This is a repost from a LinkedIn post, for easy reference and since the topic keeps coming up.
A lot of entrepreneurs are now hustling to raise more money or sell their companies. Having just lived through two M&A events this year with P&G and Salesforce, wanted to share some brief M&A lessons:
1. Companies don’t buy companies. People at companies buy companies. Know who your buyers and champions are and build relationships with them.
2. 1,000,000 things need to go right for successful M&A. 1 thing needs to go wrong for unsuccessful M&A. Every detail matters.
3. Bankers are helpful, but don’t expect them to be a silver bullet to getting a deal done. You may pay more than feels reasonable, but it’s still a good insurance policy to making sure a deal gets across the finish line.
4. A deal isn’t done until it’s done. The unexpected will almost certainly happen.
5. You need competitive tension and urgency. Just like sales, or raising money, without compelling events and some FOMO in the process, it’s easy for things to drag out. See 1.
6. Get organized. All of your files, contracts, documents, vendor lists and pretty much everything you’ve ever done will need to be reviewed. Get ahead of it and organize it all so you can move fast and efficiently. Also, see 2, 3.
7. Understand the buyer’s intentions. What’s strategic to them and why? Your business will be valuable for different reasons to different buyers, therefore, your story will need to be different to different buyers. For example, with TULA, some buyers cared more about our science and R&D while others cared more about our digital capabilities.
8. Delegate everything. Once you get into the M&A track, it becomes a full time job. Make sure you’ve delegated as much as possible to your team so you can focus on getting a deal across the finish line. Also, see 3.
9. Manage your emotions. The highs are high and the lows are low. Be prepared to deal with a roller coaster of emotions.
If you’re going through M&A, thinking about it and/or have some questions, drop em in the comments.Tags: