Handbook of Business Valuation

By Thomas L. West; Jeffrey D. Jones | Go to book overview

CHAPTER EIGHT
Notable Differences between
Middle Market and
Small Businesses

ROBERT W. SCARLATA

According to the January 1999, issue of Sales Leads, published by American Business Information, there are more than 10,250,000 businesses in the United States. Total employment in the United States, according to Worth Magazine, is approximately 131,000,000, less approximately 18,131,000 employed in government, leaving 113,000,000 employed by the private sector. Accordingly, the average business employs 11 people. This fact alone informs us that the average business is a fairly small enterprise.

Although a small business can have a significant investment impact on the net worth of its owner, its primary rationale is to provide employment for that owner. Given that its primary economic benefit is employment, the small business also offers other tangible and intangible benefits such as independence, unlimited upside potential (rezilization of the American dream), the opportunity to build equity, family employment, an opportunity to exercise a host of skills and talents, and others primarily associated with freedom from_(fill in your own notion of economic slavery!) and freedom of choice. The primary thrust of the small business owner is “doing” as opposed to “delegating.”

The larger “middle market” business is generally more complicated to manage, requiring greater business skills, more experience, an ability to manage many more discrete activities involving professionals at many different levels, larger numbers of employees, more organizational levels, higher levels of investment in plant and equipment,

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