Here's the bad news: In today's business-for-sale marketplace, the number of sellers substantially exceeds the number of buyers.
So if you are interested in the possibility of being acquired without navigating a formal listing process, the odds are stacked against you.
Now here's the good news: Business-for-sale statistics don't tell the whole story. Many of the companies that are currently listed in the marketplace are marginal businesses that stand little chance of being acquired at or near the asking price. Truly qualified acquirers are looking for healthy acquisition targets with a high potential for growth and future profitability.
A coordinated PR strategy can go contribute toward making your company a sought-after acquisition target. Even if your efforts don't lead to an acquisition, your business will still receive the benefits of increased visibility among consumers and industry insiders. That makes the idea of attracting acquirers with PR a no-risk business decision with the potential to deliver big results.
- Plan ahead. If you wait until the last minute to launch an acquisition-seeking PR strategy, it's too late to realize many of the benefits you could have received if you had planned ahead. Good PR takes time to develop and execute. It takes even longer for your message to settle in the industry's consciousness. Give yourself a year or more lead time to execute a multi-stage PR strategy that has the ability to garner the attention of brokers and acquirers.
- Pitch story ideas. The secret to effective PR is to develop story ideas that interest industry insiders and the general public. When you use PR to position your business for an acquisition, the idea is to come up with story ideas that feature your company's key strengths and downplay its vulnerabilities.
- Create white papers. Businesses use white papers to establish the company as a thought leader in the field. How does thought leadership attract acquisition interest? Because companies that are seen as thought leaders are on the cutting edge of their industry and acquirers are prefer leading edge companies over the ones that struggle to keep up with industry developments.
- Target trade journals. It's an ego boost to have your company featured in the local newspaper. But in terms of acquisition potential, you'll get more mileage out of feature stories in trade journals and other media outlets that are regularly seen by the buyers and companies who are most likely to acquire your business.