The number of buyers for transportation and logistics firms is increasing. The supply of available, quality transportation companies to purchase is not. As rising industry expenses pronounce the need for acquisitions, the importance of being an effective acquirer has never been higher. The good news is that being effective doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the most effective acquirers in transportation and logistics keep it simple in four major ways. Apply these simple practices and you multiply your quality “at-bats” and get more deals done.
Mobilize Your Network
The best acquirers understand that half the battle is deal flow. By educating your trusted advisors and industry friends about your growth strategy and your target acquisition profile, you can greatly multiply the number of deal opportunities you attract. Some of the most important professionals in your network that you need to mobilize could include your insurance solution provider, consultants, CPA, M&A advisor, and other suppliers who have a built-in desire for your business to grow via acquisition. If you communicate a clear vision and profile to these trusted advisors, they can make the most of your limited bandwidth and enhance your growth options in a very short period of time.
Get to “Next” Fast
Many buyers spend way too much time exploring the details of a business for sale without good reason. Instead, try this. If the seller has sale representation, share with their advisor what you are trying to accomplish strategically and what problems you are trying to address. Prioritize “fit” above all. Ask the advisor or, if necessary, the seller if what they have to offer can address your very specific strategic goals. If not, it is a good practice for all to just say “next” as quickly as possible. A bonus is that the seller will greatly appreciate the courtesy. Goodwill in this industry goes a long way, and it always comes back around.
This sounds so basic, but it is not. The best acquirers differentiate themselves by how quickly they can help the seller understand if the two parties are aligned on the most critical matter of all – the money. How many stories have you heard about a seller who gave all their information to a buyer only to have that same buyer disappear with no explanation? Don’t be that buyer. Process matters. Creating a safe and efficient process for the seller will enhance the probability of you getting the deal done – even if your offer is not the highest on paper.
Keep the Door Open
Many factors can influence why a deal is not a fit for a buyer on any given day. What if your goals change? What if the seller’s goals change? Have you ensured that the seller would welcome a “revisit” to exploring a possible transaction with you in the future (if anything changes)? If you are gaining permission to keep the door open, you are making a mistake. People do business with people they like. It’s that simple. And, so is being an effective acquirer in transportation and logistics.
Have questions about a deal you are working on or about to start growing through acquisitions? Please submit the contact form below. We’d be happy to connect with you.
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