When you’re looking to acquire, you don’t always have to buy a whole business. Sometimes you can just buy the part of the business you actually need.
In today’s episode, host Roland Frasier walks us through some unconventional mergers and acquisitions, different ways to buy parts of companies instead of the whole thing. Maybe you just want to buy someone’s media, their list of consumers. Maybe you buy a podcast or Facebook group. Maybe you buy a company’s sales team or a certain product they sell that you’d like to add to your offerings. The possibilities are virtually endless.
Listen in as Roland shares a whole list of great acquisition ideas based on his own extensive experience.
Buy Media to Instantly Get More Ideal Customers
If you’re looking for more leads, there’s no better way to get them than to acquire media from a business that has already aggregated the attention and eyeballs of your ideal customer. To identify this business, ask: Who’s already got the customers I want? Who’s already gone through the trouble and effort to get a bunch of them together?
This could be a whole business, but it’s more likely to be something like a podcast. Maybe it’s an ecommerce podcast, and your ideal customer is an ecommerce customer. If you acquire it, you’ve got media access to a pool of customers you’d like to send to your other business.
Roland buys a lot of Facebook groups. For his dog business, he buys specific types of breed owner groups, like a dachshund owner group or a German Shepherd owner group. For his real estate business, he’ll buy a Facebook group that already has a whole bunch of real estate agents in it. He’s looking for the exact aggregated lists of our ideal customers.
In addition to podcasts and Facebook groups, you could acquire a YouTube channel, an existing business, a trade show, or websites that already rank in the Google search you’re interested in. It’s really easy to find media, and it’s really cool once you get it.
Because now, especially with the death of the 3rd party cookie, the iOS 14 updates, and privacy rules and changes, it’s harder to get your word out to the exact targeted audience you want. If you already own the media (aka, the first party data or your list), you’re expanding your list by acquiring groups of your ideal customer that you can now market your message to. That’s a big benefit.
Acquire a Team So You Don’t Have to Hire One
Did you know you can buy a company’s marketing team or sales team or whatever kind of team you need for your own business? It’s hard to start something from scratch. Let’s say you want to start an inside sales team, but you don’t have a salesforce. You’ve never been a salesperson, and you know nothing about how to find them, recruit them, vet them, qualify them, compensate them, but someone else has already done it. You can just acquire their team.
When Roland was looking to launch software development, none of his people had ever done software development management. They hadn’t found employees or qualified them. They didn’t know how to monitor their work, speed, or effectiveness. Rather than start a software dev team from scratch, Roland found a company he was already paying for their software product and acquired their software dev team.
This is often called an acqui-hire. Whatever you need, that team has already been formed somewhere and you might be able to go out, identify, and hire them. Does someone already in your network—that you’re already working with—have a team you could acquire? This is really a great strategy.
You might also want to be thinking about resources. Roland’s business runs big events, and they’ve got thousands of SOPs (standard operating procedures) for running these events. When they sold one of their events to a bigger company, that company got all the SOPs, which they can use not only for the event they just acquired, but for the other 300+ events they own.
Acquire Products and Services to Increase Your Order Value
Your AOV (average order value) is how much customers are buying when they do each transaction with you. One of the easiest things you can do to get a larger AOV is to say something like McDonald’s does. When you order a cheeseburger, they ask: “Would you like fries with that?” This is called an upsell. Then after that, “How about a Coke?” The things they added have a ridiculously high profit margin and increase their AOV.
To get a higher AOV, ask: “What are the products and services that already exist that my current customers are already buying?” That’s why it’s easy. If they’re already buying it, you don’t have to do any work. Maybe it’s an upsell (something nicer, more expensive), a downsell (something cheaper), or a cross-sell (a different kind of product).
What products/services are my customers buying before they buy my product? What are they buying while they buy my product? And once they have my product, what products are they buying in addition to it? Either because they have a specific need or because the product or service I sell creates a need for another product or service. There are all kinds of upsells, cross-sells, and downsells.
Ask your customers if you don’t know. Take a poll. What other products/services did you buy before my product, at the same time, and 30-90 days after? If people respond, that will give you new categories of products/services you can acquire and add on to the ones you already have, which will increase your AOV, sales, and profit.