10 Steps to maximise the value and saleability of your business – Step 5
At the halfway stage of our 10 blog series we’ve already discussed removing owner dependence, demonstrating growth in sales, profits and cash with good projections, reducing customer and supplier dependence, adding depth in staff, and making sure your business’ brand values are clear, attractive and resilient.
In the fifth blog we will discuss strengthening loyalty with stakeholders.
Step 5 – Build and strengthen loyalty from customers, suppliers and employees
In step three we discussed how difficulties can arise when transferring your business to new owners and it can test the commitment of your customers, employees and suppliers.
So how can you increase that commitment with those particular stakeholders?
One way to bolster loyalty from customers is to offer incremental rebates for future business (maybe a two-to three-year deal), or long-term contracts with customers and suppliers, for example.
Consider introducing staff loyalty through bonuses tied to an employee’s future employment with the business paid at the end of two or three years. A bonus structure might be linked to success and target incentives.
It is important to bring your management team closer to customers, and spend time thoroughly understanding in depth your customers’ worries and their wishes. Consider leading the process of change they would like to see.
Make sure every aspect of your product, service, innovation, or designs is as strong as what your customers want. Ensure your customers and suppliers are close to the teams that actually deliver that package.
Remember to show customers your business has breadth and depth in talent. This will motivate your employees because they feel valued and your customers will like the feeling of being able to get answers from a team of well-informed and committed respondents.
In step six of our 10 blog series, we will discuss making your products and services easy to scale-up and difficult to copy.