Acquisitions. Mergers and Acquisitions, M&A. Sounds exciting, strategic, the art of making business deals. It can be. As a veteran of over 70 completed M&A actions and another 30 or so that never completed I can tell you from my own experience just how exciting they can be. For many businesses, this is an excellent strategy for growth. For others, this could be a recipe for disaster. A KPMG study reported on in Moneywatch states that 83% of merger and acquisition deals fail. The article suggests this is because of mismanagement of risk, price, strategy, cultures, or management capacity. The common reason is poor planning. What can you do to help ensure that if you use this strategy, your M&A action succeeds?
“Our Workforce is our greatest asset.” I think most of us have heard those words, or similar, spoken by the leaders of most businesses. It is important that they truly believe that. However, how many of them truly take the necessary steps, both tactically and strategically, to make those words a reality. To put it another way, how many businesses truly walk the talk? Is your workforce truly your greatest asset?
It’s an interesting question. How do you know? It was a question my youngest son would ask me following my explaining something that I hoped his toddler mind could grasp. He would nod approvingly, look at me with those big eyes and ask, “How do you know?” I never took it as a challenge; it was a request to learn more. So how did I know and more importantly, how do you know?
Not that talk. The talk about you and the business you own. Like it or not, one day you will leave your business. Planning for it is something many are uncomfortable with. Some never do, and that can not only cost them a great deal of money, but it can also cause a great deal of pain for their survivors. Yes, your survivors; I know a business this happened to, a 50-something business owner who one day simply fell over and died. When everything regarding his estate was completed, the family also lost the business. This was all because there was no plan for what happened when the owner no longer worked in the business. That may seem like an extreme, but it happened. I knew the family personally, and the idea of transition planning was something they didn’t want to discuss. They should have.