Last week I was in Chicago for NACE Automechanika. NACE is one of the largest trade shows dedicated to the collision, mechanical and automotive service industries in North America. It is a great show to connect with leaders in the industry, and as is normally the case, my day was filled to the brim with[…]
Acquisitions get a bad rap. Acquisitions are described as risky. Acquiring companies are portrayed as evil raiders and titans. Tales of high stake chest thumping negotiations between power brokers fill our conversations. Stories of lay-offs, firings, law suits and forced relocations ensue. But even with all of the negative, I know that acquisitions are good for business.
Most acquisitions fail. The stark truth is that 70% to 90% of acquisitions fail to deliver the value the buyer anticipated. Yet, the data shows it is nearly impossible to build a world class company on organic growth alone. And most of the largest companies in the world were built on at least one, if not multiple deals.
When operating a business, there are effectively four simple ways to grow a business. Beware, while these approaches may be simple, that does not mean they are easy. But the most successful companies…
If your business does something better than most of its competitors, perhaps it is time to “Buy the Firm!” and implement a buy-side M&A strategy. When I was in business school I had a professor that was fond of exclaiming “Buy the Firm!”. In fact, his solution to many business problems or questions that arose[…]
As I’ve been preparing for my meetings this week, I have found myself contemplating my role in the process, and specifically the value-add an M&A advisor brings to a business. More specifically, for whom and when does it make sense to bring on an outside advisor. Because to be frank, an M&A advisor is not right for everyone.
The foundation of my business is to increase the value your business. It is the reason I write a weekly note about using strategy and finance to increase the value of your business. The reason I speak at so many industry events. The reason I spend time helping you understand finance as a driver to[…]
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 …
Throughout all these meetings a common question I received was “Brad, how can we work together.” After answering that question about 30 different times, I thought it may be useful to tell you here.
Supplement is an advisory firm focused on increasing the value of your business. We do that through three main pillars:
Sell-Side M&A Advisory
Buy-Side M&A Advisory
Strategic, CFO and Capital Advisory
I’m busy prepping for my presentation next week in Las Vegas at SEMA AAPEX titled “Competing with Consolidation: 5 ways to make more money and outmaneuver your biggest competitors in 2017”. How successful companies grow is on my mind at present. What is the best way to grow? How fast is too fast to grow?[…]
I’m on a plane back from Atlanta to Orange County, California as I write this. I spent the past few days in Atlanta with AkzoNobel talking to distributors, jobbers, shop owners, and senior execs across North America about business growth, strategy and finance. We talked about ways to grow your business in a consolidating industry.[…]
Many business owners that I speak with are oftentimes surprised when a buyer of their business is not interested in the accompanied real estate the business sits on. For many business owners who own the both property and business, the relationship between the operating business and the real estate has been very profitable and mutually[…]
Recently Caliber made a big acquisition in Philadelphia of a multi-store location. Seven locations to be exact. It was described as a major platform acquisition. But what is a platform acquisition and how is it different from a regular acquisition? Note: Are you headed to NACE this year? It’s only a few weeks away and[…]
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[…]
There is common phrase thrown around in business: If you aren’t growing you’re dying. In business there are two types of growth, organic and inorganic. Organic growth refers to increasing sales internally, generating more revenues with your existing business assets. Inorganic growth refers to growing sales by expanding to new locations, acquiring other businesses in the industry, and sometimes even expanding outside of your industry.
A common misconception is that organic growth is less risky and less costly than inorganic growth. But as humans we are actually inherently bad at assessing risk. Referred to as probability neglect, we assume that common activities we engage in are inherently safer and less risky than less uncommon activities. […]
The last four full weeks of the year are upon us. Only 33 days full working days left this year (or less depending on your holiday schedule). I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you have not already started to set your business plans in place for 2016 you are behind[…]
Pursuing acquisitions to fuel growth is an attractive way to grow a company. But business acquisitions can appear risky, especially if you have never completed one before. Acquisitions often require a business owner to take on substantial debt. An acquisition-based business strategy also requires a higher level of financial discipline. For unaccustomed businesses this can[…]
Previously we spoke about how the CFO drives growth, and three main areas the CFO adds value: historical financial and vendor analysis, current working capital and cash management, and future budgeting and investment analysis, including acquisitions. One area in particular that we did not discuss, however, was the benefit the CFO brings to the table as an outside strategist and leader responsible for setting and implementing strategy in conjunction with other senior managers within the company. As the primary individual responsible analyzing past and current financial data, as well as budgeting for future growth, the CFO has a unique perspective on the operations of the company. […]
I’m excited to present a slightly different style of article this week that I present at the end of this post. I’ll be doing more of these articles in the future and hope they prove to be a useful way to exchange information.
There has never been a greater need to develop a business strategy to determine the best path forward than now in the collision repair industry. The entrance of Wall Street money in the industry is causing rapid structural change. No longer is the collision industry just about fixing cars and minding your KPI’s.
The industry is maturing. As a result, business models are changing too. […]
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! […]
Many owners I interact with still run their business the same as the day they started. They are the first one there in the morning and the last one to leave. They know what is going on with every file. They are the only ones allowed to make decisions.
This level of dedication is admirable. Unfortunately while it can feel profitable and even feed our own ego, it often gets in the way of maximizing the value of your business. You want your business to run better today and be better positioned for tomorrow – even if you are not planning on selling any time soon.
In order to maximize the value of your business you have to view your business from the outside in. Or, as a good friend of mine once told me, work on your business not in your business. […]
Previously we talked about valuation methods. Valuation is great, but like any tool, only as good as the person using it.
Anyone can tell you that your business is worth $10 million. But if you can’t find a buyer at that price, is it really worth that much? An investment banker once told me that a business is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it…PERIOD.
In order to maximize what a potential investor or buyer is willing to pay for your business you must be able to demonstrate the value of your business to them.
Understanding valuation methods is important (common valuation models are discussed in this article).
You also need to pay attention to recent comps. Know what other businesses in your industry sell for. If possible, know the profitability and size of those businesses so you can compare them to your own business.
But in addition to the above, here are six more ways to maximize the value of your business: […]
Previously we spoke a bit about maximizing enterprise value vs. maximizing profit margins.
Many people in business fail to realize the distinction between the two concepts. If you maximize profitability, you maximize the value of your business, right?
Not always. In business everything is always a trade off. […]
About Brad Mewes Who I am I am a business geek. I find corporate finance and strategy riveting (I watch Bloomberg for fun and relax by reading 10-Ks of companies I find interesting). I have nearly two decades of experience in the collision industry. I have an Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in Finance. I[…]