Customer Relationships: Foster strong customer relationships to enhance customer loyalty and repeat business.

These ten areas cover a range of strategies and actions that can have a significant impact on increasing your business’s valuation. You can prioritize and focus on these key areas to achieve tangible results.

Other Valuation Methodologies Occasionally Used When Selling a Franchise Company

While valuation multiples are a common method for assessing the value of franchise businesses, other valuation methodologies can be utilized:

  • Discounted Cash Flow Analysis: This method calculates the present value of the company’s expected cash flows, considering the time value of money and risk factors.

To get a comprehensive understanding of the value of your franchise business, we recommended speaking with a member of our experienced brokerage and M&A team. Request a consultation below, and let us guide you through the valuation process to maximize the sale of your business.

Request a Consultation

If you want to sell your franchise business, connect with a business broker specializing in the franchise industry. We’d be happy to discuss our auction process, compile a professional valuation and how we help other lower-middle market business owners achieve maximum value with our proprietary auction process.