Archives for Being a CEO

Communicating with Employees

Communicating with Employees

Learning how to effectively communicate with employees took me many years to develop and refine. It sounds simple: tell them what is going on, listen to what they have to say and then they will…

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Growing Revenue

Growing Revenue

Striving for growth on the top line of your business rarely yields immediate results. Achieving profitable growth at a reasonable pace (GARP) is a more manageable objective. You want to be a “profitable company that…

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Strategic Partnerships

Strategic Partnerships

Strategic partners can be very important to your business. By ignoring this opportunity to gain significant resources may limit your growth and learning. I was not naturally a partnering kind of entrepreneur and wanted control,…

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Wearing Your Sales Hat

Wearing Your Sales Hat

With the title “owner” on your business card, you will become the most effective salesperson your company has. For me, learning this lesson took quite a while, until I discovered that being the company’s “face”…

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Pricing for Value

Pricing for Value

Developing, and executing an effective pricing strategy has a more immediate impact on profitability than increases in volume, which take much more time, energy and patience. As CEO, your leadership role in pricing is paramount….

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Sharing Profits, Not Equity

Sharing Profits, Not Equity

When I worked for large companies, the concept of profit sharing was limited to the upper echelons of the organization generally in the form of annual bonuses that were mysteriously calculated, paid 3-5 months after…

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Selecting Your Direct Reports

Selecting Your Direct Reports

Recruiting and retaining team members for the company you purchase can raise it from “good” to “great”. Getting the right people into the right positions should not be delegated to the HR department. As the…

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Downsizing Your Business

Downsizing Your Business

While you did not buy a business to see it shrink, most “on-going” businesses will experience a decline in revenues that will severely test its leadership. Emerging stronger from the decline will require some tough…

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IT Systems

IT Systems

When you take the CEO position of the business you purchase, you are likely to find inadequate and antiquated IT systems supporting the business. After all, you have purchased a “good” business and a “great”…

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Knowing Your Competition

Knowing Your Competition

Once you have purchased a business, get a solid understanding of how your competition thinks and behaves. Doing so will be critical to developing your strategy and tactics for profitable growth. It is often too…

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Posts – Most Recent

Posts – Contemplating a Search

Posts – Launching a Search

Posts – Conducting your Search

Posts – Being CEO/Owner

Random Quote

45-“Strategic partners” are very important to the business searchers.You want to rely on some trusted providers to support your business, you can’t do everything yourself!(See Blog Post-Strategic Partnerships)

42-Start early on legal documents, they often delay closings while under LOIBoth the searcher and the seller are plowing new ground and it takes a while to comprehend the meaning of all of the legal details .(See Blog Post-Getting to closing)

63 Searchers make promises they can meet to build trust with sellers. It is important to provide incremental opportunities to show that you can be counted on to deliver.(See Blog Post-Building Trust with Sellers)

34 Searchers who get access to employees before closing are more likely to close. Once the seller begins to confide in their employees about the sale of the business and introducing you as the “new owner”, they are more likely to proceed to finalize the transaction than to change their mind at the last minute.(See Blog Post-Getting to Close)

07-You are not a PE firm, don’t act like one!
Potential sellers resonate with your taking over their legacy, a PE firm is simply adding to their portfolio. Make sure your website looks personal and non-intimidating.

04-Fight Seller Fatigue in Due Diligence!
Sellers get worn out in this process. It is highly emotional for them, probably their first time at relinquishing their “baby” to someone else. During LOI stage, make it a practice to communicate with them, in person or by phone, every 2 days.

53-Holding monthly “all-hands” meetings indicates your transparency. Trust employees with what is going on with the business and they will trust you more .(See Blog Post-Communicating with Employees)

06-Use metrics to drive decisions
Track what is most important for your search – getting in front of prospective sellers to make offers to buy their business. Track the number prospects, IOI’s, LOI’s and set goals for yourself! If you measure it, you can improve it.

22-When in conflicts arise, remind professional advisors they work for you.
Inevitably, you will disagree with some advice you are getting. After checking multiple sources, do what feels right to you and move forward. You will have to “live” with your own choices, not the professionals!(See Blog Post-Professional Support)

18-Every day that goes by during Due Diligence raises the chance that you won’t close!
Time is of the essence when it comes to moving from a signed LOI to closing on your business. Seller fatigue sets in as the closing date gets extended and the seller constantly re-evaluates their motivation to sell. Only you can push the process along.(See Blog Post-Due Diligence)

44-Plan ahead, give thought to the small details of how you present yourself as the new owner. The first introduction to the employees of the business has a huge impact so you want every word to be rehearsed!(See Blog Post-Taking over the business)

50-Don’t expect immediate “loyalty”, the previous owner earned it, it takes time. You will need to earn the trust of your employees by your actions, not your words. (See Blog Post-Seller Tranisition)

35-Searcher CEO’s need to be prepared to walk away from volume orders if margins will decline. It takes a forward thinking CEO to seek out higher margin, value added opportunities to grow profits, not revenue.(See Blog Post-Wearing the sales hat)

09-Learn from others – read case histories
Over 40 case histories have been written about funded and self funded searchers in a variety of industries and historical settings. Each have great “lessons learned” and are worth the $10 cost to read them. Searchers are learners!

39-The business seller is “hiring” you to run their business. The owner trusts you enough to turnover the “legacy” of their business to you. (See Blog Post-Searcher Profile)

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