You never know when a highly qualified, unique buyer will appear. The thrust of value engineering and strategic planning is to move your business into a position to engage with a buyer who appears unexpectedly without regret. Good preparation will permit you to know what to do and have the confidence that your business is ready to be marketed...even if it is in advance of your prior plan. If you apply the strategies and principles in the value engineering section of MergerMentor.com you will be well on your way to effectively handle and optimize any unique offer that develops.
You should alway be seeking visibility and market position as "that really good business over there" in the publics and competitors' minds. You can go beyond focusing on operating excellence by recognizing that the market place will develop a characterization of your business. The visibility given the market and the information provided will be very important in molding this image into what you want to accelerate and enhance the eventual ownership transfer you are seeking...at your price and on your terms.
One of the overlooked aspects is the "public business image"...developed by employees, vendors, customers, competitors, professional, and other comes from simple things you and your business do. The way each of these groups is treated in day-to-day interactions and how your personally participation in community organizations will be measured again and again. Everytime you talk with a CPA , financial planner, or attorney they may be assessing you and your business with one of their clients in mind. Little things in these conversation can matter.
In addition, you website may either enhance and support the image you are trying to develop or it may detract from it. For many businesses, this fact argues for spending a little more time and money. Think through what you are trying to accomplish with your internet efforts and the marketing tools you are using. An outstanding website that both helps you improve business growth and performance and establishes an strong public image may just be the X-Factor that someday brings you that unique, unexpected...but very, very welcome business buyer.