Simon Burrow, a recent speaker at NexGen, a peer-network for business owners and executives, offered advice on how to sell a business. He stated that building and promoting his brand was the single most valuable thing he ever did! Buyers pay more for a brand than for a customer list or operational skills.
What impressed me most about Simon was that he always worked from clear intentions. He wanted to own a business, not own a job. He wanted to sell that business profitably. He determined the price he needed from the business to be comfortable for the rest of his life. He enlisted his employees to help him grow the company, promote the brand and deliver a consistent level of service. He knew who the right buyers would be and got his brand in front of them.
Simon started his business by developing a clean logo and appropriate tag line and never changed it. He put it on every piece of paper or pen they had… and on every division he started. He worked hard to get it in front of his whole audience including customers, vendors, and the natural buyers of his business. He burned it into their consciousness.
He sold his business for the price he wanted. His customers and equipment were absorbed into the acquiring company, but his brand lives on, creating even greater value for the buyer. Everybody won!