Everywhere you turn, you see another article about social media, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. I thought I would add my two cents worth.
It is all about connecting.
Whether or not we describe it in terms of social media or not, we all know that we must connect with our customers and clients, as well as our vendors, employees, colleagues and friends. Social media is all about developing ways to connect – and to be fund. To be found, you have to be visible where people are looking.
Not long ago, many people found the Yellow pages to be their most effective way to connect. Oftentimes, the bigger the Yellow ages ad and the mnore books you were in, the more business you were likely to get. Although the Yellow Pages are definitely still effective for some, my kids, who range in age from their teens to their thirties, hardly evn know what the Yellow Pages are. Even my wife wants to recycle them as soon as they arrive!
I can’t predict what the future will bring, but I am sure the way we connect with our clients, colleagues and friends will continue to evolve over time. Social media is just one step on the journey.
Why is this topic being addressed in a newsletter about business sales and acquisitions?
- The more successful a business in attracting and retaining clients and customers, the more valuable it will be as an acquisition target. As we’ve discussed, social media can be one part of that process.
- Over time, it is likely that social media and similar technologies will play an increasing role in the process of buying and selling businesses.
More than once, when I have spoken with a client or potential client about their web strategy, they have told me that they will be selling their business in the next few years and they just don’t have any interest in getting involved with something like that. It will be too much trouble with too little payback. That is an unfortunate mindset.
When considering the sale of your business, the best strategy is almost always to keep running it aggressively, as if you were going to keep it forever, right up to the day you close on the sale. It will continue to make your business more attractive as a target and position the business better in the event that, for any reason, a potential transaction is not completed.
A few words about how we use social media in our business.
We view the web and social media technologies to be a key part of our business strategy. We go to a great deal of effort to make sure we have a presence where people may be looking to connect with an advisor to assist them in the sale or acquisition of a business, so, in addition to our primary website (www.PrincipiumGroup.com), we maintain a blog (www.SellMyGreenBusiness.com), and a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/principium). Of course, we publish this email newsletter, Green Industry Merger & Acquisition News. We maintain a presence on LinkedIn and each member of our team has a profile there, where you connect with them. (My LinkedIn profile can be found at www.LinkedIn.com/in/ronedmonds) We also use Twitter (@Principium). We do podcasts (principium.podbean.com, also available through iTunes. We will soon have a presence on YouTube and be hosting webinars. In addition, in specific client situations, we use such services as BizBuySell.com, BizQuest.com and several others.
In marketing professional services, we have found that so-called in-bound marketing makes a lot more sense than traditional outbound marketing, which includes cold-calling, direct mail and many forms of advertising. We try to find potential clients and friends wherever they are looking and provide them the relevant information they are looking for. It is our hope that when they are seeking help with business sales and acquisitions, they will remember us and give us a call or an email (or, I suppose, a Facebook or Twitter direct message – I am not really sure about that!)
Where can you go for help in developing your social media strategies? The trade magazines are all covering the topic now. Jeff Korhan (www.jeffkorhan.com) is an expert on the topic with a specific green industry perspective.