When BIG CO comes knocking. How to make the acquisition process a little easier.
August 3, 2015
Did we say that we’re hi-tech veterans? Yep, we’ve been at this a while. Long enough to have seen our share of “exits” – The Good (yeah, we’re growing!) - The Bad (oh no, are those doors closed?) – and The Amazing (woo-hoo, we’re going public!). And collectively, we’ve been part of SEVEN acquisitions. So we’d like to think that we know a thing or two about what makes a company just ripe for the picking. Great technology, growing market share and a bankable customer base. So, if your exit strategy includes even the remotest possibility for an acquisition, keep reading. Because whether you anticipate an event in 18 months or 3 years, you can start now getting your house in order for when BIG CO comes knocking.
Signing on the Dotted Line
Don’t underestimate the power of being thorough. You have customers. We hope you have contracts to go along with them. So make sure that every contract is ‘clean.’ What do we mean be that? We mean no exclusivity clauses and no freeware that can't support upgrades. BIG CO doesn’t want to inherit messes and headaches, so make it easy by being thorough.
The Customer is Always Right
Don’t underestimate the power of your CRM. Make sure you have a complete, clean contact list. And we don’t mean in a spreadsheet. This is where using your CRM tool comes in really handy. We’ll trust that your sales and marketing teams have been populating your CRM and keeping it current and up to date. That's a plus for BIG CO who stands to inherit all of your customers.
Document, Document, Document
Don’t underestimate the power of a being detailed. Really detailed. Documented marketing plans with reporting, marketing funnel numbers (i.e, how many leads equal how many closed deals) are key. BIG CO will ask and they’ll want an answer – one that’s easy to pull and documented. Remember that marketing automation tool you spent so much money on? This now becomes part of your ROI.
There are a lists and list of things that will make your acquisition path easier. Things like knowing how many employees vs contractors you have. Remember, BIG CO doesn’t have to acquire contractors, so if your revenue shoes a low employee to contractor ratio, that helps! Do you have $ in the bank? That's always a plus. Do you owe money? That's not a plus. Do you have any outstanding lawsuits? We’re certain you don’t, but if you do, then they need to be addressed and corrected.