Imagine Selling Your Firm…To You!

I was reading about an individual who purchased a very small firm. It wasn’t an interior design firm, but it was about the same size as many, around $2.5 million annual sales. Within just months of taking over, he had increased the monthly run-rate to a firm that would gross well over $5 million in the following year.

How did he do that? Well, here’s what he wrote:

“Within four months of acquiring the business, our annualized revenue run rate had doubled to over $5MM. How did we do that? We focused on material actions to drive the business forward. We quadrupled our marketing budget, hired a new ad agency, we launched an SEO effort, opened new sales and marketing channels, expanded our sales team, grew our margins, etc. Our focus was on driving revenues as quickly as we could, and our time was firmly focused on making those material actions happen.”

Now, the consultant in me immediately wondered what the expense side of things looked like. Did they double the revenue rate…but triple the expense rate and thus create a greater loss than before? That’s not uncommon.

And in fact the gist of the article was about focusing on just a precious few “material actions” in order to spur growth. The author admitted that growing so quickly had made it extremely difficult to keep their focus on material actions, those that would continue to grow sales.

But the exercise here is for you to try to take a detached view of your own firm and imagine what you would do if you were to buy that firm with the absolute mandate of doubling the rate of sales. Let’s just say that you can find the financing to do whatever you need to do.

Consider yourself a true turnaround artist that must make things happen fast. Does that firm you’re buying have the right accounting software and systems? The right social media or other online platforms? What about drawing tools, samples, vendors, and clients?

I’ve often encouraged you to consider a “blank slate,” as if you were starting over today. But this exercise is very different as you have to deal with what’s already in place. You have to adapt…or make wrenching changes.

Again, the question is simple:

What would you do if you bought a firm identical to yours (which just happens to be yours in this case!) and had to double the sales run-rate in a very short time.

Good luck, and be sure and leave your ideas in the comments below.

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