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April 11, 2021 | Tom Ballard

Latest “Founders Meetup” focused on mergers and acquisitions

By Kailyn Lamb, Marketing Content Writer and Editor, PYA

As Stephen Covey once said, “Begin with the end in mind.” Although Covey used this as one of his habits in the book “The Seven Habits of Highly Productive People,” Chad Sorrell said it could just as easily apply to the world of entrepreneurship.

Sorrell, the former Owner of Archive Logistics, gave a talk on mergers and acquisitions during the April 8 “Founders Meetup” hosted by FoundersForge and ActionVFX. It was a hybrid event in Johnson City, with some people physically attending and others via video. Sorrell opened his talk by saying the topic is often hard for entrepreneurs to go over, but having an end plan can help business owners make decisions along the way.

In his own experience, Sorrell has been on both sides of the equation. After graduating from East Tennessee State University, he eventually landed in the records and information management industry. At the start of his company, Archive Logistics, Sorrell acquired a smaller firm. Ten years later, Archive Logistics was acquired by Access, the largest privately held corporation in the records and information industry.

Doing the research is key, Sorrell said. Knowing the market can help you build your company with competitive pricing. But that same research can also help a business owner figure out what companies to purchase or sell to. Most importantly though, knowing your stuff can help you make a rational decision when “impressive price tags” are being thrown at you, Sorrell said.

“Don’t do something like this impulsively,” he said, adding, “bigger isn’t always better in terms of growth, either.”

Industry peers, brokers, even competing businesses can all be potential resources for business owners looking to learn more about merging or acquiring another business. Sorrell also said that he was very active in his industry’s trade association. “If you have a trade association, and it’s even halfway valuable, I would get involved,” he said.

Documentation was another important factor. This can help with due diligence when completing a deal, but will also help companies to prove their value.

“If you’re not keeping good records, start doing so now,” Sorrell said.

Wrapping up the talk, Sorrell discussed letting employees know about a potential sale of the company. While some staff may need to be informed because they are needed to help the deal along, Sorrell said it is likely best to keep the information to yourself until it’s final. Because a deal can take so long, and because they are likely to change, it causes less stress for staff in the long run.

Founders Forge staff also mentioned during the meeting that they are accepting applications for the new “Pitchers and Pitches” event happening on May 6. Read more in this article

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