When the time comes to sell your business, you’re selling a lot more than tangible assets like premises and product. You’re selling potential, in the form of return on the business’ current activities. You’re selling plans for new product development and new routes to market. And you’re also selling brand - both the employer brand you’ve developed among your talent pool, and the audience-facing brand that exists in your consumers’ perceptions. Consciously building your brand is, of course, something you should be doing anyway. It’s good practice whether you’re selling your business or not - strong brand values mean a more valuable and thus more profitable brand.
Brand is essentially the perception someone holds in their head about a product, a service, or an organisation; a person, a cause, or an idea. It acts as a mental shortcut for consumers so that when they need what you’re selling, they think of you first.
“Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” – Richard Branson Anyone who’s ever caught a Virgin train might baulk at the suggestion, but there’s a lot of truth in Branson’s statement. Employees’ determine the success of a business day to day. They also contribute hugely to the value of a business when it comes to selling it.
Brexit promises to shake up the way businesses operate, in the UK, the EU and beyond. To say there’s an amount of uncertainty is an understatement: nobody knows exactly what’s going to happen. The markets are headed for turbulence whatever happens: as the Italians say, siamo incasinati. The smart money’s on preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. In this series, we’ll be exploring the key areas to think about in the build up to Brexit - actions and principles that will hold you in best stead no matter what.
If you don’t have effective marketing, do you have a business? How will you ensure growth? Secure leads? Build brand awareness? How will you hold on to your existing customers, or bring new ones through the door? Without a full and joined-up marketing strategy, businesses struggle to make sales – and eventually, to exist altogether.