Companies on the Move

Why acquisition is the key to growing your business the fast way

Business leaders on the growth path should seriously take a look at quality acquisitions, according to commercial lawyer Joanna Oakey, the author of Buy Grow Exit.

By Joanna Oakey >>

THE REASONS for buying a business (or into a business) vary. You might be starting out in business, replacing a job with a business, or you might be acquiring a business for the growth of your existing business –a supercharged way to grow and gain uplift in the value of your business.

Acquiring an existing business rather than starting from the ground up, or building from within (‘organic’ growth), can give you instant access to established systems, and customer and supplier bases.

It can also be an extremely powerful move even if you are looking at exit, as strategic acquisition can have an immediate impact on business value. Here is a snapshot of the main benefits.

CLIENTS, COSTS AND ECONOMIES OF SCALE

Pursuing an acquisition strategy offers the ability to add to your client base immediately, thus increasing your total revenue. 

It also comes with an ability to increase profit by stripping out costs – for example, reception, administration, accounting, marketing – either partly or fully absorbing them into the existing business’ overheads. 

This won’t be possible with all expenses, however where costs remain there can be cost savings due to economies of scale – you now have the purchasing power of two businesses.

These factors alone can achieve significant acceleration of profit and economies of scale.

 

INCREASED WORKFORCE AND ACCESS TO EXPERTISE

Especially in a tight labour market, acquisitions can be a great way to add new expertise to your business and increase your overall workforce size.

Each team member comes with industry knowledge, skills and experience – all of which are valuable in propelling the business to greater success.

These employees are also likely to have an existing network of industry contacts, which further widens the business’s potential reach and impact.

 

A LEVERAGED WAY TO PROVIDE SERVICES AND PRODUCTS

You may be seeking a target that will complement your existing products or services (for example, adding financial advice into an accounting practice), or simply to add in to your existing service or product mix.

When you can offer better solutions through more holistic services, it can present a massive opportunity to increase the leads and revenue for each business separately – and produce a better, more complete customer solution for both sets of client bases.

If you are acquiring additional service lines or products, you will also gain the ability to upsell and cross-sell between the old and the new offerings, which can provide quick gains and increase the value within each additional type of service or product business you are adding.

 

INCREASE YOUR MULTIPLIER FOR EXIT

Value at sale is often based on the multiplier that is applied to your earnings (eg, two-times or 2× profit), and that multiplier generally increases with the size of the business.

For example, micro businesses can sell as low as 1× earnings, whereas larger SMEs can attract multiples of at least 3× or 4× earnings depending on the industry.

By acquiring and becoming a bigger business, you’re likely to increase your multiple (eg from 2× to 3×) and therefore your overall business valuation too.

Sometimes the amount you will gain in this respect outweighs the cost of acquiring – for example you may  buy an existing business for $1m but add $1.5m to your existing business value.

 

ACCESS TO NEW MARKETS AND MARKET SHARE

Adding a business in another location instantly allows the existing company to increase the geographical reach of its existing products or services – gyms and health care businesses are a great example of this.

Sometimes it can also enable the business to gain a foothold in an entirely new area not previously serviced by either entity.

When you acquire a business that is related to or complements your own products and services, you can also increase your share of the market by taking out competitors. Ultimately, the larger market share is generally tied to improved value through increased efficiency and easier brand recognition in the market.

Years of organic growth can be achieved in a single deal through a strategic acquisition. Whatever your reason, and whatever the size of your acquisition ‘target’, the fundamentals remain the same: prepare, understand key value in the businesses, understand risks, follow a strong process and structure strategically.

Done the right way, I believe acquisitions truly provide the ultimate opportunity to build extraordinary wealth. 

 

About the author

Joanna Oakey, author of Buy Grow Exit, is the founder and managing partner of commercial law firm Aspect Legal. She is also the host of the successful business podcasts Talking Law and The Deal Room. Ms Oakey brings decades of experience-based insights from working with business owners (and their advisors) on acquisitions, exits and general commercial legal matters. www.buygrowexit.com.au

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AI will give doctors ‘peace of mind with each diagnosis’

By Leon Gettler, Talking Business

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) will become the norm in medicine, according to franklin.ai, the joint venture between harrison.ai, the clinically-led healthcare AI company and Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL), the global medical diagnostics company.

Franklin.ai general manager Peter Dassos said AI would improve the ability of doctors and pathologists to diagnose conditions such as cancer.

“When I think of AI in the health sector, I think of it providing peace of mind with every single diagnosis,” Mr Dassos told Talking Business.

“I’m considering it as a peer review on every single patient case.

“You don’t have to look far globally to see health care systems are under pressure and need support and I think intelligent software solutions, AI driven, are part of the key to transforming not only access to health care but the quality of health care across a range of specialties.”

Mr Dassos cited cancer as an example of where 100 percent of cancer pathologies required some form of laboratory pathology. Rather than looking at a subset of findings for a given case, the AI can provide pathologists with a broad number of findings, he said. 

“The real benefit of comprehensive AI is that it can analyse a tissue sample, not just for one or two or three abnormalities but for a broad range of abnormalities. That’s one of the key differentiators we’re looking at delivering with our AI solution.

“It’s the ability to broadly add a specimen or multiple specimens and share those insights with the doctor.”

 

AI IS LIKE A CLINICAL COLLEAGUE

Mr Dassos said AI was like doctors having a colleague that they could tap on the shoulder for a second opinion on every single case, rather than cases that may be of interest,

“That benefit of almost a 100 percent second opinion or 100 percent peer review on every analysis performed,” he said.

Mr Dassos himself comes from an engineering background. He studied engineering at the University of New South Wales and his final year thesis focussed on understanding cochlear implants in brain MRIs and how that could impact diagnosis.

With that background in medtech and biomedical engineering, he spent a decade at Resmed launching cloud and software solutions and then transitioned into harrison.ai with the primary goal of setting up franklin.ai.

Mr Dassos said AI models fed off complex data sets and franklin.ai was in the process of building a large team with diverse skill sets. \

These included the AI component, the front end team of doctors, and a platform engineering team that is working on “all the technology under the hood”. There is also a clinical team, regulatory affairs and quality assurance components.

The findings will be scientifically validated and published in peer-reviewed journals.across the globe.

“I believe this concept of augmenting doctors with AI insights is going to become the norm in modern medicine,” Mr Dassos said.

“This concept or paradigm of a second pair of eyes on every single case is going to apply not just to pathology but to a number of areas across modern medicine.”

Mr Dassos pointed out that the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia was reporting on current and projected pathologist shortages.

“When I think of global health care shortages, across medical specialties, and I think of that ability to provide that second pair of eyes or an instant second opinion, I think of peace of mind for doctors and patients, and I think it will absolutely become the norm as part of a doctor’s daily workflows,” Mr Dassos said.

www.franklin.ai

www.leongettler.com

Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness.

https://play.acast.com/s/talkingbusiness/talking-business32-interview-with-peter-dassos-from-franklin

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CouriersPlease CEO drives industry leading transformation

AUSTRALIA’s courier, express and parcel (CEP) market has been forecast to grow to $15 billion by 2025 – according to a Mordor Intelligence report – thanks to an online shopping boom worth $47.9bn last year. This is projected, according to IbisWorld research, to increase 8.9 percent this year alone.

It is in this environment that Richard Thame has strong ambitions for CouriersPlease (CP), having joined as CEO in February this year.

“Australia presents a significant growth opportunity for the CEP market, largely due to the surge in online purchases, its readiness to adopt innovation, its established trading ties with South East Asia, and a relatively stable economy,” Mr Thame said.

“This is despite the increased operating costs for the industry on the back of rising oil prices, supply chain disruptions and the challenge of scaling up fast to meet demand.

“The industry is also going through much change and consolidation, presenting an opportunity for CP to build on its strengths as a reliable, innovative and sustainable delivery provider with a 40-year heritage.” 

Mr Thame said in the coming three years the most successful industry players will be those that “digitise their operations, outside of physical deliveries; can pivot quickly to respond to external economic, supply chain and environmental changes; and can disrupt the traditional delivery model to deliver an enhanced customer experience”.

“The challenge for large, recognised carrier networks is to evolve their traditional models, by leveraging their national footprint, large warehousing network and fleet, brand recognition, industry and customer relationships, and deep understanding of the industry – all of which take many years to establish.”

Singapore Post advantages

As part of the Singapore Post (SingPost) group, Mr Thame said CP was able to offer customers a range of services from warehousing, logistics technology, parcel delivery and logistics optimisation.

He said the CP franchise model sets it apart from other providers and means that customers are dealing with fellow business owners rather than delivery drivers.

Mr Thame said CP’s strong metro fleet would help it continue capitalising on the growth of eCommerce in capital cities, while its expanding regional fleet will “provide a better service for the many Australians that have moved to regional areas in recent years”.

Over the next three years, Mr Thame said he would focus on building CP’s capability to meet rapidly growing demand – including in new areas – continuing its strong growth, and transforming the company into one that is sustainable, has a flexible workforce, offers customers more choice and has a stronger digital footprint.

“The customer experience will be an important litmus test for the success of the CP growth strategy,” Mr Thame said.

He said CP was also eyeing global growth.

“We want to tap into global e-commerce trade – up to now, we have been leveraging the SingPost network to deliver to other markets. Working with SingPost, we will launch CP cross-border deliveries, for customers importing products into Australia and providing our current local customers with cost effective access to global markets.”

Revitalising CP franchise model

Locally, Richard Thame plans to revitalise the CP franchise model, which is backed by more than 800 franchisees across 847 active territories.

Passionate about franchising and innovation, Mr Thame is also a director of the Franchise Council of Australia.He has held leadership positions at franchise brands McDonalds and Thrifty, in addition to Fastway Couriers where, as managing director, he led the sale of the company to Aramex and implemented innovations such as the Blu Couriers crowdsourcing platform.

Prior to joining CP, Mr Thame led transformational change as CEO at Snap Print and Design.

Sustainability will remain an important part of the company journey, he said. SingPost has recently announced a 2050 net-zero emissions goal for its global network, and since 2020, CP has been developing sustainable initiatives towards that goal. The company offsets 100 percent of its operational emissions, backed by a LowCO2 certification from The Carbon Reduction Institute.

“From a growth perspective, we will place great emphasis on the customer experience,” Mr Thame said. “We will be delivering a comprehensive product suite with a fully digital customer experience that includes self-service products, recognising that we are an extension of the brands that we deliver each day.”

Mr Thame is enthusiastic about building on the growth and success that CP has achieved. With a passion for working with teams, customer experiences, growing franchisees, and leveraging technology platforms, his vision for CP is clear.

“It is an exciting time to grow one of the country’s most successful and respected parcel delivery companies, in a rapidly changing environment,” Mr Thame said. “In the last two pandemic years particularly, CP has cemented its reputation as one of Australia’s most reliable and sustainable carriers.

“Its efforts in sustainability, innovation and operational performance, and its highest-ever growth, have been recognised through multiple award wins, and have resulted in a rapidly growing franchisee network, a wealth of new talent joining its executive ranks, and strong revenue growth. I look forward to taking the business to the next level.”

www.couriersplease.com.au

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Powerpal app lowers electricity bills and cuts emissions

By Leon Gettler, Talking Business >>

POWERPAL is an app that can cut electricity household bills and reduce the home carbon footprint.

The app has so far reduced CO2 emissions by 21,388 tonnes and helped Australians save $6,955,723, since November 2020, according to Peter Neal, the founder and CEO.

According to Mr Neal, Powerpal works “much like a Fitbit for homes”.

“Your Fitbit provides you with a real time instant feedback on your exercise routine and it will give you prompts to say you’ve been sitting for too long or maybe you should go for a walk this afternoon. What Powerpal does is exactly the same thing but it’s like a Fitbit for your home,” Mr Neal told Talking Business

“It will tell you in real time how your home is using energy and then give you tips on ways you can change or adjust your energy use to either improve your energy bills or reduce your environmental footprint.

“It’s an app and the Powerpal product fits on the household electricity meter with magnets that stick on to the meter box. It takes about 60 seconds to install. The app takes the data from the energy meter and displays it on phones in real time.”

Mr Neal said the universal response so far has been people running around their homes holding the app and closing down systems like air conditioners “as they are costing them a fortune”.

“We’ve had people report they’ve reduced their energy use by up to 50 percent,” he said.

Mr Neal said on average people reduced their energy bills by 6.6 percent.

DEVELOPED THROUGH EXPERIENCE

Peter Neal and his crew have used their expertise in customer engagement when they ran a telecommunications business.

Powerpal gets $160 for each product it installs which covers its product costs, marketing costs and installation costs as it requires a registered installer, and then takes some margin for profit. 

Powerpal started in Victoria as part of the Victorian energy upgrades program. The project kicked off in February 2020 and got three weeks in when COVID-19 hit and it had to be mothballed for six months because the company could not go to people’s homes. It then re-started in November 2020.

During the second lockdown, it was fortunate as the system gained an exemption for “solo home installation”.

Powerpall is now planning to expand to New South Wales and has been in discussions with the state government there.

“We’re very much reliant on these government schemes,” Mr Neal said. “I think if we hadn’t had the backing of the Victorian Government, it would have been very difficult for us to get started.”

TAKING TECH FURTHER AFIELD

Mr Neal said Powerpal was now looking at rolling out products that go beyond energy monitoring.

These are potentially global applications and will be funded through different models.

“The plan is very much to use Victoria and Australia as our beachhead and then take our technology off to California, Europe and the UK and go and deliver those benefits to as many places as we can.”

He said Powerpal did not necessarily need good relationships with utilities because it operated “like WhatsApp for energy”.

“We don’t have to integrate with the utility at all,” Mr Neal said “We’re like an OTT player that sits on top of all the infrastructure.

“It gives you this benefit where rather than having to sign up all these little contracts with every kind of energy retailer globally, you just go for it.

“Our technology is compatible with any digital electricity meter and there’s over a billion of them out there so there’s plenty of market to go at.” 

www.powerpal.net

www.leongettler.com 

 

Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness.

https://play.acast.com/s/talkingbusiness/talking-business6-interview-with-pete-neal-from-powerpal

 

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Building businesses ‘from the garage’ up

By Leon Gettler. Talking Business >>

CHAMBERLAIN GROUP, Australia’s leading manufacturer in garage door openers and accessories, has embraced change and adopted a nimble approach to the ever-evolving economic landscape created by the pandemic.

Grant Emanuel, the company’s global marketing director, has navigated a new world of online-led strategy, virtual office banter and a more adaptive approach to accommodating the needs of individual markets.

With the pandemic and lockdowns, Chamberlain had been conducting meetings with its offices around the world, in the US, UK and Germany, via Microsoft Teams.

MEETINGS FOLLOW THE SUN

He said with the different time zones, it was “tough to have a loose schedule”. So US updates would be in the morning and times would be allocated for the European businesses in the afternoons.

“We are fairly flexible in how we do it,” Mr Emanuel told Talking Business.

“We try and do end-of-their-day in the US, which is the start of our day and the start of the European day, which is the end of our day. It comes down to a lot of planning and a bit of flexibility.

“It’s a different way we interact. Some of them are short-sharp catch-ups, if they are not strategic discussions that take longer than 10 minutes and different groups in different areas prefer different contact frequencies. Some want weekly catch-ups, some want monthly, some want bi-monthly.”

SALES ADAPT TO CONDITIONS

Mr Emanuel said working remotely had changed sales completely.

“It’s a credit to our sales teams’ relationships with a lot of our customers that we can do these things remotely – and they can do them over Skype or Teams or whatever it may be – and a lot of stuff is over the phone as well,” he said. Sheree Findlay The Grooming Co set up in garage Chamberlain Group 600xpw

“We have even done innovative ways of meeting customers, in car parks for example, staying in our cars from a distance and talking through the windows. Certain customers wanted that contact.

“It’s testament to the relationships that we have, that they understand what we need to do and can do those things without face-to-face contact.”

CHAMBERLAIN PLAYS A TEAM GAME

Mr Emanuel said the mantra of the Chamberlain Group is ‘the team’ – and the company had worked hard to maintain this virtually.

“Before COVID, we used to do a weekly communications meeting on a Monday morning, which was not a very heavy detailed meeting,” he said. “It was rather a bit more of a fun meeting. It was just to keep everyone informed of the key activities in the business.”

“We’ve continued that over COVID and instead of me presenting it face-to-face to the group, I do it over Teams.

“We have also done – with the different departments – different virtual catch ups with our teams,” Mr Emanuel said. “For example, in my group we do a virtual coffee catch up where we all get a coffee and chat around not just work stuff, but just general stuff about how we’re travelling and what we’re up to.

“We are trying to take that water cooler conversation from the office and make it virtual.”

Mr Emanuel said this took into account the fact that people had different levels of activity going on, with some engaged in home schooling and others had no one at home so they were craving attention.

Those weekly communications sessions have been continued two to three times a week, he said.

www.chamberlainanz.com

www.leongettler.com

Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness.

https://play.acast.com/s/talkingbusiness/talking-business45-interview-with-grant-emanuel-from-the-cha

Brisbane's business innovators line up for Lord Mayor's awards

TONIGHT, at a gala dinner at Brisbane City Hall, winners of the 2021 Lord Mayor’s Business Awards will be announced from a field of 32 companies and eight individual Brisbane-based business leaders.

They will be named in 11 different business categories in an awards series which has grown in prestige every year for more than a decade and has gained its finalists and winners national and international recognition.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the awards highlight business excellence, success, and “those who think outside the square – all trademarks of Brisbane’s business community”. 

“Our city’s economic recovery and revitalisation is dependent on sectors that can navigate change, adopt and embrace new opportunities, and these awards recognise some of the city’s most outstanding businesses,” Cr Schrinner said.

“The 2021 finalists demonstrate why Brisbane is one of Australia’s most progressive and business-friendly cities – a place where collaboration is a genuine part of business.

“Every year the Lord Mayor’s Business Awards unearth stories of world-leading innovations, best-practice environmental and sustainability initiatives, and inspiring business leaders and entrepreneurs,” he said.

“These businesses and individuals make a positive impact on our local economy and community, but also internationally with ground-breaking research, products and services.”

 2021 LMBA Finalists

 ACCENTURE AUSTRALIA AWARD FOR PRODUCT INNOVATION

EGR Group

Ellume Limited

Immersive Robotics Research Pty Ltd

Wagners EFC

ANZ AWARD FOR HIGH-GROWTH BUSINESS

Emesent Pty Ltd

Firstmac

Leap in! Australia Ltd

Swyftx Pty Ltd

AUSTRALIA PACIFIC LNG AWARD FOR BUSINESS INNOVATION

Bigmate

Codafication

Microba Life Sciences

Watkins Steel

CCIQ AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING SMALL BUSINESS

ATech

Ecoflo Wastewater Management Pty Ltd

Nourish'd Meal Co

Mizzie The Kangaroo

HSBC AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Aremdeco Pty Ltd

Emesent Pty Ltd

Field Orthopaedics

Icon Group

HUTCHINSON BUILDERS AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING SOCIAL ENTERPRISE

Australian Spatial Analytics Ltd

Jigsaw Australia

Leap in! Australia Ltd

Multhana Property Services Pty Ltd

ISPT AWARD FOR INVESTMENT IN BRISBANE

Aria Property Group

Brisbane Airport Corporation

The Coffee Commune

Watkins Steel

URBAN UTILITIES AWARD FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN BUSINESS

Helios Brewing

Howard Smith Wharves

Save Our Supplies Ltd

Wagners EFC

XERO AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING MICRO BUSINESS

Future Anything

Resource Hub

SensaWeb

The Little Red Company

PORT OF BRISBANE AWARD FOR YOUNG BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR

Abbey Cameron – Nourish’d

Alex Harper - Swyftx

Alexander Bell – Milton Rum Distillery

Nina Nguyen - Pakko

THE COURIER-MAIL AWARD FOR BUSINESS PERSON OF THE YEAR

Elena Gosse – AIS Water

Marie Mortimer – loans.com.au

Phillip Di Bella – The Coffee Commune

Scott Power – BMD Group

 

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Geezy Go gets going in Australia

By Leon Gettler >>

IMAGINE a supermarket which is completely digital. One where you can order your food from a web app or through WhatsApp and get it delivered within 20 minutes. At a cheaper price.

That’s the offering from Geezy Go, part of the Geezy Global group, which has Australia’s first digital supermarkets operating in Sydney and Melbourne and plans to expand around Australia.

Geezy Go has warehouses across the cities. The warehouses are closed to customers. The pickers and packers select and pack the groceries and the drivers are sent out on e-bikes to deliver the goods to the customer within 20 minutes of them placing the order.

Geezy Global, which also operates in New Zealand, the UK, the US and India,  works with brands right around the world and Geezy Go is also working with Australian brands. 

Geezy Go vice president of growth and strategy, Dhruv Kohli, said the company was building a section in its app, www.geezy.store, for local producers and local brands.

“We buy all the produce from our local farmers and we are aiming to promote localisation, helping these small entrepreneurs who are coming up with new brans to the market, helping them get featured on our web apps and giving customers access to their products in just 20 minutes, ” Mr Kholi told Talking Business.

This means customers can get anything they normally buy at supermarkets from Geezy Go.

LOWER OPERATING COSTS DELIVER SAVINGS

Mr Kholi said the goods at Geezy Go were cheaper because they were not burdened by the real estate charges of stores, cleaning and electricity costs. Geezy also has an Australian workforce of just 38. With such lower margins, the reduced costs are passed on to customers.

“Instead of having 10 different varieties of olive oil, we’ll work with just two varieties of olive oil,” Mr Kholi said.

He said Geezy Go was planning to expand from Sydney and Melbourne, and will extend to Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Hobart

Customers don’t have to download anything, he said. They just go to www.geezy.store, pick the items, pay online through Stripe, and the order will come to the team which will pack and pass it on to the drivers who deliver it in 20 minutes.

He said Geezy Go has a 99 percent satisfaction rating from customers and the average delivery time is 15 minutes.

Mr Kholi said Geezy Go was growing by word of mouth.

“We deliver to someone in one apartment building and then you see the next day, four others are ordering from the same apartment building,” he said.

USING WHATSAPP TO PROMOTE

Mr Kholi said that while a lot of companies are relying on email support and chat support, Geezy Go is using WhatsApp.

“We have WhatsApp support,” he said. “So basically if you are not finding the answer for everything, anything in the app, or you want to know anything, you just WhatsApp us and our team will respond within one minute.”

Mr Kholi said Geezy Go was now building a service where people can do their shopping on WhatsApp.

“Soon you’ll be able to order your groceries from WhatsApp as well,” he said. “You can see all the items on WhatsApp.

“You can just choose and our team will deliver it to you,” Mr Kholi said.

www.geezy.co

www.leongettler.com

 

Hear the complete interview and catch up with other topical business news on Leon Gettler’s Talking Business podcast, released every Friday at www.acast.com/talkingbusiness.

https://play.acast.com/s/talkingbusiness/talking-business34-interview-with-dhruv-kholi-vice-president

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