- How ACE Integrators work to help you grow your business.
- Why servant leadership is so important to success.
- Why a management-run business is better than an owner-run operation.
- How Integrators will help get buy-in for the integration process.
The Acquira Certified Enterprise Framework is a change management system designed to grow businesses, emphasizing culture, systems, and servant leadership. It serves as a guide to reviewing and improving those business processes that impact growth and profitability.
ACE aims to turn an owner-run company into a management-run company.
A key component of the Framework is the ACE Integrator.
These Integrators often have backgrounds as business owners or business consultants with experience in specific niches. They are external consultants who will oversee the integration of a business, go through the framework, and adapt the timeline to the company's needs.
Integrators will not always be on-premises solving problems. Their feedback, oversight, and guidance are supported by a plethora of written training materials created for the Acquisition Entrepreneur and the company’s leadership team.
However, given that ACE Integrators are so essential to the process, we thought it would be useful to introduce you to someone from the team.
Acquira’s Ty Trumbull sat down with ACE Integrator Brian Stroh to review the ACE Framework, what an Integrator does, and how they help business owners succeed.
If you want a management-run company, then management needs to run the company.
That means that your first two goals, as the new business owner working with an Integrator, should be establishing a leadership team and getting buy-in from that leadership team. You need to identify people within the organization who can step into leadership roles and earn their trust.
This is the first stage of creating a company culture that will drive all future initiatives for the business. Through ACE, we strive to create a culture where people can believe in themselves and the company. Once the leadership team has buy-in, that excitement flows down the organizational chart to everyone in the business.
According to Brian, this is one of the key components of the Integrator’s job.
“First and foremost, we want to make sure they understand that this business has been acquired because it's a success, because we feel that there's potential for it to grow even more, and we want to get everybody's input and buy-in on this,” he says. “So the first couple of days are going to be spent making sure that everybody is aware of what's happening, making sure that [the Integrator has] the ability to come in and speak to both the new buyer and the seller.”
A Guiding Hand
We’ve heard from Acquisition Entrepreneurs in the past that the Integrator can be a calming presence in a tense time. When things are crazy, it’s not uncommon for AEs to begin second-guessing their decisions, but to have someone with knowledge and experience say, “This is a good business. You made the right call,” can make all the difference.
As Brian says, Integrators have been through this process before and won’t be shaken by the sheer magnitude of work that needs to be done.
“More than anything, [an Integrator is] going to be a sounding board and a partner,” says Brian. “This is not an easy thing to do. There's a lot that goes into it. You can read a lot of books, you can have a lot of background and experience and think you know what is going to happen. But when you acquire a business from someone that may have been operating for 40 years, there's a tremendous dynamic around that.”
At Acquira, we value voracious learners very highly. We like working with people who want to learn and want to continue learning for the rest of their lives.
In this spirit, a lot of what fuels the ACE integration process is a sense of discovery. We need to learn everything we can about a business – the people that work there, the processes it uses, everything that makes it tick – to help that business succeed. This aspect of the job is one of the most attractive to Brian.
“I'm very big on the education portion. Meaning, I want to be educated,” he explains. “I'm really looking to tell people I'm very interested in their business. I want to say that I really want to learn how you do what you do. Walk me through it. Because in the end, that's what we're going to be doing is we're going to be creating a management-run business, which is going to be run by employees. So we're gonna need to empower those employees to be able to perform to run this business.”
Nearly all the businesses that acquisition entrepreneurs will buy are owner-run operations. That means a single person is doing multiple jobs and is single-handedly taking on the responsibilities that a group of people should manage. This leaves a lot of room to improve efficiencies. One of the main focuses of the ACE Framework is to take an owner-run business and turn it into a management-run company.
|Owner-Run Company: A business where one individual handles most, if not all, facets of running the business.
Management-Run Company: A business in which the operations of the company are handled by a team of people with well-defined roles who set goals and regularly meet those goals.
The transition from an ownership to a management-run company requires identifying leaders, creating a succession plan, and developing a strong company culture.
This culture will help you set your priorities, which will help create the processes that help you best use your resources. By the end of the process, the management team should have buy-in on all business endeavors and a deep understanding of how the company works and why. This process is the business owner's responsibility, with oversight and guidance provided by the ACE Integrator.
Growing a business effectively – even an existing business you bought – takes years of hard work, discipline, and dedication. The ACE Framework is designed to simplify that process for the business owner and the leadership team.
ACE Integrators will work to help form a leadership team and prepare that team to take the helm of the company by focusing on culture, systems, and servant leadership.
The ACE Framework is only available to members of our Accelerator Program. To find out if you're eligible, fill out the form below, but space is limited!
- ACE Integrators will help you grow your business by focusing on culture, systems, and servant leadership.
- ACE Integrators are voracious learners who will help inspire confidence and trust in your employees.
- ACE Integrators are a guiding hand and a calming presence in a tumultuous time.
Acquira specializes in seamless business succession and acquisition. We guide entrepreneurs in acquiring businesses and investing in their growth and success. Our focus is on creating a lasting, positive impact for owners, employees, and the community through each transition.