Finance for Entrepreneurs: Value and Valuation

While today we speak of companies such as Flipkart and Zomato, most of them seem to be running a ‘valuation’ game. But according to my understanding entrepreneurs must run a ‘value’ game. While the two should be related, there is a huge difference between the two.

Value – is what is created by the entrepreneur for a consumer. In the process the entrepreneur gets rewarded. All of this if done in a sustainable way, the business runs for a long period of time. Rare, but examples exist.

Valuation – is when an entrepreneur attempts to create value for themselves and their investors. They provide consumers services to make this happen. If the business makes through the difficult mathematical puzzle of numbers, it exists, else death is certain. Examples are a plenty, but exceptions exist.

If a startup create value for its customers, over time it is rewarded by valuation too! But if valuation is the focus, value is at times compromised, industries undergo turmoil and there is a shakeout of good players too. This is not very good for the long term.

Last week when I was speaking at a panel discussion I was reminded of this: why creating business models and identifying value are more important than raising money.

I hope entrepreneurs and startups understand this and live it. It is important considering the fact that, even if all the Venture Capital money flows in and gets invested, the number of startups getting funded will be a minuscule portion of the startup population. And more importantly, entrepreneurship is a career, a journey, not just a race or a competition.

Think and decide to take the plunge into entrepreneurship. Its fun and fulfilling! I can vouch for it both from my personal experience and of having groomed many.

Happy entrepreneuring!

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