An important part of any company’s growth strategy includes some form of acquisition, tuck-in, or merger. A business does this to accelerate their growth in a manner that is faster than growth through organic sales. Making the most of these types of transactions equates to making one plus one equal three.
Leaders strategize to create synergies, eliminate duplicative services, and harness the full potential of both companies. They want to explore and leverage the cross selling opportunities between the client base of both organizations. They assemble and document the best practices between both firms and put them into place for the entire organization.
I have found that there are three things that differentiate the ones who do all of this successfully, and those that struggle. Ok, there are more than three steps to make any acquisition a success, everyone knows that. But here are three that the leaders get right so as not to create self-inflicted wounds.
Leaders make sure they are able to articulate why they were doing the deal. “We are putting these two companies together to accomplish X, Y, and Z.” “We believe that our customers will benefit from this combination because of A, B and C.” “Our internal teams will benefit as they now have access to XX,YY, and ZZ.” You get the picture — and so do the employees, customers, suppliers and other supporting organizations.
Creating clear, and measurable expectations are hallmarks of leaders experienced in successful business combinations. If it’s not clear on day one, it’s not going to get any clearer on day 90. Lack of clarity creates ambiguity, mixed messages, and frankly, a lot of wasted time.
Successful integrators don’t get bogged down in the decision making process. In the early days of any combination, there will be many, many decisions that need to be made. They make it clear how decisions will be made, who will make them, and what the process will be. They don’t allow management indecision to become an impediment to achieving their goals.
The more time spent on these issues before the deal is signed, the less time and money you’ll have to spend fixing it after it’s done. Have a clear picture of where you want to go, a map of how to get there and engage your team to make it happen. If you have questions or additional insight into this topic, please comment below or reach out to me directly.
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic advice, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published in Printing Impressions.