Kicking sand in the gorilla’s face. I love this expression. Told to me by clever guy called Dion Mortensen, investor, company director and all round smart guy to have coffee with. We agreed over said coffee that building an exit strategy into your business plan was a critical element to overall success. And the sooner you set your sights on the company that will eventually buy your business the better. Pick a company that will be able to take what your business offers and add it to their own offering to increase value. Work out who will want what you produce in the future, then set about building the business they will pay a lot of money for.
So where does the sand and the gorilla come into it? See the gorilla as the big guys you want to notice you. What better way to get them to notice you than to annoy them. Dion talked about Trademe stealing the classifed advertising from under the nose of Fairfax Media… with their advertising revenues disappearing onto Trademe, Fairfax needed to buy that business to get their revenues back.
We talked about other stories of companies deliberately taking customers from their potential future buyer. Annoying them to the point of increasing their desire to make you go away. I recalled entrepreneur Jim Donovan telling me how his former company Deltec moved their head office to the same city in USA as the big company they had picked as their buyer. When customers began raving about Deltec and moving their business across, Andrews Corporation felt very compelled to make them go away. And paid them a lot of money to make it happen. Classic!
So what about you? Have you identified your future buyer yet? How could you kick sand in their face?
From the desk of Liber8me. Business mentors and experts in small business exit strategies.