I’m working with a number of clients who are growing micro-corporates using the hub and spoke acquisition method.
The first challenge is to identify a potential vendor and negotiate a realistic price in the face of competition from over-optimistic valuers, hungry corporates and heartless predators.
Assuming you the purchaser are successful in beating those competitors, the second challenge is to get through the due diligence to the point of sale.
You must be joking – the fun is about to start.
The third challenge is the greatest – integration of the new team into your existing business.
The team you are buying will smile, make eye contact, listen to your speeches about how “nothing is going to change in the short term and all of your jobs are secure” and then reconvene in the staff room, in the pub or on the phone and WhatsApp in the evenings to discuss what’s really going to happen.
I speak to owners and managers who are pulling their hair out some months down the line because they are finding it almost impossible to facilitate the changes in performance and behaviour that will bring the “spoke” into line with your basic protocols and core values.
Problem #1 – the original owner has stayed on as a an associate and either involuntarily or deliberately is undermining you. He or she was “Elvis” for years and when “Elvis” was in the building, things were done the way “Elvis” liked. “Elvis” recruited them all and has history and habits. Making yourself the new “Elvis” will be impossible unless you are there every day.
Problem #2 – BDS spells God. The existing clinicians don’t see why they should change anything, or why they would have to. After all, they are used to giving orders, not taking them.
Problem #3 – The team don’t like change – especially when it moves them out of an existing comfort zone. So they will turn up for the meetings and training sessions (sometimes facilitated by people like me), take the day off work, say “yes” to everything and then do bugger all different.
So what’s a budding micro-corporate builder and his senior management team to do?
Solution #1 – Change the people.
Solution #2 – Change the people.
I’ll leave you to figure out what I mean.
After a period of frustration, it usually ends up as Solution #2.
Unless you go for Solution #3.
Open your own “spokes” as squats – then you are “Elvis” all the time.
You would save yourself a lot of time and frustration.