The collapse of Convoy, which was a “digital freight network,” got me thinking about how it connects to business buy-sell. Convoy’s value proposition was digitally making trucking more efficient.
For our Rotary projects in Antigua, I use a company called Freightquote. They do basically the same thing, have web ordering systems, offer multiple quotes for our partial loads, and, this is important, I have a rep I talk with who tells me which shippers to use and which to avoid.
I hear from business buyers how they want to disrupt whatever industry they get into and it’s rare they’ll disrupt much when buying a small business. What they should concentrate on is what some of our best clients have done, which is:
- Put in systems and document all processes (listen to our podcast with Malcolm Peace).
- Clean up inefficiencies; one client modernized the accounting department, put as many payments as possible on automatic pay using credit cards, and gave the staff freedom to offer improvements.
- Make the workplace more enjoyable. It’s often small things like better coffee, snacks, flexibility, etc.
- Kick in the marketing effort. Employees like to help customers and the more they can help the better.
Disruption is fine when it works (think Amazon). In small business improving the basics means a lot more. Given too many owners don’t pay attention to the basics it gives buyers an easy opportunity to increase value.
“If you have to tell people how powerful you are, it means you aren’t.” Margaret Thatcher