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Posted by Jennifer Hendrickson on
Change hurts. Changing our businesses with the times is difficult and we can be forgiven for wanting to avoid anything that’s both difficult and painful. Still, the ways in which businesses connect with their customers has changed and is continuing to do so because those customers’ expectations are changing. Here’s the hard truth: Business owners who are resisting these changes by not keeping their business operations current are less valuable than those who stay competitive. It’s more than the “disruptors” who are relegating whole industries to the back burner (read: Uber vs. Taxis; AirBNB vs. Hotels) it’s also brick-and-mortar companies who are becoming more savvy with new technologies that improve everything they do.
We have clients who call and want to sell, and with a short conversation we discover that they have obsolete inventory management with no tracking system, no point of sale system to ring up sales, a website that hasn’t been updated in several years, and a customer interface that relies on telephones and fax machines. Even with decent cash flow, this is a fixer-upper and there is no HGTV-type buyer that will come along and want to fix all that – unless they pay pennies on the dollar for it. Buyers will simply keep looking for a business that’s more current. Here are some things you can do to stay current and relevant in business today:
- Website: Make sure yours is clean, fresh, accurate, easy to read, and optimized for mobile devices.
- Social media: Consider business pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or other sites that are appropriate for your business. Be sure to post regularly and keep the content fresh.
- Marketing: Brochures, catalogs, business cards, logos, etc. should all be refreshed every 5-7 years. If yours are stale, update them.
- Exterior and Interior: Whether you are leasing space or own your building, keep it looking nice. You might need a coat of paint, to purge old furniture and equipment, scan the paperwork piled up in the back room, or replace some of the dated artwork. Your buyer needs to see themselves being proud of your space.
- Streamline: If you don’t accept credit cards, set up a merchant account. If you don’t allow forms to be submitted online, set it up. Accounting systems should be in place and accurate. Archaic software should be modernized and cloud-based programs allowing for additional efficiencies should be explored.
There are many other ways to get your business ready to sell and they can’t be done overnight. Take the time to bring your business current and if you’re not sure where to begin, contact us and we’ll consult with you to get your business ready to sell for top dollar.