Introduction Business owners don’t always seek growth for growth’s sake. Founding or buying a business, building its value and selling it on is the ultimate goal for many of the businesses leaders we work with, and so it’s a key consideration for our Marketing Directors too.
The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over-and-over and expecting different results. It’s a powerful line. Catchy, cutting and also wrong. Yet there’s a lot to be learnt from it, especially when considering how your company’s behaviour reflects its vision. First, let’s clear-up that line on insanity. Despite being forever linked to great thinkers such as Einstein and Mark Twain, it only first appeared in the 1984 mystery novel Sudden Death. For those interested, insanity is no longer recognised in the medical profession. It in fact only stands in legal circles, to explain not being able to distinguish fantasy from reality when discussing court proceedings.
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.