5 Keys to Acquisition Readiness

Aaah, getting acquired… Every entrepreneur’s dream exit strategy!

While stories of just stumbling into a lucrative acquisition seem to abound, the reality of achieving this depends on designing your business properly from the outset.

1. Make sure you have market appeal.

These days it seems that widespread appeal depends on being able to shake things up a bit and be a disruptive force in the market. Market appeal is about standing out and standing for something – not just going for mass appeal.

2. Make it essential.

In today’s economy, consumers are not just jumping at the latest gadget. They are waiting to see if it is something that will really add value to their lives or businesses. Products like the smartphone have become ubiquitous not just because they looked cool, but because they genuinely made peoples lives better, easier and more fun.

3. Streamline adoption.

The less hoops the customer needs to jump through to integrate your product into their lives, the more likely they are to invest in it to get the benefit. It doesn’t matter if your software is better than everyone else’s if yours takes 6 months to master and theirs takes 3 days.

4. Hire and retain the best talent.

This is a weak point of many start-ups. The early enthusiasm and hype of a great idea goes a long way to attract great talent, but proper systems and the cultivation of a strong corporate culture are required to develop and keep them. If you don’t know much about human resources, employee engagement and performance management, now is the time to learn.

5.  Control the bottom line.

Resist the urge to dole out huge salaries,  invest in the fancy office, or fund big corporate entertainment budgets. Out of control expenses can put a damper on acquisition enthusiasm as it points to a lack of fiscal responsibility and poor financial management skills – all of which decrease confidence in your ability to lead your company to lasting profitability and growth.


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