Ep001: How to Get Acquired with Nick Ellsmore

Welcome to the very first episode of Consulting Growth! My guest today is Nick Ellsmore, CEO of Hivint, an information security consulting firm in Australia. Nick brings his experience of starting and selling two companies, the steps he took that led to two major acquisitions.

While starting a business with an exit strategy in mind is typically not the first item on the agenda, Nick shares with us how to get acquired, in addition to the importance of being prepared, and sustaining a company culture that can withstand any and all changes within the business.

In this episode, we cover:

  1. How a stand-out brand will help you get acquired
  2. The value of company culture
  3. Positioning according to trends

If you’re wondering how to get acquired, the first step is to build a strong brand. Just like a peacock that flashes its beautiful feathers, immediately turning heads and capturing all the attention, your brand will need to do the same. If people are going to acquire you, they need to notice you. There needs to be an appeal and a demand for your business, and the unique qualities that make your business truly stand out from the rest.

Creating a strong brand, in turn, attracts a highly talented team. This team then starts to form an identity and culture of how business is done. According to Nick, “Culture is the way we do things around here,” and any decision made is magnified throughout the company. In a leadership role, your behaviors will set a lot of the culture—being consistent, knowing what’s important to you, and reinforcing that throughout the company will strengthen it.

The way you position your business and brand will determine the likelihood of acquisition. Keeping up with trends, and just overall what it is exactly that businesses are looking for, helps to create a clear and narrow position that will put you at the top of the potential acquirers’ list. Demonstrate that you are what they’re looking for, and you can help them solve their specific challenges.

Mentioned in this episode:

Hivint Cybersecurity Consultancy

Sift

Stratsec