Why are some Buyers more successful than others?
We speak with financial service practices every day and quite a number express their desire to purchase an additional practice.
Acquisition as a growth strategy makes sense? It’s one of the quickest paths for firms to expand and when compared to organic growth it tends to be more cost-effective.
The process is surely more intricate than many advisers presume though, as competition tends to be fierce.
Having spent fifteen years in this industry, it has been incredible to observe the many different acquisition styles and strategies buyers utilize when making acquisitions.
Over the years we have witnessed firms experience significant growth and continued success through acquisition, while others have invested significant amounts of time and resources into attempting to acquire other entities, only to find themselves unsuccessful in their efforts.
Developing a plan and taking proactive steps prior to the acquisition of a business or a book of business is an imperative component for any successful business owner seeking to grow.
Here are several essential steps you can take right away to drastically improve your odds of successfully reaching your acquisition aspirations.
Don’t try to do it all on your own - Expand your Reach
While many believe they can figure it out on their own, the unguided do-it-yourself approach will only lead to mistakes—potentially huge ones—and you’re likely to miss out on major financial opportunities.
Fishing with a single line hook will not deliver like a widely cast net.
Learning as you go will result in missed opportunities and could lead to more costly mistakes. It is surely better to learn from others mistakes
Growth Focus offers a free service that alerts you to opportunities as soon as they become available.
Membership to Growth Focus Buyers register is FREE Register Here
Registration will also give you access to our video library of business building, acquisition, and succession resources
Sellers Want Information - It's not a one-way street
The more information you are prepared to provide to sellers the better. We come across many buyers who make the mistake of insisting on as much information as possible without providing information on themselves in return. Put yourself in the seller’s shoes for a moment.
The sale of a financial services firm is an incredibly sensitive matter, and concerns surrounding existing staff, clients, and the company’s own situation can make it difficult for sellers to open up fully to unknown inquiries. As such, many sellers tend to pull back when they themselves have little information
Create a buyer spec
The initial phase of leveraging your GrowthFocus.com membership involves filling out the buyer profile questionnaire. Request Link Here
The questions are basic, yet crucial – they provide us with an idea of your team and company so we can more effectively identify acquisitions that suit you.
With Growth Focus, we use the data you provide to us in your profile and scour our expansive database covering the entire country for private sales and successor opportunities. This allows us to alert you to the opportunities that match exactly what you are seeking by geography, size and client and service type.
The buyer spec is also an opportunity to offer information that makes you stand out from competing acquirers. Particularly the free text field.
If you offer a few concise thoughts on what makes your practice unique, you’re already setting yourself apart.
Have a focused Plan
Rather than using a scattergun approach in the hopes that you’ll be chosen by the right seller, hone in on specific acquisition types. Targeting appropriate opportunities will generate better results and also align with your long-term strategy. Don’t try to pursue every opportunity – take some time to find ones that are truly worthwhile for you.
Consider how you can benefit the seller not only monetarily
While price is an essential factor for any seller, other elements such as staffing, transition timeframe, client compatibility, and buyer’s resources are just as important.
Keep in mind that these transactions usually involve a second installment withheld contingent upon client retention. When selecting a buyer, sellers prioritise those whom they trust to provide superior care for their customers post-exit. With continuity as a prime consideration for advisors and their clients who want to know “What will happen if something unforeseen occurs?”, it has been difficult in the past for financial advisors to find an effective solution. However, now with the advent of modern technology comes widespread access to reliable options that make seamless transitions possible.
In order to demonstrate that a business is an ideal candidate for acquisition, we have already discussed the value proposition. However, other factors could be just as valuable in swaying potential buyers:
- Taking advantage of bank financing allows buyers to demonstrate financial stability and eliminates the seller’s loan burden, making it a highly attractive asset. Plus, utilizing this pre-qualified offer grants you an invaluable opportunity that can take your deal to the next level!
- Displaying empathy and understanding of the emotive journey that selling a business entails can put an anxious seller’s mind at ease, while also strengthening your bond.
- Demonstrating to a seller that you are educated, capable and enthusiastic about making the process as problem-free and achievable will present yourself in an even more favorable light than purchasers who may offer contention at each step. It is essential to remember that your behaviour speaks just as strongly as words.
- Place yourself in the seller’s shoes. As you negotiate and navigate through the buyout process, ensure that both parties come away with a sense of comfort – as if you were on opposite sides of this transaction.
Over the years we have assisted a huge number of hundreds of sellers with the sale of their practices. Every one of these sellers had a common worry about how the buyer would maintain or even enhance the level of service to their clients. As such, it is a major consideration to them, and sellers will take comfort if it can be demonstrated to them that any client attrition will be minimized.
Get Pre-Qualified for Financing
Ignoring the financial process until it’s too late is a critical error. Whether or not you depend on a bank for financing, pre-qualification proves that you are prepared to purchase an organization with ease and efficiency. A pre-qualification is the ultimate sign of reliability, integrity and trustworthiness. Finance hiccups are a major factor in a buyer’s inability to complete a transaction and being ready will give you a competitive edge against competing buyers
At Growth Focus, we understand the unique needs of advisory practices and the intricate details of this industry. We have relationships with banking partners that can help you reach your goals faster and provide assistance in preparing the paperwork for a successful outcome.
Ready Your Business for Expansion and Success!
It’s one thing to understand your growth dynamics, but it is another task altogether to be proactive in accelerating them. With your GrowthFocus.com membership, you have access to the resources and tools necessary to drive up growth where it matters most for your organization – so take advantage of these!
If you’re considering buying a financial services business, the definitive approach is to maximize all resources available and get your own operation ready for growth. Additionally, As you contemplate the details of a transaction, remember that there is more to consider than just price. Keeping this in mind before making contact with the seller can help alleviate stress from both parties and make the process far smoother.