A buyer with money in their pocket will come to you when you have attracted their attention. You will need to be big enough and credible enough and they will have seen your business making waves in all the right pools for your industry.
You are always a nobody until you are a somebody. So you have to make sure your business has the best reputation in your industry for a buyer to notice you. You have to put your business out there and make sure it is seen. The following two strategies can help build your company’s reputation:
1. Be an expert. Tell the world what you know. Start writing articles and send them off to publications in your industry. Set up a blog and start blogging about your industry. Turn some of your ideas into a flyer, get it printed and distributed to your customers and your competitors customers. Make it an e-version and promote it via your website (thereby building an email database too). For subject matter, just write about what you know. Lists work really well, especially if you number them.. eg. An osteopath could write ‘the 9 things people don’t realise about their spine’; a fashion retailer could write ‘5 ways to wear red this winter’ or ‘7 ways to look slimmer in dresses this summer’. You get the idea. Its about adding value to people and having them see you as an expert in your field. If you are confident at public speaking you can also put yourself forward as a speaker in your area of expertise and let networking groups know you can add value to their meetings.
2. Win awards. I’ve always been a big fan of entering awards. I was runner up for NZ business woman of the year 3 times when I owned my advertising agency. Even though I didn’t win, I got masses of media coverage. When my agency won Agency of the Year, our reputation really took off. It was that year that a multi-national came knocking on my door and yes… paid a premium for my business. Last year my pet care company won a regional best SME award and were finalists in another local business award, which saw us on the front page of the business section of the daily paper as well as on national TV. There is no doubt about it, awards are impressive and when a buyer is looking for a business to buy, a business that has won numerous awards has to be a good one, right?
Exercise: start looking for awards you can enter. All industries have awards. There is a bit of a knack to writing your entry so that you maximise the good about your company and minimise the not so good.