PATHS FRAMEWORK

The Harmonization Phase

Are You Prepared?

Everyone Plans to Grow an Acquired Business. But How?

The most complex part of an acquisition is running the acquired business. You may have gone in with a clear picture, only to find that the jigsaw pieces don’t fit your vision.

What now?

Harmonizing a Business Post-Acquisition

When you take over a business, you’ll need to learn on the job. This phase outlines the skills you’ll need to ensure that a successful acquisition passes smoothly into a harmonious ownership – and how to learn those skills.

Preparing to Lead

If your seller used the phrase, “The business runs itself,” that’s not necessarily a warning sign.

But it’s certainly not 100% true. You run the business now. It’s your responsibility to establish best working practices, communicate goals, and find profitable opportunities for your acquired business.

Showing clear leadership from day 1 is essential. If you leave the business to run itself, there’s always the risk it’ll run itself into the ground.

…and to Listen

No amount of due diligence can give you a full picture of a business’s culture. However, now you have another excellent resource for due diligence – your new staff.

Speak to your acquired business’s management team regularly. You’ll learn all you need to know about the business’s operations from those that perform them.

You’ll also be able to identify where there’s a lack of direction and make changes accordingly. Listening is about hearing what your management team doesn’t report, as well as what it does.

Integrating an Acquired Business into Your Portfolio

If you have a portfolio of acquired businesses in the same industry, it’s in your interest to make these companies work harmoniously.

Can one learn from another? If you’ve learned lessons from a previous acquisition, now’s the time to make those lessons count.

Understanding a Business’s Culture

One of the greatest challenges you’ll face as an entrepreneur is acquiring a business with an unfamiliar culture. This doesn’t mean it’s hostile or dysfunctional – although these are challenges you’ll need to prepare for.

After an acquisition, the math of management is finding the balance between what makes people want to work for a company, and what a company must do to succeed.

A failing company with a happy staff won’t be happy for long. Likewise, making operational changes doesn’t mean much if it comes at the expense of the company’s most valuable staff leaving or becoming dissatisfied.

The Will for Growth

Let’s be clear about one thing.

Even though some challenges are unpredictable, that doesn’t mean it’s a good strategy to “wait and find out.”

Careful preparation means learning tried-and-tested management strategies specific to acquiring a new business. It means knowing how to research a company and ask the right questions before making the acquisition.

The community at ETAInsider has a wealth of experience in how complex harmonization can be.

Become part of the community now to gain invaluable insights into post-acquisition management strategies from an expert body of industry insiders and successful entrepreneurs.

ETA Insider is the premier directory of tools, resources and insights for acquisition entrepreneurs

Newsletters