I spoke with a gentleman who owned a small business with 6 employees. He was an older guy who had created a nice profitable company for himself all through word-of-mouth referrals.

Unfortunately, he was hitting 70 and was looking to sell his company in about 5-10 years.

His company did not existent online

He had no website, no logo, no branding, no presence whatsoever online. Selling his company would help with his retirement so he can spend the rest of his life enjoying himself.

You may think this is odd but there are a ton of businesses out there who operate the same way and they are owned by Baby Boomers that are looking to retire in the next 5-10 years hoping to use the sale of their company to fund their retirement.

It sounds like a great idea. But do you have a brand worth selling?

While having no visual presence online or beyond may seem perfectly fine in the eyes of a Baby Boomer. This is a red flag for any potential buyer today.

Back to our Baby Boomer company owner.

How could he fix the problem of having no visual presence (online or offline) and make his company attractive to buyers? How could he demand top dollar for his company and not have to spend a boatload of cash to make it attractive to buyers?

He should have invested in branding basics.

These are key areas where he should have focused and invested his profits to make his brand more attractive to buyers.

  1. Logo
  2. Website
  3. Print marketing
  4. Online presence

It doesn’t take much to correct the perception of others.

Here’s something amazing, he had already created a brand. He had word-of-mouth marketing sales to back up that claim. Even though there was no documentation of reviews or testimonials, there was an army of advocates who were willing to tell others about their experience.

He could have built on what he already had.

The fact he had repeat customers and new business coming in from word-of-mouth alone is enough to show the potential of this company to any new buyer. It’s a good start but it’s not enough in today’s market.

Imagine this…

Think what would have happened if this owner had a great looking logo to match the company brand? Imagine it was displayed on his great looking business cards, his website, vehicles, brochures, and other supporting marketing materials. What kind of initial impression would have that made to the buyer?

Now imagine that this potential buyer wanted to look up the company and was greeted by the same consistent look, feel and messaging online? As this buyer went deeper into the company, they saw Google reviews, they saw amazing photographs and the messaging was spot on.

What was this potential buyer was thinking as they absorbed all that information? Would they have been more inclined to purchase this company?

Now take all of that away and try selling this company in words alone.

Doesn’t seem appealing anymore, does it?

How likely would have this buyer been interested in purchasing the company from that Baby Boomer if all he had to show was a client list, some spreadsheets, and DIY business cards?

He could spend as much time as he wants to try to convince the buyer of the value of his company until he is blue in the face. The buyer isn’t going to care because there is nothing to show for it.

Basically, perception matters.

Retirement is scary enough. Selling your company, the one you built with your own hands, compounds that fear. Especially if you are relying on the sale of your business to help with retirement.

To ease your fears, you need potential buyers to see that your company requires very little work to get started. Showcase that it’s a turnkey company.

Creating a path of no resistance will help the buyer make a quicker decision and be less likely to haggle on price. Heck, you might be able to increase the value of your business because you invested in branding it properly.

Not long ago, having strong visuals to match a brand was moot. Many small businesses were bought and sold without having to invest in branding and design. That’s not the case today. Visuals matter. Branding matters. Online presence matters. Your logo design, website design, your messaging, print marketing, social media and Google presence all matter in today’s market.

You will not generate enough interest from buyers without the right perception.

The gentleman’s story above is nothing new. There are many like him out there right now wondering if they can sell their company without any branding. You might. But are you getting top dollar? Are you getting enough interest from potential buyers? Are you leaving money on the table?

It’s time to assess your company’s branding or lack thereof.

You need to ask yourself, is it going to help or hurt your sale and retirement?

Do you care about your clients and brand?

Do you feel like others don't get the method to your madness? Do they look at your excessive nature of caring and going the extra mile as a waste of time and money? Do they have a chuckle at your expense?

Don't stop doing what makes you great! Do more of it because this is what separates shitty brands from great ones.

If you have a desire to take your brand to a new level of success, let's talk.

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