If you’ve been reading along in this 30 Days to ETA series, you know that in the Day #28 post I shared that by this time in your Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (ETA) journey you have found a business, determined how you are going to fund it, and successfully conducted due diligence under Letter of Intent (LOI)… Now all you need to do is purchase the business with the ETA Purchase Agreement (PA) (You can read the previous post by CLICKING HERE). Congratulations, you made it to Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (ETA)! Before you start popping those champagne bottles, you’d better have a plan for the next day of running your business. As an Acquisition Entrepreneur you should have the first 100 days lined out! So, in today’s 30 Days to ETA post, we’re going to explore Leading Your Business | The ETA First 100 Days… Enjoy!
Leading Your Business | The ETA First 100 Days
After the formalities of document signings at the closing table, the business broker or M&A Advisor will often arrange and sometimes pay for a celebratory dinner. If your transition expert sets up a dinner, they will usually schedule closing in the late afternoon so that everyone can leave the closing table and go directly to a nice dinner. I’ve been to many of these celebrations where the ETA Professional Team members, employee team members, friends, and family members attend to commemorate the moment of success… Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition has arrived!
Many times, these particular events aren’t that dissimilar from a wedding celebration except you’re the best man, and the bride is your business. Most likely, you’ll get up and give a speech. Maybe you’ll tell funny stories about highs and lows you experienced in your search for a business. You’ll even recognize key people who helped you along your way. You may even receive gifts from certain employees, advisors, and others.
But don’t get drunk on too much champagne or feelings of goodwill… You have a business to run that is now owned by you — So you should probably get going!
Leading Your Business
I remember my first business acquisition. I signed the documents, and I went out with some friends to celebrate the accomplishment. It wasn’t until I got home and laid down for the night that it hit me… “What did I just do?” You know, I just bought a business. Did I make the right move? What do I do now? Worries and questions ran through my head all night long. And honestly, a minor panic attack ensued.
You’re probably going to be in the same boat I was. At the end of the day you acquire a business, you’re going to experience a myriad of emotions. Everything you’ve worked for has now come to fruition. Your friends, family members, advisors, planners, and employees will probably be there throughout the day to celebrate with you. By the time you get to the end of the day, the adrenaline will wear off. Things will settle down, and anxiety may creep in.
Obviously, you’re going to experience excitement and happiness. I mean, you’ve planned this day for months/years and isn’t it great that the day finally arrived? However, you’ll probably second guess your decision, too. So whenever you reach this point in ETA, remember that it’s just the start. There is so much more to life! No matter how old or young you are, there is so much more to live for, and now you have a business to run in addition.
The ETA First 100 Days
On July 24, 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave a radio address in which he coined the term “first 100 days.” For our recent acquisition, it’s an important perspective to take into account. On that day, Roosevelt famously said “We all wanted the opportunity of a little quiet thought to examine and assimilate in a mental picture the crowding events of the hundred days which had been devoted to the starting of the wheels of the New Deal.” Congratulations… Your new business is your New Deal!
Over the past months, you should have been compiling the pages to make your ETA First 100 Days playbook. Within this playbook, you should have four main components:
- Cash (Revenue Drive!)
Unfortunately, at Tip of the Spear Ventures’ Mergers & Acquisitions practice I see leaders all the time that take over a business and have no plan. Perhaps the plan is to run it the same way the previous owner had. Perhaps they plan on “winging” it. But both of these “perhaps” will lead you nowhere fast!
When you first identified the business that you just acquired, you should have developed a list of potential levers — areas of improvement that if you bought the company you could flip to dramatically increase the revenue of the business. What are those levers?
The ETA First 100 Days is a time when you should have these levers and components pre-developed for an action plan. When you take over the business, while late, is not a good position to be in to start to assemble the plan. What are you going to do? Who will you need to do it with you? Why will what you’re doing align with your new organizations mission, vision, and values? These are but a few of the ETA First 100 Days you’ll want to identify well in advance of the first day of ownership.
At Tip of the Spear Ventures, we’re famous for aggressively setting out to accomplish goals during The ETA First 100 Days. However, and this is a nod of respect to the previous owners, we spend the first week (7 Days) attempting to seek first to understand, then to be understood. In other words, even though we’re default – aggressive in this time, we want to understand why things have been running the way they have. With a firm understanding, we then set to implement/execute our plans for ETA First 100 Days.
Congratulations are in order… You made it to Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (ETA)! As I previously cautioned, before you start popping those champagne bottles you’d better have a plan for the next day of running your business — You should have the first 100 days lined out! So, in today’s 30 Days to ETA post, we’re going to explore Leading Your Business | The ETA First 100 Days… Enjoy! Ultimately, a closing isn’t the end, but your new beginning.