When business owners start to think about their long-term goals and exit strategy, you can bet that PR and communications are not something that have been factored in, but they are hugely important and can actually help make a company more valuable.
Ballyhoo PR, which operates out of an office in Lamport, has recently started working with two business owners who have appointed the PR firm to work with them as part of their exit strategy.
“Over the last month we have received two independent enquiries from people who are planning to exit businesses they have started and built up over the years. One director has been running his business for 10 years and is looking to ease himself out of the day-to-day work to enjoy more of a work/life balance. But a problem he faces is that many people think of him as ‘being the business’ so he wants to work with us to raise the profile of the company and business brand.
“The second company we are working with is headed up by a lady in her 60s who is starting to think about retiring and would like to sell her business in the next five years. Again, she wants our help in establishing her company as one of the market leaders and building up an online audience that will make her company more valuable when she comes to sell it.”
Public relations and other communications and marketing tools such as social media, Google My Business and SEO, are all vital when it comes to creating a business presence and highlighting its success in its field. Winning awards over competitors will also make a business more appealing to a potential purchaser or investor.
Internal communications also have to be considered. How much or how little you tell your team about your future plans will also make a huge difference to how invested they will be in any major changes or goals. If they are worried about a company’s future or job security, they will be less likely to stay, or productivity may drop, which could make your business a less appealing option for a prospective purchaser. If a team is united in achieving a goal or know they are part of a succession plan, merger or acquisition, they are more likely to want to be part of the company’s future.
“Whilst personal branding and ‘people do business with people’ are still valid points and can help to win contracts, if you are planning on selling or exiting your business, you need to factor your communications into those plans as early as you can and use them to build your company’s presence and value,”
“If you are planning an exit strategy, incorporate a PR and comms strategy that will create a digital footprint and recognisable brand with strong values. Build up a searchable history of your company’s achievements and customer reviews through content marketing, awards and online press articles and grow your social media followings, too. And don’t forget the importance of planning how and when you communicate these changes to your team.
“PR and comms can be a powerful tool to create both a legacy and a future for any business.”
If you are planning to retire or sell your business and would like some help in creating an aligning PR and communications strategy, contact Emma Speirs on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01536 682800