How to Avoid a Failed Agency Merger By Focusing on Culture
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With around three decades of experience running professional services firms, Don Scales understands first-hand how to make them successful. He is currently the Global CEO of Investis Digital, a global digital communications company that helps world-class businesses manage their corporate brands. Today this industry veteran joins us to talk about his experience in the business, the reasons behind failed mergers and acquisitions, and share some funny stories. 3 Golden Nuggets If you continue to have to do it all, you’ll never scale. So many agency owners are at the million-dollar mark and wanting to get to the eight-figure mark. Don’s advice is to learn to delegate. Find people who are great at what they do and then get out of their way. You may make some mistakes if you do, but you’ll move on from that. Building a team with staying power. Consistency is the key when it comes to leadership. Your employees won’t want to come to work every day if they don’t know which version of you they might encounter. Be consistent with your leadership style and make your decision-making process transparent, so they will learn to make decisions in that way as well. Why do some mergers fail? If you look at what people really examine when they look at potentially buying a company, you’ll find that they don't spend a whole lot of time looking at the value set of these companies that they're looking to buy. So many times when a merger or acquisition ends up failing you find out afterward that the cultures were off. You need to spend some time analyzing whether there is compatibility and if the values align. Sponsors and Resources Agency Dad: Today's episode is sponsored by Agency Dad. Agency Dad is an accounting solution focused on helping marketing agencies make better decisions based on their financials. Check out agencydad.money/freeaudit/ to get a phone call with Nate to assess your agency's financial needs and how he can help you. Subscribe Apple | Spotify | iHeart Radio | Stitcher | Radio FM Avoid a Failed Merger by Staying True to Your Agency's Values Jason: [00:00:00] What's up, agency owners, Jason Swenk here, and I'm excited to have an amazing guest. Now, this guest has been in the agency world for a very long time. He started when he was one and he's grown several agencies and the current agency that he's, a global CEO has over 500 employees. They're approaching $90 million in revenue and they've done over 40 acquisitions over the, his lifetime. And I'm really excited to get into it. So let's jump into the episode. Hey, Don. Welcome to the show. Don: [00:00:39] Hey, good to see you. Glad to be here. Jason: [00:00:42] Awesome. Well, I'm excited to chat with you and learn from you because you've been in it for a long time and you have a lot of experience. So for the ones that have not heard of you yet, tell us who you are and what do you do? Don: [00:00:54] My name's Don Scales. I am the global CEO of a company called Investis Digital, which is a UK-based company. It’s private equity-owned by Investcorp. Uh, we just recently exited from, uh, a six-year relationship with the company called ECI out of London. Uh, so we're very excited about our Invest Corp relation. Then prior to that, I was CEO of a company, I'm sure you heard of, called iCrossing, iCrossing, we managed to take that to, um, some $140 million, exited several years back. So I was there for a good eight years, nine years. And then prior to that, I was CEO of a company called Agency.com, which is a pioneer in the web development space. And it's one of the, if you will, one of the founding companies of web development. So that takes me back all the way to 1999 in the digital age, that's kind of like dog years. So I've been around a long time. Jason: [00:02:00] I started our agency in 99 and yeah, I used to love those days. It was kind of like no
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