THE EXIT PLANNING BLOG
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Is Your Marketing Strategy Preparing You For Your Business Exit?
by Colleen Kowalski on August 2, 2022
What is your current marketing strategy? How do you ensure your customers and potential customers are aware of your business and enticed to work with you? Without effective marketing, your business will never reach its full value.
If you are planning to exit your business, a solid marketing strategy can vastly improve your multiple.
Learn how to build value in your business by improving your marketing strategy from marketing expert, Heather Steele.
Meet Heather Steele
Heather Steele is the CEO and Founder of Blue Steele Solutions, a Dallas-Fort Worth-based marketing agency focused on growth strategies and process implementation. She began her career as a technical writer in 2006 and transitioned her communication skills into marketing. In 2010 she started her marketing agency and in the past four years, she has shifted her focus to working primarily with business advisors and owners looking to increase value before exiting.
Heather’s agency works with business owners and boards who plan to exit their business in the next 3-5 years. They start with creating a marketing strategy using their proprietary Vision Value Model™ then implement the assets and processes defined by the strategy to support their clients’ goals.
The Impact of a Solid Marketing Strategy
For an owner looking to sell their business, a marketing strategy might be the last thing on their mind. They are busy building structural business value and mitigating risks in other areas of their business. Marketing is not their main focus. However, Heather shares, “Leading up to a sale or exit it is critical to build value and prove that the business can run without the owner. Creating a marketing strategy that attracts new prospects and aids the sales team in closing new business is crucial. Many businesses have thrived on the owner’s reputation and network but cannot support long-term growth without that owner. It is also very common for the business to need to diversify revenue and/or create sources of reliable recurring revenue prior to a sale. We help the business reach these goals through marketing and branding strategies.”
A solid marketing strategy helps a business build sustainable value, regardless of the owner. Heather continues, “By implementing processes to increase brand awareness, generate leads and sales, and help diversify and create recurring revenue, we can strongly influence the multiple. Buyers will see a self-sustaining business with strong growth potential even after the owner is no longer involved.”
Why Educate CEPAs About Marketing Efforts?
Successful marketing campaigns foster deeper connections between businesses and their customers and prospects. Heather says, “Most exit planners are great at identifying areas where their clients need to make improvements to get the value they want out of their business. The exit planner tells the business owner they need a marketing strategy that increases awareness, creates sales funnels, and changes their sales strategy, but what that plan actually looks like and who creates it isn’t always clear.”
Without educating professional advisors on the impact of a strong and cohesive marketing strategy, they will not know what to look for in a marketing campaign to build value before a sale. Heather states that not all marketing firms understand the nuances of marketing for a business that will be transitioned soon. She shares, “A typical marketing firm might look at strategies that leverage the owner’s reputation, that sell more products and services to a small existing client-base, or that create a dramatic immediate increase in sales that is not sustainable over time. All things that can be detrimental to the sale of the business.”
Attend the EPI North Texas Chapter Event
Are you interested in learning more from Heather Steele? Attend the EPI North Texas Chapter event on Friday, August 12 at the La Cima Club.
Marketing Like Your Exit Strategy Depends on It
In this session, Heather will talk through what makes a great marketing strategy for businesses in the exit planning process and how the business owner can ensure the agency they work with understands their unique needs.
Heather Steele created a strategic planning process called the Vision Value ModelTM to help owners working toward their exit get a marketing plan supporting the exit they want. They start with their vision to get a clear idea of where they are going in the next 5 years (which includes specifically what their transition will look like) and then we break down the value they get from their business. This is generally more than just the dollar amount they can sell for — owners derive value from the impact their business makes on employees, customers, their communities, and more. When Heather gets owners to clarify their vision and value she can build a marketing strategy that supports their vision while also protecting what they value most about their business.
- Why marketing strategy is crucial to exit planning
- How to spot a marketing strategy that could actually sabotage your client’s exit
- What numbers your clients should be prepared to share with their agency and why those numbers matter
- The ingredients of a great marketing strategy leading up to and after the exit
- Case studies of business owners who got the exit they wanted thanks to a great brand and marketing strategy