Now that the worst of the downturn appears to be behind us, many business owners/managers are turning their attention to growing their businesses. Growth can be a complicated proposition for any company. There are many “organic” options such as winning new clients, hiring new staff, creating new product and service offerings and so on. While organic growth is undoubtedly part of the plan, it is often a slow process. If your growth goals are more aggressive, a strategic acquisition might be the right route to take.
An acquisition is meant to create synergy that makes the value of the combined entity greater than the sum of its original parts. Through the strategic acquisition of another business, the purchasing company can achieve economies of scale, efficiencies and enhanced market visibility. The acquisition can also increase the size of the firm’s client base, add new market opportunities and help increase shareholder value. You must ensure that your business is appropriately positioned to acquire another firm. Here are a few key points to consider.
Your business needs to be in good financial health
If your company is financially solid with a proven track record of success, you are well positioned to take advantage of acquisition opportunities. If you need to finance your acquisition, a bank will want to see a strong track record before they will be willing to lend to your firm.
A solid business model
A solid business model should be reflected in a strategic plan that identifies acquisition as a key part of the management team’s plan. Focus your business on what it does best and allow flexibility within that focus so your business can adapt as the market changes and as acquisition opportunities arise.
Strong management team
Surround yourself with a team of people who know your business and enforce your company’s corporate culture internally and externally. They should understand the marketplace in which you operate and your customers’ key drivers. Engage the services of a good lawyer and accountant to help you to complete your acquisition transaction properly.
Access to capital
Unless you already have the cash, you’ll need to make sure you have access to capital and the borrowing capacity to complete your acquisition. Regardless of the state of the economy, shop around and talking to different banks. Seek out banks who are knowledgeable of your business, your market sector and can use their expertise to help you to plan ahead for all the capital you will need during and after the acquisition.