If you think the only way to get ahead as a printing owner is at the expense of the other guy, I’ve got news for you: That’s not a good long-term strategy. Especially when it comes to a successful merger and acquisition (M&A).
I write a lot about integrity, and how important it is to establish a win-win situation for your M&A. Synergistic relationships are critical to any M&A. Today, you can’t just sell the business and head for the door. In most M&As, you’ll be expected to be part of the company’s future growth – to “earn-out” instead of “cash-out.”
That’s not going to happen if you just play lip service to establishing a solid relationship with an M&A prospect, and working honestly and with integrity to build a truly synergistic relationship. And it all starts with being a good business owner.
It’s Too Easy to Be Bad
It’s really too easy to look out for number one, and number one only. I recently retweeted a great article by Tony Schwartz called “Are You a Role Model?” Tony’s tough question really cuts to the core of our society as he analyzes some recent comments by Warren Buffett.
Warren recently called upon the wealthy to pay higher taxes in these debt-riddled times. He was also very upfront about saying that if he hadn’t been born into a place of privilege with a lot of built-in advantages, he might not have made such a tremendous fortune.
Buffet has taken philanthropy to an entire new level by pledging to give away nearly his entire fortune before he dies. In Tony’s article, he applauds Buffett’s generosity, but then notes that giving away money you don’t necessarily need isn’t exactly a sacrifice.
Schwartz applauds the true role models. He writes about teachers who pass up more lucrative jobs to make a difference. He admires the intensive care unit nurses that work 12-hour shifts without an opportunity to sit down or eat, just because they’re devoted to saving lives.
He cites the parable, “To whom much is given, of him much will be required.” Luke 12:35.
Being a Good Print Owner Means Making the Right Decision for Everyone
What does this have to do with being a print owner? Everything, really. Especially if you’re looking for a successful M&A.
Because in a successful M&A, everyone has to win. Not just you, the seller, but the buyer, your employees, and the business itself. No one needs to buy a printing business just for the equipment, so you better be thinking about what you can do – what you need to sacrifice – in order to make things good for the next owner and for the employees that will be left behind.
Not every owner is interested in being a good business owner. But if you’re interested in a successful M&A, I’d highly recommend it.
(Photo by Danny Choo)