NB: This is a viewpoint from Matt Zito, an online travel business consultant.
When you hear those words, spoken exactly like that, you know you have a buyer, a real buyer on your hands.
As entrepreneurs our dream is to build it, scale it, sell it. I heard those seven words one day.
It went like this.
"Hi, Matt my name is Jim. I am calling because I want to buy your company."
It was direct. Just like that. There was no beating around the bush. I remember it like it was yesterday. I’ve lived the dream.
Market acquisition news is noise
Now please. Take my advice. Focus on building your company every day. Stop focusing on:
- Who got bought?
- Who’s buying whom?
- What was the valuation?
You read this kind of stuff in the technology press all the time. None of this "info" matters right now. It’s not relevant to you or your company.
What matters is, that you are doing at least one of the following, if not all:
- Focusing on increasing your users, travelers or customers.
- Current customers are coming back as repeat buyers.
- Revenue is increasing.
- Business is becoming more profitable and your scaling.
- Adding new partners.
- Signing new distribution deals every 90-days.
- Hiring on new employees and smart consultants.
- Kicking your competition's ass.
If your raising money this is an exception to the rule, it helps to stay in the loop but if your not raising money and you are focusing on building your company stay away from all the market noise and just focus on building and growing.
Competition is just noise
Don’t worry about what your competitors are doing. If you focus on what they are doing it will taint your product and your business.
Focus on creating real value for your customers.
So, back to some basics:
- Focus on being unique and one-of-a-kind.
- Create products and services that are so much in demand that market news creates noise for your company and distracts your competition.
- Thinking about selling is a leadership distraction.
I was in a pitch meeting with a founder of a venture capital backed startup. The founder hired me to help him create and launch a travel product, a new division within the company.
I believed with the current 1 million-strong customer base we could ultimately build a $100 million travel product line inside the company. The CEO, CFO and the two venture capitalists backing the startup were in the room and on the conference call.
During my pitch, the CEO said to me:
"Matt, what do you think about selling the company?"
I was completely caught off guard. I paused and remember thinking we are trying to grow this company not sell it.
I quickly said:
"When the phone rings just answer it. If the person on the other end wants to buy your company they will tell you."
I left it at that and continued on with my pitch. The proposal was successful and we got the green light to start building the product.
After this incident the founder told me he was a little taken aback by the selling of the company comment from the CEO.
The lesson here is that you have to build first before you can sell. You should be operating your business with the idea that one day you are going to sell.
"The best deals are when you are pursued and another company wants to buy your company."
Focus on building your company for the long-term. If your phone then rings and you hear the words “I want to buy your company", this a good thing.
When you get off the phone with the prospective buyer you can start making calls, checking on recent acquisition prices, reading the hallowed tech media.
Don’t waste your time thinking about selling.
- Build to sell.
- Block-out the market noise.
- Think long-term.
And when the phone rings, answer it.
NB: This is a viewpoint from Matt Zito, an online travel business consultant. Read more.
NB2:High five pilots image via Shutterstock.