What’s Your Business Worth

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    Here Is What Your Business Is Worth

    What you see below is a low, mid and high range valuation for your business based on data from 13,400 transactions for businesses in the last 5 years. The high range shows the top price paid for a business, the mid range shows the average and the low range shows the lowest price paid for a similar business.

    Result - What is your business worth
    High Valuation Range
    Mid Valuation Range
    Low Valuation Range

    We speak with business owners at every stage of selling their business, but the most common question we ever hear is “What is my business worth?”

    It’s a fair question, too — if you’re going to sell, you want to make sure that you’re going to get a number that reflects all the time, energy and sheer will power you’ve spend to make your business valuable.

    We analyzed 82 different industries to be able to give business owners a precise estimate for what they can expect to earn, based on their specific business.

    Don’t worry — we’re not going to make you trawl through all 82 to find the data on your business. We’ve split them into ten main categories, which you can navigate to with the table of contents below. There is data from hundreds and hundreds of businesses here, and this graph represents a snapshot of the total data. It will give you a better understanding of where your business sits in comparison to all the businesses analyzed.

    Before you click through to find your specific type of business, we’d like to give you a quick primer on some of the terms and calculations we’ve used, so that everything discussed in this article makes sense.

    First off, you will see the term ‘multiple’ used a lot. A multiple can be applied to a number of financial metrics in a business (such as EBITDA, net earnings, gross revenue etc.) to determine how much the business will be worth at sale. We calculate the multiple for the business in question based on profit, using SDE — seller’s discretionary earnings for business.

    Here’s how we calculate what the business is worth:

    Total Sales – Cost of Goods Sold – Expenses + Owners Wage =
    TSDE (your profit)

    So, when we say that a business was sold for a multiple of 2.44X, for example, it means that the amount paid for the business is a value of 2.44 times the profit.

    For example, a business that is doing $300,000 in profit per year sold for at 2.44X would have a sale price of $732,000 ($300,000*2.44=$732,000). This works in reverse as well — if a business sold for $732,000 at 2.44X, then ($732,000/2.44) means the profit was $300,000.

    Here are the types of businesses we’re going to analyze in this article. Click on the category your business falls into to go straight to that section and see all the average sales data for your industry.

    Lifestyle

    • Convenience Stores
    • Furniture Stores
    • Pet Stores
    • Grocery Stores / Supermarkets
    • Hair Salon / Barber
    • Day Spa
    • Dry Cleaning / Laundromat
    • Gym / Health Club
    • Jewelry Store
    • Bridal Boutique
    • Shoe Store
    • Bicycle Shop
    • Sporting Goods Store
    • Family Entertainment / Amusement / Arcade
    • Boat Dealers / Marine Supplies

    Hospitality, Food & Beverage

    • Hotel, Motel, Bed & Breakfast
    • Bar & Pub
    • Restaurant
    • Frozen Yogurt Shop
    • Bakery
    • Pizzeria
    • Coffee Shop
    • Deli
    • Cafe
    • Diner
    • Bistro

    Medical

    • Pharmacy
    • Medical Practice / Clinic
    • Dental Practice
    • Medical Billing
    • Medical Transportation

    Manufacturing

    • Clothing Manufacturer
    • Chemical Manufacturer
    • Electronics Manufacturer
    • Fabrication & Machining
    • Food Manufacturer
    • Furniture Manufacturer
    • Cabinet & Wood Work
    • Sign Manufacturing
    • Machine Shop

    Automotive

    • Gas Stations
    • Car Wash
    • Auto Repair & Service Company
    • Car Parts / Salvage Yard
    • Automotive Dealers

    Domestic

    • Day care / Child Care
    • Doggie Day Care
    • Assisted Living Facility
    • Home Healthcare
    • Preschool
    • Petcare / Grooming

    Logistics

    • Trucking & Logistics
    • FedEx Route
    • Self-Storage Facility
    • Equipment Rental Company
    • Towing Company
    • Moving / Shipping Company
    • Supply Chain

    Goods

    • Clothing Stores
    • Liquor Stores
    • Smoke Shop
    • Cellular / Wireless Communication Store
    • Hardware Store
    • Party Supply

    Professional Services

    • Vending Company
    • Insurance Agency
    • Property Management Company
    • Engineering Firm
    • Travel Agency
    • Commercial Printing Company
    • Charter Business

    Trades

    • Florists
    • Contractor
    • HVAC
    • Plumbing
    • Roofing
    • Construction
    • Cleaning / Janitorial Business
    • Landscaping
    • Painting
    • Concreting

    Lifestyle Businesses

    5673 businesses were sold in this category in 2015. Of those transactions, the average multiple was 2.82X, with an average sale price of $422,854.50. The median (middle) sale price was $224,000 and the mode (most common) sale price was $140,000. Across the entire category, there were $124,231,407 in sales in 2015.

    This category also has some of the most variation among its businesses. Gyms and dry cleaners had the highest multiple of all the businesses in this category (5.4X and 5.29X respectively), and pet stores and jewelry stores had the lowest, with 1.089X and 1.91X respectively.

    The lifestyle category has also had the highest average multiple across every category for the last 5 years, with a total average multiple of 4.38. It’s likely that this is because these businesses are going to be in constant use, no matter what trends come through or what happens in the economy — people will always buy shoes, get married, take their kids out for a day of fun — they’re predictable businesses that are reasonably straightforward to run and get a good return on.

    Here are the data sets for each of the businesses in the lifestyle category from 2015:

    Convenience Stores

    • Transaction Count 1577
    • Average Multiple 3.73
    • Average Sale Price 377678.435
    • Median (middle) $190,000
    • Mode (most frequent) $100,000
    • Total Transaction Value $595,598,892

    Pet Stores

    • Transaction Count 142
    • Average Multiple 1.089
    • Average Sale Price $256,902
    • Median (middle) $120,000
    • Mode (most frequent) $50,000
    • Total Transaction Value $16,955,550

    Hair Salon / Barber

    • Transaction Count 637
    • Average Multiple 2.09
    • Average Sale Price $139,470.15
    • Median (middle) $95,000.00
    • Mode (mostfrequent) $50,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $88,842,483.00

    Dry Cleaning / Laundromat

    • Transaction Count 2080
    • Average Multiple 5.29
    • Average Sale Price $ 284,931.87
    • Median (middle) $ 180,000.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $ 150,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $ 592,658,290.00

    Jewelry Store

    • Transaction Count 21
    • Average Multiple 1.91
    • Average Sale Price $843,905
    • Median (middle) $185,000
    • Total Transaction Value $17,722,000

    Shoe Store

    • Transaction Count 32
    • Average Multiple 2.25
    • Average Sale Price $408,203
    • Median (middle) $132,500
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $100,000
    • Total Transaction Value $13,062,492

    Sporting Goods Store

    • Transaction Count 22
    • Average Multiple 2.5
    • Average Sale Price $876,150
    • Median (middle) $406,432
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $237,500
    • Total Transaction Value $8,941,500.00

    Boat Dealers / Marine Supplies

    • Transaction Count 54
    • Average Multiple 2.45
    • Average Sale Price $411,482
    • Median (middle) $275,000
    • Mode (most frequent) $450,000
    • Total Transaction Value $22,220,026

    Furniture Stores

    • Transaction Count 254
    • Average Multiple 3.05
    • Average Sale Price $359,291
    • Median (middle) $200,000
    • Mode (most frequent) $100,000
    • Total Transaction Value $90,900,735

    Grocery Stores / Supermarket

    • Transaction Count 290
    • Average Multiple 2.52
    • Average Sale Price $590,034
    • Median (middle) $350,000
    • Mode (mostfrequent) $100,000
    • Total Transaction Value $171,109,870

    Day Spa

    • Transaction Count 350
    • Average Multiple 2.59
    • Average Sale Price $202,019.33
    • Median (middle) $135,000.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $75,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $70,706,764.00

    Gym / Health Club

    • Transaction Count 35
    • Average Multiple 5.40
    • Average Sale Price $386,286
    • Median (middle) $199,000
    • Mode (most frequent) $125,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $13,520,000

    Bridal Boutique

    • Transaction Count 63
    • Average Multiple 2.52
    • Average Sale Price $221,492
    • Median (middle) $150,000
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $150,000
    • Total Transaction Value $13,954,000

    Bicycle Shop

    • Transaction Count 56
    • Average Multiple 2.7
    • Average Sale Price $23,940,313
    • Median (middle) $427,506
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $212,500
    • Total Transaction Value $150,000

    Family Entertainment / Amusement / Arcade

    • Transaction Count 60
    • Average Multiple 2.244083249
    • Average Sale Price $562,124.37
    • Median (middle) $250,000.00
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $300,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $23,047,099.00

    Domestic Businesses

    515 businesses were sold in this category in 2015. Of those transactions, the average multiple was 3.05X, with an average sale price of $492,291. The median (middle) sale price was $246,000 and the mode (most common) sale price was $225,000. Across the entire category, there were $205,990,517 in sales in 2015.

    This category had relatively little variation among the average multiples between each type of business. Assisted living facilities, home health care and preschools — all high-touch models — have the highest multiples ( 3.61, 3.63 and 3.7), while day care, doggie daycare and pet care had lower multiples in the mid-2X range.

    The domestic category has the third-highest average multiples (3.31X) for the last 5 years of all the categories analyzed for this article. These are care-based businesses, which will always be critical to a large portion of any population. They have higher levels of complexity than many other businesses, but have an evergreen flow of customers and (with the exception of pet care) can often access government funding to maintain their progress as well.

    Here are the data sets for each of the businesses in the domestic category from 2015:

    Day care / Child Care

    • Transaction Count 13
    • Average Multiple 2.44
    • Average Sale Price $297,692.31
    • Median (middle) $200,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $3,870,000.00

    Assisted Living Facility

    • Transaction Count 17
    • Average Multiple 3.61
    • Average Sale Price $643,411.71
    • Median (middle) $263,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $10,937,999.00

    Preschool

    • Transaction Count 127
    • Average Multiple 3.7
    • Average Sale Price $717,927.78
    • Median (middle) $425,000.00
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $500,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $91,176,828.00

    Doggie Day Care

    • Transaction Count 193
    • Average Multiple 2.46
    • Average Sale Price $ 296,438.03
    • Median (middle) $ 165,000.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $ 125,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $ 57,212,540.00

    Home Healthcare

    • Transaction Count 10
    • Average Multiple 3.63
    • Average Sale Price $ 772,000.00
    • Median (middle) $ 305,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $ 7,720,000.00

    Petcare / Grooming

    • Transaction Count 155
    • Average Multiple 2.47
    • Average Sale Price $226,278.39
    • Median (middle) $120,000.00
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $50,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $35,073,150.00

    Hospitality, Food & Beverage Businesses

    10,372 businesses were sold in this category in 2015. Of those transactions, the average multiple was 2.68X, with an average sale price of $250,197. The median (middle) sale price was $155,000 and the mode (most common) sale price was $98,600. Across the entire category, there were $205,990,517 in sales in 2015.

    This category had relatively little variation among the average multiples between each type of business. Bars and pubs had the highest multiples, at an average of 5.63X, with hotels, motels and bed & breakfasts coming in second at 3.42, which made them outliers in this category, as the remaining business types had a range of multiples between 1.8 and 2.9.

    The hospitality, food and beverage industry has a total average multiple of 3X for the past 5 years. These businesses are typically quite demanding, requiring a lot of capital to get off the ground, with high running costs and requiring a lot of labor and attention. They can also see a downturn if the economy takes a hit, as people will often cut down on eating out, taking trips and so on.

    Here are the data sets for each of the businesses in the hospitality, food and beverage category from 2015:

    Hotel, Motel, Bed & Breakfast

    • Transaction Count 80
    • Average Multiple 3.42
    • Average Sale Price $ 770,631.88
    • Median (middle) $ 425,012.50
    • Mode (most frequent) $ 150,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $ 61,650,550.00

    Restaurant

    • Transaction Count 7181
    • Average Multiple 2.98
    • Average Sale Price $307,983.21
    • Median (middle) $145,000.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $50,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $2,211,627,399.00

    Bakery

    • Transaction Count 97
    • Average Multiple 2.4
    • Average Sale Price $207,464
    • Median (middle) $134,000
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $50,000
    • Total Transaction Value $20,124,000

    Coffee Shop

    • Transaction Count 237
    • Average Multiple 2.81
    • Average Sale Price $131,807
    • Median (middle) $100,000
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $50,000
    • Total Transaction Value $31,238,282

    Cafe

    • Transaction Count 567
    • Average Multiple 1.99
    • Average Sale Price $152,338
    • Median (middle) $105,500
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $60,000
    • Total Transaction Value $86,223,532

    Bistro

    • Transaction Count 99
    • Average Multiple 1.84
    • Average Sale Price $180,379
    • Median (middle) $130,000
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $150,000
    • Total Transaction Value $17,857,500

    Bar & Pub

    • Transaction Count 1540
    • Average Multiple 5.63
    • Average Sale Price $305,212
    • Median (middle) $195,000
    • Mode (most frequent) $150,000
    • Total Transaction Value $470,026,914

    Frozen Yogurt Shop

    • Transaction Count 127
    • Average Multiple 2.27
    • Average Sale Price $158,523
    • Median (middle) $125,000
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $150,000
    • Total Transaction Value $20,132,400

    Pizzeria

    • Transaction Count 89
    • Average Multiple 2.14
    • Average Sale Price $165,864
    • Median (middle) $125,000
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $125,000
    • Total Transaction Value $14,761,900

    Deli

    • Transaction Count 237
    • Average Multiple 1.94
    • Average Sale Price $131,807
    • Median (middle) $100,000
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $50,000
    • Total Transaction Value $31,238,282

    Diner

    • Transaction Count 118
    • Average Multiple 2.08
    • Average Sale Price $240,164
    • Median (middle) $121,000
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $100,000
    • Total Transaction Value $28,339,300

    Logistics

    1236 businesses were sold in this category in 2015. Of those transactions, the average multiple was 2.56X, with an average sale price of $571,917. The median (middle) sale price was $309,285 and the mode (most common) sale price was $292,850. Across the entire category, there were $803,103,593 in sales in 2015.

    This category had relatively little variation among the average multiples between each type of business. Self-storage facilities led the charge at 3.28X, but all the remaining businesses maintained a healthy range of between 2.1 and 2.9X.

    The logistics category has an average multiple of 2.84X over the past 5 years. These businesses might not be glamorous but they are reliable, bringing in consistent returns regardless of what’s happening in the market. These are typically high-complexity businesses that have a lot of running costs and are typically investments for the experienced buyer.

    Here are the data sets for each of the businesses in the logistics category from 2015:

    Trucking & Logistics

    • Transaction Count 357
    • Average Multiple 2.96
    • Average Sale Price $836,005.90
    • Median (middle) $330,000.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $500,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $298,454,107.00

    Self-Storage Facility

    • Transaction Count 38
    • Average Multiple 3.28
    • Average Sale Price $671,671
    • Median (middle) $458,500
    • Mode (most frequent) $500,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $25,523,500.00

    Towing Company

    • Transaction Count 59
    • Average Multiple 2.59
    • Average Sale Price $595,095.22
    • Median (middle) $385,000.00
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $150,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $35,110,618.00

    Supply Chain

    • Transaction Count 322
    • Average Multiple 2.4
    • Average Sale Price $853,051.90
    • Median (middle) $349,960.00
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $50,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $274,682,712.00

    FedEx Route

    • Transaction Count 285
    • Average Multiple 2.32
    • Average Sale Price $ 373,489.99
    • Median (middle) $ 250,000.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $ 600,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $ 106,444,646.00

    Equipment Rental Company

    • Transaction Count 60
    • Average Multiple 2.25
    • Average Sale Price $302,456.67
    • Median (middle) $202,500.00
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $150,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $18,147,400.00

    Moving / Shipping Company

    • Transaction Count 115
    • Average Multiple 2.13
    • Average Sale Price $371,657.48
    • Median (middle) $190,000.00
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $100,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $42,740,610.00

    Medical

    464 businesses were sold in this category in 2015. Of those transactions, the average multiple was 2.3X, with an average sale price of $658,693. The median (middle) sale price was $330,200 and the mode (most common) sale price was $160,000. Across the entire category, there were $316,044,265 in sales in 2015.

    This category had relatively little variation among the average multiples between each type of business. All the businesses had multiples between 2.08X and 2.84X, but had some of the highest average sale prices throughout all the categories we analyzed, with all businesses except medical transport averaging sales prices over $500,000.

    The medical category has seen a respectable average multiple over the past 5 years of 2.85X. This is another very reliable category — people always need medical care. While some might argue that it’s an industry ripe for disruption, at this point it’s very steady. Running costs do tend to be higher than some other businesses, due to the high costs of expert staffing and equipment.

    Here are the data sets for each of the businesses in the medical category from 2015:

    Pharmacy

    • Transaction Count 57
    • Average Multiple 2.84
    • Average Sale Price $ 892,346.86
    • Median (middle) $ 465,000.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $ 150,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $ 50,863,771.00

    Dental Practice

    • Transaction Count 66
    • Average Multiple 2.08
    • Average Sale Price $663,394.12
    • Median (middle) $322,500.00
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $65,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $43,784,012.00

    Medical Transportation

    • Transaction Count 24
    • Average Multiple 2.2
    • Average Sale Price $405,010.42
    • Median (middle) $262,500.00
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $275,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $9,720,250.00

    Medical Practice / Clinic

    • Transaction Count 270
    • Average Multiple 2.02
    • Average Sale Price $ 547,826.79
    • Median (middle) $ 271,450.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $ 200,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $ 174,786,232.00

    Medical Billing

    • Transaction Count 47
    • Average Multiple 2.4
    • Average Sale Price $784,893.62
    • Median (middle) $330,000.00
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $125,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $36,890,000.00

    Goods

    2200 businesses were sold in this category in 2015. Of those transactions, the average multiple was 2.22X, with an average sale price of $400,580. The median (middle) sale price was $250,660 and the mode (most common) sale price was $181,330. Across the entire category, there were $791,489,659 in sales in 2015.

    Compared to many of the other categories in this article, the goods category has a bit more variation among the average multiples of each business type. The multiples range from 1.55X to 2.88X. The cellular/wireless communications stores were the outlier in this category, with an average sale price of $905,499.

    The goods category has had an average multiple of 2.68X over the last 5 years. There is more variation between businesses in this category than others, so it’s important to take note of the specific of your industry. Some of the goods are essential (clothing), others less so (party supplies), which should factor into any buying or selling decision. Market trends are also more likely to affect businesses in this category.

    Here are the data sets for each of the businesses in the goods category from 2015:

    Clothing Stores

    • Transaction Count 490
    • Average Multiple 2.64
    • Average Sale Price $251,045
    • Median (middle) $135,000
    • Mode (most frequent) $50,000
    • Total Transaction Value $123,082,818

    Smoke Shop

    • Transaction Count 10
    • Average Multiple 1.55
    • Average Sale Price $194,619
    • Median (middle) $100,000
    • Mode (most frequent) $100,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $1,946,193.00

    Hardware Store

    • Transaction Count 57
    • Average Multiple 2.88
    • Average Sale Price $520,440
    • Median (middle) $320,000
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $300,000
    • Total Transaction Value $29,665,055

    Liquor Stores

    • Transaction Count 1538
    • Average Multiple 2.49
    • Average Sale Price $370,265
    • Median (middle) $269,000
    • Mode (most frequent) $250,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $569,467,799.00

    Cellular / Wireless Communication Store

    • Transaction Count 75
    • Average Multiple 1.92
    • Average Sale Price $905,499
    • Mode (most frequent) $550,000.00
    • Median $258,375
    • Total Transaction Value $62,479,444

    Party Supply

    • Transaction Count 30
    • Average Multiple 1.86
    • Average Sale Price $161,612
    • Median (middle) $130,000
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $130,000
    • Total Transaction Value $4,848,350.00

    Manufacturing

    1387 businesses were sold in this category in 2015. Of those transactions, the average multiple was 3.13X, with an average sale price of $1,270,423. The median (middle) sale price was $512,500 and the mode (most common) sale price was $550,000. Across the entire category, there were $1,821,796,386 in sales in 2015. This is one of only three categories where the total transaction value surpassed the billion-dollar mark (the others being trades and automotive, covered later in this post).

    This category has very healthy multiples across the board, ranging from 2.33X to 4.26X. Chemical manufacturers led this category, with both the highest multiple and highest average sale price, as well as having the highest median average across all businesses analyzed. Machine shops were also very high value, with the highest mode average across all businesses.

    Manufacturing businesses have the second-highest multiple of all the categories in this article, coming in with an average of 3.44X for the past 5 years. Manufacturing businesses are high-cost, high-complexity, and accordingly, high-reward. They’re relatively immune to the smaller market trends that affect goods and hospitality but can be affected by bigger economic events.

    Here are the data sets for each of the businesses in the manufacturing category from 2015:

    Clothing Manufacturer

    • Transaction Count 75
    • Average Multiple 2.84
    • Average Sale Price $651,025
    • Median (middle) $225,000
    • Mode (most frequent) $150,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $48,826,900

    Electronics Manufacturer

    • Transaction Count 117
    • Average Multiple 2.56
    • Average Sale Price $ 1,626,423.69
    • Median (middle) $ 600,000.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $ 400,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $ 190,291,572.00

    Food Manufacturer

    • Transaction Count 174
    • Average Multiple 2.88
    • Average Sale Price $778,331
    • Median (middle) $339,000
    • Mode (most frequent) $500,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $134,651,247

    Cabinet & Wood Work

    • Transaction Count 175
    • Average Multiple 3.57
    • Average Sale Price $ 1,080,142.81
    • Median (middle) $ 500,000.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $ 400,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $ 189,024,991.00

    Machine Shop

    • Transaction Count 89
    • Average Multiple 3.03
    • Average Sale Price $1,281,913.96
    • Median (middle) $600,000.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $1,600,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $114,090,342.00

    Chemical Manufacturer

    • Transaction Count 51
    • Average Multiple 4.26
    • Average Sale Price $ 3,131,859.73
    • Median (middle) $ 1,000,000.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $ 1,150,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $ 159,724,846.00

    Fabrication & Machining

    • Transaction Count 528
    • Average Multiple 3.47
    • Average Sale Price $1,664,464
    • Median (middle) $700,000
    • Mode (most frequent) $600,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $878,836,729

    Furniture Manufacturer

    • Transaction Count 123
    • Average Multiple 3.24
    • Average Sale Price $797,338
    • Median (middle) $400,000
    • Mode (most frequent) $100,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $98,072,538

    Sign Manufacturing

    • Transaction Count 123
    • Average Multiple 3.24
    • Average Sale Price $797,338
    • Median (middle) $400,000
    • Mode (most frequent) $100,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $98,072,538

    Professional Services

    1450 businesses were sold in this category in 2015. Of those transactions, the average multiple was 2.47X, with an average sale price of $496,787. The median (middle) sale price was $206,570 and the mode (most common) sale price was $221,285. Across the entire category, there were $86,946,584 in sales in 2015.

    This category has a consistent grouping of multiples, with engineering firms leading the group at 3.5X. Insurance agencies, Charter businesses and vending companies followed up with multiples in the mid-2X range.

    Professional services have had a healthy average multiple of 2.74X for the past 5 years. These are essential services and so are unlikely to see major fluctuations in value or operating costs, and indeed this category had the least variation between the average multiples of each type of business.

    Here are the data sets for each of the businesses in the professional services category from 2015:

    Vending Company

    • Transaction Count 496
    • Average Multiple 2.39
    • Average Sale Price $198,747.96
    • Median (middle) $135,000.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $100,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $98,578,989.00

    Property Management Company

    • Transaction Count 36
    • Average Multiple 2.23
    • Average Sale Price $326,019.44
    • Median (middle) $172,500.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $150,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $11,736,700.00

    Travel Agency

    • Transaction Count 54
    • Average Multiple 2.01
    • Average Sale Price $ 241,250.00
    • Median (middle) $ 157,500.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $ 399,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $ 13,027,500.00

    Charter Business

    • Transaction Count 104
    • Average Multiple 2.4
    • Average Sale Price $755,378.70
    • Median (middle) $222,500.00
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $100,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $78,559,385.00

    Insurance Agency

    • Transaction Count 209
    • Average Multiple 2.46
    • Average Sale Price $417,027.22
    • Median (middle) $190,000.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $150,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $87,158,690.00

    Engineering Firm

    • Transaction Count 61
    • Average Multiple 3.50
    • Average Sale Price $ 1,080,479.51
    • Median (middle) $ 450,000.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $ 450,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $ 65,909,250.00

    Commercial Printing Company

    • Transaction Count 490
    • Average Multiple 2.31
    • Average Sale Price $458,614
    • Median (middle) $253,500
    • Mode (most frequent) $200,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $253,655,576

    Trades

    3008 businesses were sold in this category in 2015. Of those transactions, the average multiple was 2.2X, with an average sale price of $625,216. The median (middle) sale price was $370,400 and the mode (most common) sale price was $832,000. Across the entire category, there were $1,664,313524 in sales in 2015. This is one of only two categories analyzed to cross the billion-dollar mark in total transactions (the other being manufacturing, covered earlier in this post, and trades, in the following section).

    This category had a range of multiples, from 1.77X up to 3X. Construction businesses had the highest multiples and average sales prices. Contractors also had high average sales prices and the lion’s share of businesses sold, followed by HVAC and plumbing businesses.

    The trade category has had an average multiple of 2.53X over the past 5 years. These businesses are generally straightforward to run and staff, with moderate operating costs and moderate exposure to market and economic events.

    Here are the data sets for each of the businesses in the trades category from 2015:

    Florists

    • Transaction Count 409
    • Average Multiple 2.21
    • Average Sale Price $164,272
    • Median (middle) $105,000
    • Mode (most frequent) $50,000
    • Total Transaction Value $67,187,420

    HVAC

    • Transaction Count 100
    • Average Multiple 2.30
    • Average Sale Price $ 779,694.00
    • Median (middle) $ 450,000.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $ 1,200,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $ 77,969,400.00

    Roofing

    • Transaction Count 49
    • Average Multiple 1.91
    • Average Sale Price $ 644,071.43
    • Median (middle) $ 390,000.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $ 200,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $ 31,559,500.00

    Cleaning / Janitorial Business

    • Transaction Count 194
    • Average Multiple 2.1
    • Average Sale Price $400,442.27
    • Median (middle) $196,500.00
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $150,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $77,685,800.00

    Painting

    • Transaction Count 44
    • Average Multiple 1.77
    • Average Sale Price $456,068.18
    • Median (middle) $215,000.00
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $200,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $20,067,000.00

    Contractor

    • Transaction Count 1087
    • Average Multiple 2.35
    • Average Sale Price $ 823,275.39
    • Median (middle) $ 400,000.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $ 500,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $ 894,900,352.00

    Plumbing

    • Transaction Count 54
    • Average Multiple 2.30
    • Average Sale Price $ 732,123.56
    • Median (middle) $ 365,000.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $ 300,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $ 39,534,672.00

    Construction

    • Transaction Count 46
    • Average Multiple 3.00
    • Average Sale Price $2,151,101
    • Median (middle) $1,112,500
    • Mode (most frequent) $ 2,100,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $98,950,624

    Landscaping

    • Transaction Count 986
    • Average Multiple 2.09
    • Average Sale Price $338,337
    • Median (middle) $160,000
    • Mode (most frequent) $120,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $333,600,713

    Concreting

    • Transaction Count 39
    • Average Multiple 2.1
    • Average Sale Price $586,052.38
    • Median (middle) $310,000.00
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $3,500,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $22,856,043.00

    Automotive

    3156 businesses were sold in this category in 2015. Of those transactions, the average multiple was 2.67X, with an average sale price of $678,915. The median (middle) sale price was $353,500 and the mode (most common) sale price was $668,000. Across the entire category, there were $2,136,410,684 in sales in 2015. This category was the only one to surpass the two-billion-dollar mark.

    This category had healthy multiples across the board, ranging from 2.18X to 3.35X. Gas stations accounted for the largest portion of the total transactions, surpassing $1.3 billion dollars in total sales alone. Automotive dealers had the highest multiple and average sales price, followed by car parts and salvage yard businesses.

    The automotive category has a very healthy average multiple from the past 5 years, coming in at 3.25X. There are over 260 million cars in the US, and Statista reports that over 7.9 million are sold every year. This is an evergreen market — people need to get around, and are conscientious of their cars. Operating costs can be high, but it’s a reliable category with a huge market.

    Here are the data sets for each of the businesses in the automotive category from 2015:

    Gas Stations

    • Transaction Count 1199
    • Average Multiple 2.18
    • Average Sale Price $404,181
    • Median (middle) $235,000
    • Mode (most frequent) $150,000
    • Total Transaction Value $1,303,522,783

    Auto Repair & Service Center

    • Transaction Count 1726
    • Average Multiple 2.20
    • Average Sale Price $359,269.77
    • Median (middle) $210,000.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $150,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $620,099,629.00

    Automotive Dealers

    • Transaction Count 144
    • Average Multiple 3.35
    • Average Sale Price $978,192
    • Median (middle) $497,500
    • Mode (most frequent) $2,000,000
    • Total Transaction Value $140,859,705

    Car Wash

    • Transaction Count 28
    • Average Multiple 2.79
    • Average Sale Price $775,596.15
    • Median (middle) $500,000.00
    • Mode (most frequent) $715,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $20,165,500.00

    Car Parts / Salvage Yard

    • Transaction Count 59
    • Average Multiple 2.85
    • Average Sale Price $877,340.12
    • Median (middle) $325,000.00
    • Mode(Most Frequent) $325,000.00
    • Total Transaction Value $51,763,067.00

    Here’s a total comparison of how each of the industries performed in 2015, according to their average multiple and average sale price:

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