Within specific industries there are certain simple methods that when applied are useful in determining the approximate value of businesses. At best these simple formulas or rules of thumb are a good reality check but can 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 one 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 advice when evaluating any business. A seasoned professional business broker knows how to value a business and can defend the price.