The story of industry consolidation is generally one of larger companies acquiring smaller companies, especially in the earlier stages of industry consolidation. But I’ve found that some business owners are surprised when …
Previously I discussed the 2 questions I ask clients when helping them grow or sell –what is your timeline and what is your walk away price. Then I discussed 3 surprising things that you have little control over that can influence when to grow or when to sell. At the end of the note I[…]
The past four years have seen an unprecedented level of buy/sell activity in the industry. Mergers and acquisitions have dominated the industry. Private equity groups have invested heavily in the largest companies in the industry, further increasing consolidation. Consolidation will continue, but it will be different than it has been in the past. As a[…]
The end of the year is almost upon us. Only 9 full weeks left in 2015. The last quarter of the year always goes fast. There are simply more holidays and outside demands in the last three months of the year.
I wanted to take a break from big, high-level industry analysis for a moment and drill down into the nuts and bolts of financial management. As the year begins to draw to a close it is a good time to take stock of the current state of business. Here are six simple financial KPIs to look at every month to increase the value of your business.
Many of these financial KPIs are similar to metrics that the large consolidators use to evaluate individual locations across their networks. While there are many more complex metrics that are important to evaluate regularly, this is a list of what I consider to be simple financial KPIs that a business owner ought to be looking at on a monthly basis, if not more frequently. […]
For the past few weeks we have been speaking about the options that are available to a collision repair operator: stand pat, grow, or sell.
I spoke at some length about the risks involved in each strategy. Standing pat is a risky strategy due to the concentration of risk into a single business in a single city / region.
Growing is risky because it involves developing a new set of core competencies built around high level financial management as well as acquisition and integration competencies. Most collision repair businesses have not developed these competencies; and those that have developed those competencies now compete for deals against other large MSO’s with extensive experience sourcing, closing and integrating acquisitions. (Editor’s Note: Keep an eye out for an upcoming article about how the franchise model plays a role in growth.)
Selling is similarly risky as there is almost a certainty that a buyer will have vastly more experience in a business transaction, leaving you and your business vulnerable. Buyers will pay a premium for a well-documented, well-run business but most collision repair businesses have little experience presenting financial information in a usable format to a multi-million dollar institution.
Those are the risks. But I promised an article about opportunities! […]
Last week we spoke about the conundrum that collision repair operators currently face. Because of the influx of Wall Street money and rapid consolidation, owners have essentially three choices when looking towards the future. They can:
- Stay small and continue to compete on a standalone basis, or with the help of a franchise (more on the franchise approach in future articles);
- Build scale, acquire competitors, open brownfields and compete with large MSO’s by becoming a small MSO;
- Sell to a regional or Big 4 consolidator.
Each of these three strategies carries inherent risk, as well as potential rewards. This article will break down each of these three key strategies to help better explain the specific risks and rewards implicit in each. […]
I wanted to take a break from talking about finance and the collision industry and spend a bit of time discussing the importance of employee alignment and engagement.
Normally we talk about growth and how to finance and account for that growth. But what gets lost in that narrative is that growth is impossible without a group of people working towards a common goal.
In corporate management speak, that is called “employee alignment”.
What is employee alignment? In its shortest form, alignment is about getting employees to think like owners. […]