Companies and business owners get asked this common question every day - “What do you do?”
Most people give their “elevator speech” - 30-60 seconds that hits the highlights of your operation and capabilities. This is great for a casual conversation with friends but what do you say to potential buyers of your business?
Focus on two facets of your business - core competencies and strategy. Answer the questions “where are you now?” and “where will you be in the future?”
Business owners believe they can support their customers with a variety of products and services. But what actually brings customers back for the second, third, and fourth time? That is the core competency of the business and what potential buyers want to understand. Many businesses are capable of providing a variety of products/services but few should be considered core competencies. What differentiates you from the competition? Is it your high-touch customer service, your ability to hold a ton of inventory so you can ship products out immediately, your ability to be a one-stop solution for all your customer’s needs or something else entirely?
Strategy for most businesses is to “grow”. But can you tell a buyer how? Buyers want to understand where the company is headed and what it takes to get there. It’s critical to outline realistic expectations on your growth model so buyers can get comfortable stepping in to drive these initiatives. Many companies say they can grow by acquiring smaller companies, but have you done acquisitions before, have you outlined add-on prospects, etc? Buyers are risk averse and they want to be sure that their investment in your company will pay off with a clear growth plan.
Focus on the core competencies and strategy of the business when you talk to prospective buyers’ to show you have a clear understanding of your business and how the future acquirer can build on your solid foundation.
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