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Is My Business a Candidate for the Growth Acquisition Partnership (GAP) Program?
Written by Marissa B. on November 2nd, 2020

An Interview With Christopher Wick, Investor & Chairman of Say Yes! Enterprises

Sometimes there’s a bit of a gap between where your business is and where you want it to be.

That’s why SYE created the Growth Acquisition Partnership (GAP) Program.

Business owners who work with Say Yes! Enterprises (SYE) have one goal: a successful exit. They want their business to be acquired and have something they can be proud of moving forward. When SYE sees that an acquisition is feasible, the company spares no effort to meet the seller’s needs. However, at times, a great business has a few elements that need improvement to make an SYE acquisition possible.

Rather than leaving sellers to fend for themselves, SYE’s GAP program can help take seller’s businesses to the next level, where an acquisition can successfully happen. In this program, sellers work with the business acquisition experts at SYE to improve their business and make their business more attractive for acquisitions.

The GAP program is not an upsell. This detour on the path to a sale is not offered to everyone. This service is not marketed. It is not offered to all sellers, and it is never offered to someone who has no interest in achieving a successful acquisition.

SYE's number one priority is to acquire great businesses. If there is a small roadblock that can be overcome, offering the seller access to GAP may be a feasible solution, making growth partnerships the second priority. Rather than filling the roles of ‘buyer’ and ‘seller’, SYE and the business owner become partners working towards the common goal of a successful acquisition.

How It Works

In some cases, a successful acquisition can be possible within less than a month of the GAP program, other times, the GAP program is indefinite if it creates positive outcomes for both the business owner and SYE. Every business is different!

SYE and the seller benefits because the business is more valuable and primed for even more growth. During the done-with-you style partnership, sellers get unlimited access to a team of experts. The SYE experts provide clear, actionable steps towards growth.

Pricing is flexible to fit the needs of each seller. Some sellers pay a flat fee. Others obtain partnership by offering equity or a combination of equity and a fee. Equity models provide even more assurance that SYE remains committed to the common goal of acquisition. For example, in some cases, shorter term projects have a fee and longer term projects include equity.

Pricing and the duration of a specific project are flexible to meet the needs of each business.

The growth acquisition partnership process focuses on the five “buckets” (AKA Topics) of: (1) consulting, (2) exit planning and advising, (3) revenue and profitability growth, (4) systems implementation, and (5) growth through acquisition. These buckets are the key problem areas for most businesses. Excellence in these areas is a direct contributor to higher business valuations.

Rather than tackling all five buckets at once, the process starts with an honest assessment of what the business needs. For example, bucket five, growth through acquisition, adds exponential valuation to a business, but it is one of the last phases used for businesses who already have strong valuations. Most businesses have a specific need, so the process of going through each bucket is customized per each business.

As SYE founder Christopher Wick explains, “If I've already looked at acquiring a company, I know their strengths. I also know their weaknesses, so I'll be able to advise them on what's the best thing for them answering this question: ‘What’s going to get them their result the quickest?’”

Consulting

As a consultant, SYE’s Founder, Christopher Wick, can become a member of the seller's board of directors. He can also act as a business consultant for the seller and their team. Consulting is an easier starting point for most businesses because it focuses on the business as a whole. Other buckets are laser-focused on specific elements of the business.

Whether you’re a start-up with $0 dollars in revenue or a major corporation with a billion dollars in revenue, there’s a place for you with Christopher Wick’s consulting. From 2013 to 2020, Wick consulted with over 400+ companies, averaging over 50 businesses a year.

Consulting is right for you if…

--You have been in business for years, but you’re not reaching your income goals

--You have put your heart and soul into your business but you’re disappointed with its valuation

Exit Planning and Advising

his bucket focuses on how the seller can exit in the most efficient way possible. This is the route that’s going to balance savings of time, money, and resources with the seller's goals. The price for this bucket is most often a fee + equity model. There is a monthly fee for exit advising, planning, and strategy. Then, SYE retains a negotiated portion of equity within the business.

An exit plan is absolutely necessary for each business. Your exit plan should be written down and strategized over quarterly.

Exit Planning and Advising is right for you if…

--You don’t have an exit plan

--You think your business isn’t sellable

--You are “the brand”

--You can’t imagine leaving your business, but you know you need a plan

Revenue and Profitability Growth

This third bucket zeroes in on the performance of the business. This bucket is so crucial because business valuation relies on profitability. This is the sole factor that will determine how much value a seller earns at acquisition.

Many business owners see marketing as a way to improve profitability, but this can actually exacerbate loss. As Christopher Wick explains, “Before you press that marketing button, I want to caution you. If you don’t have profitability now, what’s going to happen when you times that by 100?”

“Remember, a negative number times anything -- is still negative!”

If an unprofitable business gets more sales, the business will only lose more money and be less profitable. To increase profitability, the cost of goods, the daily break-even point, and the lifetime value of the average customer need analysis. Financial analysis propels a business to the next level.

Rather than figuring things out alone, a business owner can benefit from the experience that SYE brings. We recommend you reaching the case study that explains how SYE increased the valuation of an eCommerce store by 50% in less than a year.

Revenue and Profitability Growth is right for you if…

--You don’t know your numbers (net profitability, gross profitability, cost of goods sold)

--Your business is not profitable despite great revenue

--Annual revenue is stagnant or declining

Systems Implementation

This is one of the most important buckets because people who buy businesses do not want to buy jobs. A business with strong systems can keep on running without much attention from a new owner. This is what investors want. In fact, a lack of systems and processes can actually decrease valuation.

“If you don't have systems, you'll only be able to do an asset sale. If you own a coffee shop but you're actually in there making the coffee, getting the cups, ordering the inventory, and cleaning up the tables, you could sell your building. You could even sell your inventory, but you can't sell your business because it's you,” Wick says.

Most investors are looking for a business that will keep on functioning well without the business owner. SYE systems implementation focuses on the two key areas of (1) marketing and (2) management.

Without marketing, there are no customers. Without great management, customer service suffers and profitability is perpetually unpredictable. SYE works with business owners to document every process within the business.

This documentation often starts with things as simple as how to answer the company phone. SYE provides checklists and templates to make the process smoother.

Systems Implementation is right for you if…

--You feel your business isn’t organized

--Your business positions don’t have clear responsibilities and objectives

--Your business productivity suffers when key employees are not at work

--You don’t have standard operating procedures (SOP’s)

--You don’t have a marketing plan

--You don’t measure the results from your marketing

--You don’t know your marketing numbers (cost of acquisition, conversion rate, lifetime value of a customer)

Growth Through Acquisition

The fifth bucket is an advanced step. Growth through acquisition involves acquiring more service lines or entire businesses to make an existing business even more valuable. This step can only happen after the other four buckets are functioning well. Business valuation comes from a measure of profit (like EBITDA or SDE) multiplied by an industry-specific multiple. (Learn more with our Understanding Valuations article.)

If a business covers more than one industry, the multiples are combined. This exponentially increases the value of the business and the seller’s acquisition value gain.

For example, a skincare spa falls under a single multiple. However, when that same skincare spa starts selling skincare products online, an additional retail multiple factors (2X+) in from the ecommerce component. If the spa’s online store sells a subscription service, an additional recurring revenue multiple (5X+) factors in. A single skincare spa can go from having one multiple to over seven (7X+) in a matter of months by making simple strategic improvements.

This example is precisely what the SYE team focuses on within Growth Through Acquisition.

With this program, the original business becomes a hub and the additional valuation increasing business improvements becomes spokes to support that hub. The goal of this program is to grow a business, not by simply growing sales or profits, but by growing the business’s multiple.

A business that grows through acquisition skyrockets in value and makes the seller’s exit far more lucrative.

Growth Through Acquisition is for you if…

--Your business valuation needs improvement

--You feel your business could be worth more

--Your primary objective with your acquisition is to reap the most value as possible

--You have time to grow your business

--You are ready to get creative, expand your mindset and growth your skillset

What Makes a Good Partner?

SYE is a company that puts people first. That is one reason why it is important that there is already a mutual sense of respect and a good rapport with the business owner. As partners, a business owner will be working with the SYE team, so the seller should have already displayed great collaboration skills throughout the acquisition process.

Good partners don’t have to be great entrepreneurs but should be entrepreneurial in spirit. While there are elements of a partner's business that need improvements, a good partner has already committed to their growth. SYE wants to work with partners who have a passion for their business and an entrepreneurial spirit. Entrepreneurial skills can be taught, but there is no way to teach passion or spirit.

SYE only offers the growth acquisition partnership to people who have demonstrated potential, are willing to collaborate and have a passion for improving their business.

A Final Note on The Business Owner's Success

Is there a gap between where you are and where you want to be?

“If you're working in your business with "no end in sight," that is the most tragic thing I could ever wish for someone.

I want you to help you create a business that follows my model: SSP. It stands for saleable, scalable, and profitable. When you go into businesses using this acronym, you're never going to be stuck again.

You're always going to have an exit plan, and you're going to have people that want to acquire your company.

Imagine how much it's going to benefit you, your customers, your stakeholders, and your community,” says SYE founder Christopher Wick. 

About Say Yes! Enterprises

Say Yes! Enterprises is an investment management company that acquires, builds, and sells companies that benefit shareholders, customers, team members and communities at large.
About Christopher Wick
Investor, 9X Award-Winning Entrepreneur, and 5X Best-Selling Author & Speaker

*Founder/Principal of businesses that have been featured by Huffington Post, ABC, NBC and Wall Street Select*

Christopher Wick is an award-winning entrepreneur who has built, bought and sold various companies relating to social media marketing, e-commerce, real estate, retail and investing.

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ABOUT 
Say Yes! Enterprises is an investment management company that acquires, builds, and sells companies that benefit shareholders, customers, team members and communities at large.
Say Yes! Enterprises is an investment management company that acquires, builds, and sells companies that benefit shareholders, customers, team members and communities at large.
CONTACT 
Say Yes! Enterprises
5900 Balcones Drive
STE 100 
Austin, TX 78731
Copyright © 2020 Say Yes! Enterprises | All Rights Reserved. 
Copyright © 2020 Say Yes! Enterprises | All Rights Reserved. 
ABOUT 
ABOUT 
Say Yes! Enterprises is an investment management company that acquires, builds, and sells companies that benefit shareholders, customers, team members and communities at large.
Say Yes! Enterprises is an investment management company that acquires, builds, and sells companies that benefit shareholders, customers, team members and communities at large.
CONTACT 
CONTACT 
Say Yes! Enterprises
5900 Balcones Drive, STE 100, Austin, TX 78731
Say Yes! Enterprises
5900 Balcones Drive, STE 100, Austin, TX 78731
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