Business growth stage and exit strategies: The case of the public relations industry

In the fast-paced world of business, the role of public relations (PR) is vital for shaping a company’s success by effectively managing communication and reputation. PR firms operate in an ever-evolving landscape, and understanding the unique roles of entrepreneurs during the growth phase is key to grasping the challenges and opportunities faced by these visionary leaders. Today, we’re going to dive into what entrepreneurs do during the growth stage in the PR industry and explore the different paths they might choose when it’s time to step down. Should you seek more details, you can download the original research article of this post here.

Entrepreneurial Superstars

Founders in Vietnam’s PR industry are a unique bunch. They prefer to stay hands-on during the growth phase because they see themselves as the driving force behind their agency’s success. In this industry, personal branding and the founder’s reputation are a big deal. Clients flock to them because of their name and track record.

These founders are also very aware of their strengths and weaknesses. If they know they’re not great at something, they’re more willing to delegate those tasks while maintaining control in areas they excel in.

The Exit Dilemma

When it comes to wrapping up their PR journey, many entrepreneurs in Vietnam are considering mergers and acquisitions as an exit strategy. Smaller agencies, in particular, see this as a way to grow and reach more clients. However, the fear of losing control and independence can be a major roadblock for some.

How It All Fits Together

Entrepreneurship isn’t just about starting a business; it’s a journey. Scott and Bruce’s growth model highlights the different stages a company goes through. In the growth phase, sales go up, the customer base expands, and more resources are needed. Our findings show that entrepreneurs shift from being hands-on to becoming more strategic. They set the vision, establish the company culture, and foster innovation.

But here’s the twist: in Vietnam’s PR industry, many founders are practitioners. They not only run the business but also do client work. This dual role brings unique challenges as they juggle both responsibilities.

To Control or Not to Control?

One of the big decisions for entrepreneurs is whether to keep a tight grip or delegate management responsibilities. Some want to hold onto the reins due to their emotional connection to the company and vision, while others delegate to professional managers to drive growth and efficiency.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions can be a ticket to bigger market reach and new capabilities. However, entrepreneurs need to carefully weigh the pros and cons, including cultural fit, client synergies, post-merger integration challenges, and financial considerations.


Founders transition from hands-on roles to strategic leadership, setting the company’s vision, culture, and fostering innovation. The decision to maintain control or delegate is a crucial one, and many founders in the PR industry here are leaning towards mergers and acquisitions when it’s time to step down. Moreover, mergers and acquisitions have emerged as a popular option for those looking to expand their market reach and capabilities. Nonetheless, careful evaluation of the associated challenges, like cultural fit and post-merger integration, is essential to ensure a successful transition and achieve desired exit outcomes.


Ly-Le, T. M., & Le, V. T. (2023). Entrepreneur’s roles during business growth stage and their exit routes: The case of the public relations industry. DeReMa (Development Research of Management): Jurnal Manajemen, 18(2), 144-156.

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