“If I buy his company and combine it with mine, I will control about 45% of the Nashville market. 他说他准备退休并出售.” Taranda (not her real name) started her company in 2005 and turned the corner of profitability right before the recession of ‘08-’09. As we had hot chocolate one night at Starbucks, Taranda explained why she called me. “I almost gave up when the market went south in 2008 but my husband helped me stay focused, and here I am now with a growing and quite profitable business. However, I see an opportunity to do more and that’s why I want to make this acquisition. 我告诉你，这对我来说太完美了. But, I don’t want to put myself at risk by doing something stupid in the process.”
虽然不适合胆小的人， growing through acquisition can be a smart strategy, if the buyer is smart about the process. The buyer is usually going into debt to make the acquisition, and buying a business always brings a host of new people and problems to manage. Taking care of all that, while running the core business, is no easy feat.
塔兰达告诉我她的想法. From 2011 through 2016, 她说 her new customer base grew by 8% per year. 但在过去的三年里, new customer growth had slowed to about 3% per year, even though she was increasing her marketing expense every year. “This cost of new customer growth will drive me out of business if I’m not careful. I need a new strategy, and this acquisition looks like a good way to grow,”她解释说.
The company Taranda was looking to acquire would increase her customer base by about 60%. “It would take me six or seven years to add that many new customers,” 她说, “and since the owner is ready to retire, his valuation is reasonable. Buying his company will be a less expensive way of growing my customer base than investing in marketing for the next few years.”
Taranda knows she’s not likely going to retain all of the 卖方’s customers. “The way I’m working the numbers, I’m happy if we keep about 90%.” But in addition to adding new customers, she told me the acquisition would bring her two strong salespeople and an experienced office admin staff. “You know how hard it is to find experienced people these days. But here’s another thing that’s so cool about this deal，”她补充道，because I’ve wanted a presence in the west end area of Nashville, 那是他办公室的所在地. I’m telling you, it’s just crazy, this thing is perfect on so many levels.”
It didn’t occur to me until I got home after our meeting, but Taranda and I never discussed the 卖方’s asking price. 我猜她只是认为这是理所当然的. Instead of obsessing over negotiating tactics to “get a good deal,” Taranda was focused on the why of the acquisition, the strategic reasons that drove her to seek it out in the first place. 这就是我所说的精明收购.
I’m not sure the deal will come together, 但如果我是个赌徒的话, I’d sure give the odds to Taranda that she can make it happen. Her approach is wise, though not intuitive. When focusing on growth through acquisition, focus first and foremost on the logic. Get the strategy right, and worry about the price later.
JIM CUMBEE is President of 田纳西河谷集团, Inc. a retainer-based business brokerage and transition mediation firm 在富兰克林,TN. Cumbee is an attorney and has an MBA from Harvard Business School. 吉姆是这本书的作者 韦德体育app官网 Run, A Pro’s Guide to Selling a Business. http://www.amazon.com/Home-Pros-Guide-Selling-Business/dp/1599329239 . He has a wide range of corporate 和企业家ial experiences that make him one of the most sought-after business transition advisors in the state of Tennessee. 上面的故事是真的, but the names and fact patterns above have been changed to preserve the parties’ identities.