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Check Your Net Worth
by Bill Collier

The start of a new year is is a great time to see how much your personal net worth has grown. If you have personal guarantees on your business loans, your banker will probably require you to submit an annual statement of net worth. Even if not, get in the habit of completing one every year for your own use.


If you know the "street value" of your company, be sure to include it. Chances are, it's your most valuable asset. For many entrepreneurs, it's worth more than their home. Most small business owners haven't spent the money for a formal valuation. If you are in that majority, here's a rough rule of thumb: Assume your business is worth 50% of one year's revenue. Again, this is a very rough estimate which varies widely from company to company, and is no substitute for a formal valuation. But, it's almost certainly a more accurate representation of what your company is worth than the "book" value on your balance sheet. Your company is like a car or a house ... it's worth what someone would give you for it. Remember to subtract your debts and liabilities and only show the company's net value on your personal statement.


How great it is to see your net worth growing steadily every year. Isn't that why you went into business, anyway? You set business targets. Also consider setting targets for personal net worth.

Bill Collier is a St. Louis-based business coach, consultant and speaker. He is the author of the book “How to Succeed as a Small Business Owner … and Still Have a Life.” His website is, and his email is

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