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For What It's Worth

It's never too early to build your business's value.

This story appears in the July 1997 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Dave Lakhani knows the value of value. Beginning at age 13 with the proceeds of an insurance settlement, the now-32-year-old Boise, Idaho, entrepreneur has started or invested in and eventually sold eight different businesses. They ranged from a security company to a pawn shop and from start-ups to established firms, but all had one thing in common: They were worth more when he left them than when he started.

"Establishing value in your business allows you to make sure that the thing you've worked on most of your life continues to pay you," explains Lakhani, currently the owner of consulting firm Direct Hit Marketing. Building value also allows him to sell at a profit when his skills and the needs of a changing business no longer match, or when he just feels the urge to move on.

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