Feb 1 - Is there a rule of thumb to determine the value of a business?

Within specific industries there are certain simple methods that when applied are useful in determing the approximate value of businesses. At best these simple formulas cn be dangerous to rely upon because of the multiple variables involved in each unique business. An example would be dry cleaning businesses. A general industry rule of thumb says on time yearly gross sales should equal the sales price. However one must consider age of equipment, competition, profitability, availability of labor to name a few. Seek professional advise when evaluating any business. A seasoned professional business broker knows how to value a business and can defend the price.