When selling a house experts talk about ‘kerb appeal’ and in retail stores ‘window dressing’ is essential in attracting shoppers. In both cases the superficial objective is to make the house or shop contents look more appealing, but beyond that there are many objectives based around desirability, scarcity, footfall, value/price positioning and on it goes.
What do kerb appeal and window dressing have to do with exit planning and ownership succession?
Promoting and presenting an attractive business increases desirability and supports better sale values. At the end of the day, we are dealing with the basic principles of how to successfully sell a product or service – in this case your company. There are a lot of aspects to consider – that is why you need an exit plan. One aspect is that potential acquirers will want to find out about your proposition and how you present information about your business to your customers.
One of the first places they will look is your website and they may consider:
- Is it easy for website visitors (potential customers) to find out about what you do?
- Do you know who is visiting your website?
- Does your website fulfil its purpose e.g. information, sign-posting, lead generation or online sales?
- Is the website attractive, professional and engaging?
- How does it compare to your competitors’ websites?
- Is the content up to date (as this helps build trust between you and your customers?
If your website is not up to scratch, what does this say about your company – are there other areas of your business that are also out of date, therefore making it less attractive to a potential buyer?
Of course with any sale there is an argument that a buyer wants to see ‘potential’ and therefore relatively low cost improvements, for example to the website, are not going to put off a buyer who is more interested in the fundamentals of the business. And in any case, as with houses, some people love a ‘doer upper’ project! On the other hand, a well presented business is likely to be seen as a reflection of a well-run company so why not start on the front foot in any potential sale or investment discussion?
In conclusion your website does have a bearing on how your business is viewed and that will in turn influence the perception of its desirability and attractiveness. Will a fantastic website result in a better exit – maybe. Will a poor or non-existent website detract from your exit, again, maybe. But why take the risk? The potential value you gain from a well-presented business via a good website is likely to dwarf the relatively small investment in having a well-designed and maintained website.
Do you need help presenting your business in the best possible way? Contact Henchards to start the ball rolling.