Discover more from Maverick
Fourth quarter lessons
Q4 Update on White Cedar
We're back with another quarterly update, this time focusing on the insightful lessons from the fourth quarter of the search. As always, these are real lessons from the trenches, shared first with my investors, and now with you. Each lesson is a near real-time overview of my reflections and probably enough to fill individual posts, but I'll keep it brief here. Should you feel the urge to delve deeper, feel free to drop a comment below!
Building credibility in industries is an evolutionary process that demands constant learning and reflection
The fourth quarter reminded me that building credibility in your targeted industries is a process that unfolds over time, demanding consistent learning and reflection. It's not an achievement you can unlock overnight; it's a marathon, not a quick sprint.
I've allocated the hours not on owner calls to continue my research efforts and engage in enriching conversations with industry experts to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics and trends shaping vertical software. However, collecting knowledge is just part of the journey. The real challenge lies in understanding the specific challenges and opportunities within each industry and engaging in meaningful conversations with business owners about their realities.
As I head into the second year of the search, I'm focused on further deepening my expertise in vertical software and continuing to refine my approach to better resonate with business owners. Transitioning from the importance of credibility, let's look at the value of unique perspectives.
Having a unique perspective differentiates you more than simply understanding a business
Understanding a business is a critical first step, but the fourth quarter has shown me that it's not the only piece of the puzzle. What truly sets you apart is having a unique perspective, especially when it comes to articulating a company’s vision to the potential seller and your investors. Business owners are looking for more than just someone who understands their business; they want someone who they connect with and shares similar values to them on the future prospects of the business. How you think about the growth prospects of a particular business deeply influences your ability to cut through with owners.
Developing this unique perspective involves learning from a diverse range of sources (as many primary sources as possible), challenging established assumptions, and aligning with the business owner's vision. This process has not only deepened my understanding of the businesses I'm exploring but also helped me craft compelling narratives that resonate with potential sellers.
Don’t expect everything to unfold in one conversation
The fourth quarter has been a lesson in patience. In the whirlwind of deal-making, there's a temptation to rush things. However, the reality is that the search process doesn't adhere to a rigid timeline as much as you’d like it to.
Sellers often view their business as an extension of their life's work. It takes time for them to process, to build trust. This understanding has underscored that not everything will unfold in a single conversation. Patience with sellers and their timelines, and being open-minded early on, has been instrumental in building relationships with potential sellers. Earlier in the search, I was much more restrictive early on, likely cutting off realistic opportunities. Now, I am pushing myself to be more open-minded when meeting with an owner for the first time.
In summary, the fourth quarter was another exciting ride, with valuable lessons in building credibility, fostering unique perspectives, and practicing patience. As we continue to chart this course, these lessons will guide our approach and, hopefully, lead us to a successful outcome. As always, your thoughts, questions, and insights are welcomed and appreciated. Let's continue this learning journey together.
For previous quarterly lessons: