How I came to realise the power of acquisitions
Many business people assume an acquisition must look like this: Buy a competitor. Pay with cash.
No wonder it’s an automatic turn off. Most of us spend our careers trying to do things better than the competition, after all. So the idea of taking over their headaches, and watching them head off with your life savings, is not a gratifying vision.
But look more closely and you may see that acquisitive growth could be your biggest opportunity for multiplying your business.
The loneliness of long distance growth.
When I was running my football league business it took me two years to grow from 1-3 locations, two more years to get to 10, then two more to get to 30. Not so bad. But that's when things plateaued. Maybe your experience is similar?
A natural pace is fine in the early years. Caught up in the romance of the start-up phase, entrepreneurs are often happy to take it as it comes.
But what if you are a more established business? You have budgets to achieve. Maybe a retirement to plan for.
Growing customer by customer, contract by contract, is not an attractive option. If there are nimbler competitors out there, this approach could even mean a slow death.
In my case, it seemed like reaching my goals would take forever. Competitors were growing at a similar rate elsewhere. How could I outrun them?
A chance comment from someone changed everything. "When are you going to buy my business?" It led to a moment of clarity. I had literally never considered this as something I could do.
It started a new acquisitive strategy that changed everything and ultimately led to 200 locations, something that would have taken 10 years organically.
Your first acquisition. A few steps away?
Think about your business. Are you pushing ever harder for smaller incremental growth? Could your business benefit from the new challenge and fresh energy that an acquisition would bring?
If so, I want you to scroll through your phone contacts.
They say that most first M&A deals take place between parties that have known each other for years. Maybe your perfect opportunity is right there in front of you.