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An overview for buyers and sellers of businesses in the changing and evolving printing and related industries.

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Practical advice for printers from the perspective of a print buyer.

 

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4 Reasons Why B2B Matchmakers Produce Optimal Mergers and Acquisitions

4 Reasons Why B2B Matchmakers Produce Optimal Mergers and Acquisitions resized 600

 

Sometimes our sports-obsessed culture spills over into areas of life where it really shouldn’t.  Such is the case with mergers and acquisitions, where a winner-take-all mentality causes dismal success rates.  B2B Matchmaking, with its focus on win-win outcomes, can yield much better results.   

Before we delve into the reasons why Business Matchmaking produces more positive outcomes than traditional M&A services, let’s take a closer look at exactly what B2B Matchmaking entails.

The concept of “matchmaking” is associated with a romantic match, or a marriage.  In many cultures, the role of the matchmaker is professionalized.  Our old friend Wikipedia notes the “Ashkenazi Jewish shadchan, or the Hindu astrologer, were often thought to be essential advisors and also helped in finding right spouses as they had links and a relation of good faith with the families.”

This role of the neutral third party has been augmented by technology in today’s modern age. According to a recent Huffington Post, “New research suggests that one in three Americans meet their spouses online, and that those marriages are more satisfying and less likely to end in divorce than those that begin in traditional, offline venues.”

The spike in online matchmaking not only has increased faith in the digital service, but opened people’s eyes to the benefits of matchmaking on a professional level.  Companies doing business internationally, for example, may use a B2B Matchmaking firm like China Business Network, which bridges the gap between cultural and linguistic differences.  

But business matchmaking is far more than just a tool for romance and international business.  It can inject a “win-win” approach into the merger and acquisition strategic transition.  Here are four reasons why B2B Matchmaking will yield better results:

1. “Win-win” instead of “win.”  Business is an extremely competitive arena, and we’re all focused on winning business, clients, and marketshare.  That mentality becomes problematic when it prevents you from entering into “win-win” situations with potential partners.

Time after time, M&As fail because one party gets the short end of the stick. Maybe that’s because brokers or intermediaries tend to work only for one party, instead of both.  We use an independent source for valuations – why not do the same for M&As?

Connection

2. Always on the hunt.  A good B2B matchmaker doesn’t just search for potential matches when the order comes in.  Finding a good match is all about knowing who is available, and having them in your database when the right fit comes along.

The Alliance’s Michael Brenk is an expert at this in regards to recruiting.  A chronic networker, he is always meeting potential candidates.  Whether they’re looking for a new job or not, he gets to know the players in the field, and what their ideal situation looks like.  If the planets align, he’s ready to move.

That’s the difference between people who do B2B Matchmaking consistently, and those who do it only when the need arises.  The truly exceptional matches come when you have the connections made before the search begins.

3. Pre-emptive mediation.  We tend to have a winner take-all mentality in the business world.  You don’t find too many people who understand, or are willing, to create a win-win opportunity for all parties involved.  Why do you think there are so many lawsuits?

In a sense, a matchmaker acts like a mediator before there’s a problem.  They iron out any differences and set the table for a fair agreement between the two parties.  And accordingly, they should be paid by both parties equally.  

4. Faster and more efficient.  A woman is experiencing a squeaky floorboard.  She contacts a local carpenter, who visits her, and surveys the squeaky floor.  The carpenter takes out a hammer and two nails, and drives them into the floor.  The squeak is gone.

“That will be fifty dollars,” he says.

The woman is appalled.  “Fifty dollars?  You only drove in two nails.”

“That’s a dollar for each nail, and forty-eight dollars for knowing where to put them.”

The carpenter’s efficiency also applies to the business matchmaker.  A matchmaker has the connections established and the process in place to get you to the finish line faster than if you did it yourself.  And the name of the game in business is speed-to-market.

These are four compelling reasons to engage in B2B Matchmaking, but unfortunately, they’re not the norm in the M&A world.  Here, the established models of business brokers or intermediaries continue to prevail, and time after time, their deals fall apart because they simply don’t measure up to the four reasons mentioned here.

Over 65% of M&As fail.  If you’re a competitive type, that’s a losing statistic.  To win, maybe it’s not a matter of beating the competition.  Maybe it’s more the case of changing how the game is played.

Business Matchmaking

Rock LaManna is the President and CEO of the LaManna Alliance.  The LaManna Alliance helps printing owners and CEOs use their company financials to prioritize and choose the proper strategic transition – including mergers, acquisitions, organic growth, and exit / succession plans.

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