I strongly believe that the next wave of business growth and wealth generation is going to come from the business owners who are, firstly, clear on WHY they are in business and secondly, are the quickest to adapt to opportunities as they present themselves and think outside their traditional solutions.
However, many business owners have not been introduced to the most significant and probably the safest way to profitably grow their business; that is strategic business acquisitions.
Traditionally business owners search for and explore methods of improvement and growth, only to find themselves becoming busy ‘doing stuff’, or in other words tacking, in a series of well-planned and thought-out tactics that, in most cases, do not get the results that are required or expected. We can all keep ourselves busy and believing we are improving the business by tacking, but the real question is, “is all the activity and stress actually making any significant, measurable improvement?”
On the other hand, businesses that wait for improvements in the economic climate to solve their problems invariably are disappointed; while the drop in growth may appear to have been triggered by the slowing economic conditions, the real issues generally lie within the business and or industry sector itself.
As a result, the owner’s level of frustration and stress increases. Most of these businesses are generally still strong and viable, but the owner knows at their core they are facing continued underperformance and eventually, they will start to see signs of financial stress. They know they need new and effective solutions, but are unsure of what direction to take.
So what can business owners do?
If they want to continue growing, they need to consider a strategic business acquisition, as part of a medium-term plan for the business. An acquisition strategy at this stage can inject real energy and profit into the business which also assists the business afford and attract top quality staff. Acquisitions have traditionally been seen as a strategy for big businesses, it is an underutilised and misunderstood strategy that smaller and medium size private businesses should be utilising constantly.
Why has there never been a better time for acquisitions?
22% of businesses in Australia today are owned by the Baby Boomer generation, and these Baby Boomers are looking for an exit strategy. But who is buying them?
The Baby Boomer generation was born between 1946 and 1963, and the first of this generation turned 65 in 2011, while the early retirees have been selling their businesses since the mid-2000s. Each day more and more of these business owners are considering their exit strategy, and they are either putting their businesses up for sale formally, or planning for the sale process.
And, as in any market, when supply outweighs demand, it becomes a buyer’s market, which means there has never been a better time for acquisitions.
The Baby Boomer owned business sector is what you would consider to be the low-hanging fruit in the area of acquisitions. We are living in a time of abundance of supply, which means now is a great opportunity for business owners to buy good quality businesses.
Additionally, not only are there a large number of businesses available, but also a great variety with many different business sizes and industries in the pool. As an entrepreneurial business owner, this gives you the opportunity to pick and choose which businesses best suit your growth strategies.
One of the keys to this strategy is through reducing a lot of the duplication of costs across businesses in each industry or sector. By consolidating businesses through acquisition you create greater efficiencies and less wasted effort which in turn creates increased overall wealth for the owners.
For more information and case studies on acquisition strategies for private businesses visit https://www.otterassociates.com.au/ and receive a free download of the introduction to my book Crank It Up.