Written by Paige Dawson
Recently we had the privilege of sponsoring an educational event conducted by North Texas Chapter of the Exit Planning Institute (EPI), a group of local advisors dedicated to helping business owners achieve their goals as they plan for exiting their business. Our friend and client Joan Ridley, president of Business Wealth Solutions, founded the chapter and is one of the pioneers of the exit planning profession.
Exit planning is a fascinating and rapidly growing field. A 2013 survey revealed that approximately three million business owners will be seeking to transition ownership in the next five years, representing a transfer of over $7 trillion of wealth. The survey was designed to assess and understand the “state of readiness” of owners to transition privately-held small and middle market businesses.
Part of that readiness involves the strength of your company’s marketing function. Along with operations, sales, leadership and people, marketing is one of the many factors that drives business value in the eyes of potential investors or acquirers. Your company’s brand, website and reputation feed into the creation of business value, which will ultimately determine a successful and profitable sale or exit out of your business. While many owners don’t truly focus on how to maximize value until it is too late, proper advance exit planning can increase the value of a business by 20-30%. We’ve been told that to really maximize value many business owners start the assessment process three to five years prior to their desired exit timing.
Whether you intend to sell your business in the near or distant future, it’s never too early to take an honest assessment of your company’s brand and marketing. Polishing up your identity can pay dividends now and when it’s time to sell or transition out of your business.
We’ve helped many small businesses spiff up their marketing as they prepare to sell as well as to integrate new companies through acquisitions (and, honestly, if they just want to step up their game). If you are ready to assess your brand more thoroughly, we would be pleased to discuss our Brand Audit service with you. Please contact us to learn more.
For other resources and tools on exit planning, please visit Business Wealth Solutions or the North Texas Chapter of the Exit Planning Institute. We have developed a complimentary, quick Brand Audit Checklist that provides a self-service way to double-check your materials for both visual and content consistency.