To grow or not to grow …. That is the question …
This is the most common question that all business owners have to ask themselves at some stage during their journey. Acquisitions and mergers have become popular business strategies for those looking to grow. These strategies work for companies looking too expand into new markets, gain a competitive edge or gain new skills. Whilst considering the growth through acquisition companies must first take into consideration different factors that may affect their business. Here is co – owner Martin Lake with his thoughts and experience on the matter.
Stick or Twist ?
You have a healthy well established business with a great customer base, but how do you stay ahead of the curve and continue to develop? Shall I employ more staff? If so, Sales or Support team first? But if I employ sales people to generate additional revenue, how will our support staff cope with the extra workload? What about the additional over head? Can I use the money to buy another business?
These questions are very real and all in a days work for a modern day business owner. Any growth or expansion in business can be risky. However, with the right SMT around you to weigh up the strengths and weaknesses of your decision and with a 100% commitment from everyone, the calculated risks you take can drive you forward to even more success.
Whatever option you decide on to grow your company, the main thing is that you do decide to do something. In my opinion the one absolute fact in business is that if you don’t do anything and stay still, then your business stagnates. And, before you know it you have a whole host of other issues to deal with, none of them pleasurable in any way at all!
What we did
Here at PCS we decided to further develop our customer reach by acquisition. We began looking for businesses that could enhance our portfolio of products and services even further. This aligned with a carefully structured marketing campaign ensured that we not only had the products and services to offer our clients but also were able to tell everyone about them too!
Our first acquisition was an IT business. PCS were originally a telephony provider back in the day, but our services had developed to the point where delivering a fully managed solution encompassing voice, data, mobile, IT services and security was where we needed to be. We already had the voice element of the business sorted so our next step was to identify an IT company that we could integrate smoothly in to the PCS Group.
Following a discussion in August 2018 around supplying IT support/ sub-contract services for PCS, the directors of the two respective businesses saw a potential opportunity for us to work together and began discussions around a possible acquisition. We had been aware of each other for some years so the initial introductions were already in place. Consequently, it quickly became apparent that the potential fusion of the two businesses could have great opportunities for all involved.
Initial obstacles to overcome
When two business’ join it is crucial to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. This meant any obstacles that would arise were easily overcome.
Preaching the gospel
Here are some key elements which we feel are important to further strenghten the combining of two businesses’ and to enable continued growth and financial stability in the coming years.
Firstly, as PCS were a larger organisation in terms of staff. The everyday admin and accounts tasks being carried out by the IT business could be incorporated seamlessly by the existing able team of PCS staff. From the PCS position, it immediately resolved the requirement for an IT team as all of the staff migrating across would be able to service and support the current PCS contracts that were already in place.
Selling a combination of different products we wanted to make sure we were complimenting each other. Voice, mobile, print management and hosted services for both voice and data could be upsold as well as the additional sales staff/ resource made available to the new business. The benefits of being able to upsell its new found IT services and skills to its own customers was also an important factor.
Good marketing is essential when growing your business. Having a professional and modern thinking marketing team in place ensures the right messages are relayed across all media channels. And, in my opinion, this is vital to the success of any acquisition. It is the key process of researching, promoting and selling products or services to your customers. Ultimately, it helps businesses with their growth.
The PCS sales and marketing team were tasked with creating a joint marketing strategy detailing the additional services now available to them through the acquisition. For example on our website homepage we produced a simplistic format of all the different products and services we have available at PCS. This was to be made simple but informative for our customers.
Tips and advice
In summary, although I certainly don’t have all the answers, the best advice I can give you is DO NOT STAND STILL ! By reinventing yourself and continually looking to improve your business then it will help stop the multitude of competitors out there poaching the customers you have spent so many years nurturing and developing. Keeping ahead of the game is key to the next phase of PCS ……. Watch this space !! Hopefully more of the same but rest assured that whatever adventures myself and the team decide to take on next, we will commit wholeheartedly to it and make sure that we do everything in our power to make it as prosperous and successful as we possibly can.
Thinking about growing your business?
If you are looking to grow your business or just need some help to guide you in the right direction, please get in touch! Here at Pure Cloud we have a team of experts who are always happy to help.