You are consistently hitting your revenue and profit targets, and achieving the goals set out in the new business plan. There is a robustness and stability to the business and its place in the market.

Start thinking about an exit in practical terms. What would a buyer be looking for? You can probably draw up your own list: quality product, financial performance, growth potential, synergies and so on. But this is a good time to flip the coin and look at things from a different perspective. What would put off a potential buyer? Keep in mind that anyone buying a business does so because of its potential, its offering or a combination of the two. Past performance is merely an indicator of future value, after all.

You’re not going to attract a buyer if you don’t stand out. However, at this point you don’t want to be too ‘zany’ and create any unwanted nerves, it’s a balancing act.

Your marketing and communications strategy will be important to the buyer. You need to demonstrate you have a proven approach that will continue to support sales growth in the years to come. You also need to indicate how much the programme costs and ROI. None of this will be possible without the measurement system you put into place long ago – ensure this is still working properly.

Google analytics are a powerful way of showing that your communications programmes deliver business outcomes. The ability to be precise will reassure a potential buyer that the mechanism for future growth is already in place.

At the same time, don’t get distracted.  Keep the engagement engine – which you’ve worked so hard to craft and perfect in previous ages – running at full steam. Nothing unnerves investors like a sudden drop in performance.

But what needs to happen once you’ve signed on the dotted line and a deal is done? Look out for our next post – Exit.

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