30 Mar, 2010 | by
Topics: M&A, Strategy

post-merger-growth

A close friend and colleague of mine, Mehdi Farhadi, recently dropped me a line to say hello.  He simultaneously passed along one of his recent publications and asked if I’d be willing to share it on mybusinessmusings.com.  Without hesitation, I said YES.  You see, Mehdi epitomizes what it means to be a guru in the field of mergers & acquisitions.  While working together in Germany, back in 2008, on a major global transaction we frequently pontificated and debated various M&A concepts.  Strangely enough, it was a field of interest we instantly bonded on.  I vividly recall one particular discussion, which revolved around organic vs. inorganic organizational growth.  It was one of those pleasant conversations where we 100% agreed on all fronts.  Ironically enough, several years later, Mehdi has put together a great piece that took that discussion to a whole new level.  This article will actually appear as a chapter in a book he will be releasing in the near future called “Value in Due Diligence”.  Give it a read as the perspective is invaluable.  I especially love the chart he’s put together as it really tells a significant story.  Enjoy everyone and thanks for sharing Mehdi:

Business leaders strive for growth. Growth is essential to the well-being of companies. According to Ansoff (1957), “just to retain its relative position, a business firm must go through continuous growth and change.” Most companies consider external growth through mergers and acquisitions (M&A) – both asset and share deals – as one of the quickest ways to fulfil business growth objectives. Corporate marriages help companies to sustain profit growth and gain greater market share. continue reading »

3 Apr, 2009 | by
Topics: Sports, Strategy

Soccer

I have been spending many sleepless nights over the years watching the FIFA World Cup on TV and I can’t wait for the latest one coming up in South Africa in 2010. Between the occasional dozing off and celebrating the beautiful goals, I have been inspired to link up the soccer business with entrepreneurship, in particular startup business. I see that there are many important learning points that are useful for startups and small businesses.

The people business
The most important asset that any soccer club has is its people. So who are these people? They are the board of directors, the coach/manager, players and club supporters. Many of the clubs understand this fundamental aspect of their business and that is why they have scouts, agents, brokers, etc. scouring the globe for the best talents.

Now for the startup case, it is similar in the sense that they don’t have many assets in the new company except for its people. That is why it is imperative that the founders spend a large amount of time scouring for talents. I have some experiences putting together new startups and have also received kind advice from folks who tell me that it would be best that I get the people from my social circle, or plainly, people who I know. Despite this, I feel that it would be good actually for me to expand the talent search to outside my circle. This would not only reach out to other great talents but also to diverse views and styles. It is useful to understand that one’s personal circle is never adequate in the search for the talents of the world. The only challenge here is that managing a team of people you haven’t gotten to know very well can be a test of the person’s man-management skill. continue reading »

22 Mar, 2009 | by

fearfulturtle

Unconscious fear-based business models propel most firms – and the people within them – head first into self-fulfilling failure. But with just  five easy steps that dreaded scenario can be turned into fantastic success.

During 2008, all of us who are entrepreneurs and business owners faced the most devastating challenges since the Great Depression. But by simply following five proven steps we can all avoid stressful and financially detrimental pitfalls and mistakes in 2009. For years, through my business consulting company Make Your Business Boom, we’ve been showing clients throughout the world an innovative five-step method to identify profit-killing fears disguised as organizational plans and strategies. Companies that have implemented the formula have found that their poor performances of the past are quickly replaced with powerfully profitable positive results.

The fact is that individuals, groups, teams, and entire corporations consciously and unconsciously manifest fear into everything they do. Managing, marketing, branding, selling, and negotiating are all aspects of business that suffer from the fear factor – especially during times of extreme economic recession. To root out that toxic emotion and move the mental and emotional hurdles out your path to success, just follow these five steps: continue reading »

13 Mar, 2009 | by

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Better Prospects = Better Transactions

These are chaotic times for business valuation.  The old rules are changing to reflect the dramatic new reality of the markets.  Companies that were hanging on won’t make it much longer, and companies that need to sell will not receive the pricing they would have eighteen months ago.  Equity buyers call it the “catch a falling knife” metaphor.  Business valuation has always been more of a black art than a science.

Corporate buyers with access to cash receive far better returns on their acquisition dollars during recessions. Troubled deals that would be done in good times are being liquidated, mundane companies are finding it hard to get a fair multiple, and cash is at a premium.

All this points to acquisition as a growth strategy.

Those that discipline their acquisition process will improve their return on investment. continue reading »

12 Feb, 2009 | by

I am searching for a word, maybe it’s a phrase, but it eludes me.  I don’t say that often, I take pride in my ability to communicate complex ideas creatively and succinctly.  Yet, I can’t find that perfect word to describe a state of being many of us in Process Management live in every day.  How do you describe being the best but also continuously improving, at the same time?

I recently had the opportunity to speak with a leader in Store Operations at a growing retail company.  He had some interesting observations on some things I take for granted.  His point was simple.  In an organization with a young talent pool and longevity measured in months, not years, labeling something as “best” sets a standard to achieve, not exceed.  After all, once you’re the best, don’t you put your feet up and relax?  This got me thinking, is the concept of “best practice” outdated?  Can you implement a “continuous improvement”?

Let’s take a step back and define these terms.  Keep in mind, language is important.  In many organizations, like the one mentioned above, words are taken at face value.    What is a best practice?  It is a method that has been identified as the best approach yielding the best results.  What about continuous improvement?  Again, just like the name implies, it is an approach, or more an organizational culture, to continuously improve. 

continue reading »

8 Jan, 2009 | by

 

With the global recession, the debate is over, we are truly one global economy.

So where’s the global game board?

Wouldn’t marketing and strategic planning be easier with a global industry game board – a listing of all significant industries, with an industry analysis for each?  And shouldn’t companies be analyzed at the line of business level using the same industry taxonomy?

Everyone answers “yes” to these questions because the answers are so clear.

But then everything gets cloudy with the one additional question, “Do you think such a global industry game board exists?”

For those of you who believe that a global industry information resource does exist, I would like to hear from you via a feedback comment – but first: the reason for the cloudiness is because of the definition of the word “industry.” continue reading »

19 Dec, 2008 | by

Everyone has problems, but the real underlying problem is that nobody knows how to deal with them in a positive way to convert them into value.  Today I’m going to show you how to turn any problem into a powerful solution. Once you know how to do that you can create a business that will go from zero to a billion dollar company in two or three years.

Most of the ideas that come across customer service phone lines – and almost all of the complaints that are registered with customer service representatives every day – could be turned into multi-million or billion dollar products or services. The strange sounding but absolutely true notion that problems are the answer is a concept that goes directly to the heart of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs are, after all, people who figure out how to solve problems for a profit.
continue reading »

11 Dec, 2008 | by


Photo by:  Nadeem Chughtai

Especially these days, every choice an entrepreneur, business leader, or homeowner makes can be the difference between success and failure.  Making the best possible choices is vital, whether it involves a stock portfolio or retirement plan, a household budget, or the future of a large corporation.

Fortunately, successful decision making is a skill that can be learned. Every day I teach it to people just like you at Make Your Business Boom, a unique hybrid that combines consulting and coaching with cutting edge concepts derived from psychological research.  The synergy of this innovative approach is proven by the practical and effective way it motivates business owners and others to transform them into better decision makers.

Decision making is a complex process that requires time and training if a person wants to be empowered to make the best possible decisions in virtually any situation. But making choices is typically done from force of habit, as the mind accepts the easiest, most convenient, or most obvious option.  Since poor decisions can cut off access to more desirable options and alternatives, it is important to train the mind to default to superior decisions and choices. continue reading »

30 Nov, 2008 | by

Short-term discounts can help preserve cash flow in an emergency, or be used as a strategy to increase market share. But the impact of discounting on your brand, margins and future pricing must be included in your decision!

Commodities are assumed to be equivalent and are sold on price only. Most companies are able to add value and differentiate themselves from their competitors. 

If price is your only advantage – don’t let your competition know. If they have deeper pockets, they will undercut you – and outlive you. Brands like Maybach, Bentley and Mont Blanc do not discount. (Do they?). They know their value and educate their clients about their value.

Identify, analyse and focus on the value that you (can) deliver and how your products or service add value to your clients. And if you are a Top 4 Accountancy Company pitching audit services to a UK based company – do not rabbit on about your global reach!!!! Fool’s Gold!!

Relevant added value, promoted to the right customer, in the right way and with the right customer service will always trump price!

If you do not add and sell value, price will always be your determining factor.

8 Jan, 2008 | by
Topics: Strategy

It’s been nearly 30 years since Harvard Professor, Michael E. Porter, wrote his original, ground breaking, article on “How Competitive Forces Shape Strategy”. This framework has become a well known universal standard in strategic thought leadership in both management and marketing across any industry. It’s also part of just about any reputable core curriculum in most business schools across the nation. I vividly recall numerous references to “Porter’s Theory” in several courses back in my graduate school years. continue reading »