Everyone knows Batman is the secret identity of Bruce Wayne, an American billionaire, industrialist, and philanthropist. But what if these two fictional characters were business owners that were looking to exit there businesses. Who would be the real superhero and win the day?
Let's remove the fact that Wayne Enterprises is very likely a public company and Wayne is beholden a board of directors and growing the profits of his shareholders. For this hypothetical, let's say that Bruce Wayne (and thus Batman also) have developed some heath issues and are forced to sell their respective business entities as soon as possible. Who would get the most value for their business entity?
Job vs. Business
Batman is the only full time employee in his entity. Going out on jobs; researching and developing new tools and equipment; investigating crime; and developing relationships for the business. It would appear that being Batman is a full time job. The only break from being Batman is when he gets to be Bruce Wayne. Wayne on the other hand spends very little time at Wayne Enterprises (because he is busy being Batman). He has a management team that helps him run the day-to-day operations.
A buyer looking at these two business would see that buying Batman's business would basically be buying a job while buying Wayne Enterprises is buying a business that does not need new management or full time supervision. Wayne Enterprises is much more desirable because of this.
Batman's business comes with a lot of risks. When we say risk, we are not talking about him risking life and limb but we are talking about the future of the business. Batman's business is limited to a number of super villains. While a new super villain can creep up any day, Batman can essentially work himself into a position that he either has to lower his level of work (i.e. go after common criminals) or he would have to move the business to a new location. This is on top of all the potential lawsuits Batman could face for destruction of property or assault and battery and the massive amount of debt he has to carry to afford all the equipment his business requires.
Wayne's business has plenty of risk too but his operations are probably pretty stable. Wayne Enterprises is extremely diverse with divisions in aerospace, food, medical, construction and more. This diversity allows the business to not be at the mercy of a few customers or fluctuations in one market. So while there might be risk because of the shear size of the business, there are lots of streams of revenue that will like remain strong moving forward.
A business with less risk is obviously more desirable. A buyer that knows that the business will not have any surprises, like 30% of the revenue disappearing because a major customer leaves or a market fluctuates, is going to pay more because there is more security in knowing the future for that business.
Room For Growth
Batman has very little capacity to grow. Its tough to see any major metropolitan area needing more than one Batman so its not like you could expand within Gotham City. Batman could hire support staff to handle work behind the scenes which would allow him to spend more time out on jobs but then again that leads back to potentially running out of jobs. The only other option would appear to be franchising the Batman business to other areas but even that has its ceiling and requires a large capital investment by the buyer.
Wayne's biggest issue is Wayne Enterprises has infiltrated so many markets already what else is there for the business to expand to? While this might be the case there might be plenty of growth opportunities in each division. Also because there is likely significant capital available, developing new markets (such as international markets) or new divisions that can collaborate with current aspects of the business could easily be done.
Growth is an important factor for a buyer. Most buyers do not want a business that they can hold the status quo with for the next 20 years. They want to buy a business because they see potential for growth in the future or they can integrate that new business into their existing business so that the merged entities form a single entity that is more successful than the single entities on their own.
While I think everyone would agree that being Batman would be way cooler then being Bruce Wayne, comparing the two from the perception of someone buying their respective businesses, Wayne's business carries more value to the purchase. A buyer would pay a premium for a business like Wayne's compared to other businesses in that market where as Batman's business would likely be negotiated below what he believes the value to be.
Not every cool business is a great business to buy. Its important that you plan and strategize to grow the value of your cool business. Branding and being recognizable in the market is important buts its not everything. For tips on how to grow the value of your business, how to sell your business and business transactions, contact The Business Law Group today by clicking HERE or calling 616-528-0007
Batman Logo from Vector.me (by DC Comics)