With all of the unpredictability of owning a business, there is one thing you as the owner can absolutely count on. One day, it will be your last day. And while we can’t always control WHEN we exit due to illness, death or other unforeseen circumstances, we can control much about HOW we exit and how we and our families are rewarded for all those years of sweat equity.
So what does this have to do with your brand and marketing? Everything. Of course, if you work with an ad agency or creative firm, then likely nothing. That’s why you see companies “rebranding” all the time. And as we know, the “rebrand” will be rebranded again in a few years because all they did was put a new wrapper on the existing business. They did nothing to improve the business itself because frankly, they don’t know how. That’s why we say that “branding” should not exist outside of raising livestock.
A better solution begins with a better understanding of the situation. Think of your business journey as just that – a journey. Would you pile your family into the car and head out on vacation without at least discussing where you wanted to go? Of course not. Otherwise you end up on a beach dressed for skiing. It’s the same for your business. If you can visualize your business on your last day and know how much you want in the bank when you hand over the keys, a game plan can be executed to get there with infinitely less waste and effort. Moreover, the process of doing so results in a stronger, easier to manage, easier to maneuver business that generates more profit with less effort required from the owner. In other words, a stronger brand.
When starting at the end, with exit planning incorporated into brand strategy, the brand becomes less centered on the owner and more centered on how a group of people can better improve the lives of their customers. Besides building a real brand and a legacy, the owner now works on the business instead of in it, has more freedom to do other things and has protected his or her family and employees from disaster owing to an “unexpected exit.”
How prepared are you and your company for your “last day?” How much of your company’s “brand” is you? If you would like data-driven answers to those questions rather than guessing, click HERE.