Today’s a quiet one around the office for me. No meetings on the calendar. So what did I do with an open morning?
I got a new dataset of companies that meet our target profile. I kicked off some Amazon Mechanical Turks to gather additional data. I turned up my music. I dove into the data.
Things are still processing but I stumbled upon, unfortunately, a business we won’t be able to acquire. They recently decided to go out of business. I was impressed and a bit saddened by the openness of the owner(s?) and the message they left for customers on their website. A few quotes from their website and my commentary.
Several companies expressed interests in purchasing one or more locations because they were interested in expansion into new areas or new product lines but negotiations have produced nothing us to date.
There’s almost always interest when a business is up for sale. From the potential buyer’s standpoint there’s very little harm in gathering information. Spend a little time and at worst you’ve got some insight into a (former) competitor’s operation and if someone else buy’s it you know what they are likely dealing with. But none of that matters to the current owner. They get hopes up. And then hopes get dashed with each suitor that walks out the door.
Some of you have asked us to recommend someone who you can purchase a product like ours from. We are sorry but we will not offer any recommendations as we do not know their formulations, the chemicals they use, or how they test their products. We stood behind all our products we made but not someone else’s. If you want to work with another adhesive manufacturer, please feel free to use our technical literature that you received from us and copy it to the supplier you are interested in and ask for their guarantee that it will perform the same and/or has the same certifications. They should be able to supply this information as we did for you. We also suggest you sample first and test the bonds and be satisfied the competitive adhesive does what you require. You can also ask that they do the same for you as a comparison.
The owner obviously cares about his customers. He cares about his reputation as well. He won’t take the chance of ruining the reputation with his last bit of work by recommending someone where he doesn’t have all the information he knows he needs. But he does offer some helpful advice as an expert for what the customers should be asking others to see if they have the same level of expertise. A true craftsman.
As an option, since no one has offered to purchase any of our custom formulas, you can – but we recommend you find a manufacturer that is willing to work with you and your need by using our formula. Not all will do that; they want to sell their products and not someone else’s.
Here the owner has one last chance to make some revenue by selling the intellectual property developed over the years. But even with that as an option he wants the buyer, his former customer, to be aware of the risks before parting with the cash. He knows a customer needs to be able make more money than they are spending for it to be a good transaction.
If I ever get a chance to meet Richard Cook I’ll buy him a beer. I bet he’d like a Workingman’s Pilsner from FSB – blatant product placement for one of our companies 😉
After I stumbled upon this website I figured it was time for lunch. So I walked down the street to grab a sandwich. One my way back I ran across another business owner headed into retirement.