If you plan to close up and sell, attract further investment, or seek new partnerships, it’s useful to raise the value of your business.

In some significant ways, both small and large businesses are more likely to get the benefit of the doubt when being casually appraised. Startups, in particular, can have limited success but promising ideas, meaning they can pick up steam in a heartbeat. On the other end of the spectrum, large businesses have dominant brand names that are easily overvalued.

Middle market businesses aren’t small enough to claim developmental adolescence as an excuse, nor are they big industry names trading off brand awareness. Due to this, they need to make strong cases for their value to garner the acknowledgement they warrant. Let’s look at 6 choices you can make to boost the perceived value of your middle market business:

Secure your intellectual property

The concepts and products you devise while running your business are key to its long-term value, but while many elements of ownership are presumed (which is to say they come into effect situationally without needing to be formally codified), it’s not a good idea to simply focus on the creative side of things and assume that no legal issues will arise.

You’ll feel more confident — as will anyone valuing your business — if you reach out to qualified legal representation and get the protection of your brand assets fully confirmed. At the same time, check that you’re not infringing upon any copyright. Even something as basic as a low-level employee using pirated software on a company machine can attract legal action and establish an unwelcome presumption of impropriety.

Commit to ethical operation

With climate change concerns becoming ever-more pressing, and younger generations taking it upon themselves to spur meaningful action, ethical consumerism is on the rise. People are interested in knowing where products come from, how companies source their power (e.g., are they using energy-saving IoT solutions?), and to what extent the brands courting their patronage are investing in sustainability.

Because of this, and because it simply makes sense to run a more energy-efficient operation, you should associate your brand with a commitment to ethical business. Release a statement about how your business can (and should) steadily become more streamlined. Not only will your brand benefit from the exposure, but the framing of your business as future-proof will present it as an investment with a lot of potential.

Work with a PR business

Social proof matters across the board, no matter what type of product you’re dealing with. As tribal creatures, we’ll always look to our peers for guidance on what to think about something, so any positive press you can secure within your industry should add to the cachet of your brand.

An excellent PR company can make the most of your business’s positive aspects and diminish the impact of its weaknesses. It can also help elevate your personal perception in your industry (through getting you interviews and helping you network), ultimately making prospective buyers and partners alike more interested in dealing with you. If you look around online, you’ll find various resources for helping you find a suitable PR company, so take advantage.

Invest in scalable infrastructure

In the event that someone takes over your business, they’ll almost certainly want to keep things running as smoothly as possible — but they’ll also envision growing it significantly. Accordingly, the more you make your essential operation robust and easy to scale, the more attractive it will become to prospective buyers.

If you sell nationally, but there’s potential to sell internationally under new management, you’ll have a stronger bargaining position with a store built on a global ecommerce platform. Similarly, if you make a concerted effort to comprehensively document all your standard operating procedures (SOPs) — a practice that’s core to international quality management — you can make it relatively easy for new owners to scale up your process.

Negotiate all your agreements

Not everyone enjoys business negotiations, so when you’re in charge of a business, you might opt to take a fairly relaxed approach to agreeing to deals. This can be a good thing when it comes to maintaining positive working relationships, but it can lead to underwhelming arrangements: paying too much, charging too little, and having suboptimal terms.

With the value of your business on the line, steel your nerve, consider that a no is just the beginning, and get back to the negotiating table. What do you feel is warranted? Can you make a compelling case for long-term contractual commitments from your top clients? Conversely, are there agreements that prospective buyers might prefer to avoid? If so, you could try to switch to shorter deals. Think from an external perspective, and make your business most appealing.

Show a clear internal structure

Particularly ahead of (and during) times of transition, businesses of any size need strong management — ideally tiered. The new-age flat structure embraced by a lot of startups can work, but isn’t tremendously reliable. Even if you sell, and move on from your ownership position, there will likely be plenty of employees who stay on. How do they fit together?

When you buy a middle market business, you must factor in the skills of the staff members. Great teams are rare. Without them, the business wouldn’t be able to run, and trying to find replacements at short notice is expensive and frustrating. Instead of giving the impression that every day at your workplace is barely controlled, lay out your full structure, all the way from managers down to assistants. It shows professionalism and reliability.

Follow through with each of these choices, and your middle market business will become significantly more appealing to potential buyers, and even as a possible business partner. Hiring legal and PR representatives might be costly, but it’s justified by the value your actions will return to the business.