to add an equity partner or not to add, that Is the question?

growthI’m always curious to know why Business Owners quite freely jump to the suggestion of bringing in an equity partner when thinking of growth. Especially if they claim they have funds to add to the pot! Whereas the option of Growth by Acquisition rarely gets a look in.

I’m not suggesting for one minute that it’s not an option, not at all. But it is often flippantly thrown about as one of a number, almost without real considered thought behind it.

Knowing someone, whether it be for a long time or short, does not mean you know what they will be like as a business partner. Let’s not mention all the decisions you’ve always made will no longer be all yours to make. Plus there’s the issues about how to spend money, what to do with profits, what staff to bring on, what role each of you are to play, etc…

The way I structured this decision, way back in the heady days of aCE talentNET was to have my prospective business partner work as a sub-contractor for 12 months. If a relationship is going to work, or not, doubts will have raised their head by the conclusion of that time frame, enabling both of you to shake hands and walk away, before any real damage is done.

I wish we had followed the same protocol when bringing on partner #3 but that’s another story. Warning: don’t always let reputation get in the way of adhering to your process.

Having had one way work and the other be a disaster, I know which I will repeat again in future. Something I strongly urge all Business Owners to really think through when broaching the same topic in considering growth options.

Think about it from an Exit Strategy point of view. How much easier is it to at least get to the sale decision when there’s only you. The more people you add to the decision making process, the more delay fatigue will potentially set in.

Growth by Acquisition on the other hand means you may be able to negotiate to have the best of both worlds ie the additional revenues and client list, without necessarily taking on the exiting partners… think about it…

Where Small Business Has It All Over Large Business…


I had received a SOS from a dear old colleague of mine, who needed help with a project in Melbourne. Not wanting to have just anyone in there, given the delicate nature of the work… I agreed!

So today, I dusted off my old Consulting hat and spent time on Client site for the first time in a long time.

Whilst my visit will be quick and focused, being back in a corporate environment reminded me of why I much prefer Small Business! Talk about struggling to get stuff done and bottlenecks and pillars of paper and ruling by fear or favour… in one day, all was revealed.

Small business is definitely a whole lot more agile and can jump more readily through the hoops, sometimes required. However, like many businesses I see, this company is making money in spite of itself, lots of it.

By virtue of making oodles of money though, does that mean the processes have to be so archaic to warrant keeping the people they do? I’m not suggesting jobs be cut but streamlined processes will leave them to do the stuff they’re really good at!

Once a Small Business can nail the nimble to the cashflow and not only out-fox but also out-deliver their larger counterparts, the sooner they to will bask in the delight of making money in spite of themselves..,,

To Get Clear Is To Be Clear…

MoneyBagToday I spent time in a meeting that I had arranged but was being led by another party. The reason for the meeting was to help the Business Owners “get clear”…

“Get Clear”about what? About their options, as opposed to pinging around from one option to another in the hope that one sticks!

This is what happens when you don’t know who to talk to, nor do you know how to find the right person. Mind you, it happens to all of us when we are moving into new territory!

When it’s a big ticket item like hanging on to 100% of your business that is on the cusp of greatness, where capital raising is required, there’s nothing more disheartening than to find you not only don’t meet bank criteria and the accountant offers you details on your situation but is not able to direct you much further, unless you’ve got family and friends with deep pockets, what do you do?

Fortunately I was in a position to assist these particular clients, hence the meeting today.  The beauty about the meeting today was having a learned colleague who could ask all the right questions and have a pretty clear idea on how to assist.

It went so well that a proposal is under construction… Fingers crossed it all works out so they can win the “first prize” they’re after!


Some Days Are So In FLOW!

What a Day!
Sometimes you just need to recognise and give praise that you managed to pull off all you needed to. This is my account of one such day…

It all started this morning when I had:

  • to make 4 calls before 9am… done!
  • to be ready for meeting in suburbs by 10am… done!
  • the ability to assist meeting attendees, by introducing them to another party… done!
  • booked the meeting for Monday next week… done!
  • synced the car and train… done!
  • made a meeting in city by midday… done!
  • ticked off all agenda items in no time flat and got to work… done!
  • made all calls and set up to do list for next 2 days… done!
  • received 2 planned calls, one an interview, the other an update and chat on what moves to make next… done!
  • ran out of office, jumped straight on train and directly back to car… done!
  • met Daughter at station, to go visit my home-alone Father.. done!
  • An entrepreneurial mothers lot!
    All in good time, all in good time. Grateful!


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