I have been a full-time sole trader in the UK for 2.5 years. I build websites for both agencies and direct clients, and over these 2.5 years I have built up a good reputation, contacts and client base in my local area. The town I live in isn't huge, but many of my clients are nationwide.
My experience building websites stretches back 15 years post-degree, and I have led teams of developers on large projects in previous employed positions.
I have a possible opportunity to merge with a local agency, who I have been working with for some time. They are more established with a larger client base but they don't have in-house web skills.
My question is; how do I value my business in negotiations?
There are many nuances to this - would you simply value based on a multiple of annual revenue? Size of client base? Potential revenue from client base? How about valuing my skills as an individual? Good developers aren't easy to come by, not to mention all-rounders with project management and people management experience.
I'm not asking anyone to value my business of course, rather I'd like some pointers on how I value it. Does anyone have any experience of such a merging process?