What You Need to Know About Acquisitions (We Just Went Through One!)

Episode Highlights:

1:18 – The Benefits of the Norton Norris Acquisition 

3:03 – Why Now’s the Time to Invest Amid Pandemic 

4:28 – Looking Back at Humble Beginnings 

6:45 – Advice for Entrepreneurship 

7:08 – Surround Yourself With Good People

7:57 – Fail Your Way to the Top

10:17 – Why the Higher Ed Industry? 

12:13 – Advice on Acquisition 


Youtech is in growth mode.

To believe it all started in a basement, making 100 cold calls a day.  Now Youtech has two office spaces, 56 employees, and a thousand clients nationwide. No additional resources. No financial backings. 

It’s crazy to see how far we’ve come. But it’s only the beginning. We’re incredibly excited to announce our acquisition! Despite the unprecedented pandemic, Youtech has continued to strive forth, expanding our services and offerings to meet the needs of our clients. We sat down with CEO, Wilbur You, to discuss the benefits of the Norton Norris Acquisition, and more. 


The Benefits of the Norton Norris Acquisition | 1:18


Wilbur: As far as the acquisition goes, all acquisitions are different. 

Companies buy certain companies for specific reasons: whether it’s to enhance their services, or to shelf it so that they don’t have a competitor running around, etc. 

But in this case, for us, everything aligned, because we’re in growth mode. Youtech has goals that we want to reach for the next three years. So this not only helps our bottom line, it adds to our monthly revenue, allows us to acquire talent, and gets us into an industry that we’re not very acclimated with currently. 

And we had a couple of clients there, but we believe that our services and everything that we do here at Youtech can really benefit this industry. And so this agency that we acquired had over 20 years in this industry; they’re very well known in the industry.

So it was a perfect fit, honestly. It’s a win-win situation for the owners of that agency, but also for us. It helps us grow, and gives us the additional resources to scale Youtech for the next three years.


Why Now’s the Time to Invest Amid a Pandemic | 3:03 


Wilbur: It’s really important to know that with COVID going on, a lot of industries are at a standstill, and the economy isn’t at its best. However, we believe, in times like this, that this is the best time to make those investments.

And for us, you know, business moves. We’re still moving. We still have bills to pay. We still have payroll to run. We still have clients to serve, but in this case, we needed to make this investment now when everyone else is kind of running scared.

We want to be leaders in this industry.  We want to be leaders in business as a whole and want to show our clients, employees, and our team members that we’re not afraid right now.

We’re ready to take that next step even when a pandemic is going on.


Looking Back at Humble Beginnings | 4:28 

Michael: When you first started Youtech, did you ever think we’d be where we’re at now?


Wilbur You: (Laughs) Honestly, no, not really. I always had a big picture of this company, but not to the extent it is now. Looking back when we started in my parents’ basement, I was borrowing $20 for gas money. 

Now we’re to the point where we have over 56 employees. We have two office spaces. We’re expanding a third. We have over a thousand clients that we serve nationwide. It’s just crazy. It’s crazy to see how far we’ve come, but I truly believe that this is just the beginning. 

I think the hardest part was getting to where we are now with no resources, no financial backing, no funding. Now that we do have the resources and a lot more financial means, we’re able to go through an acquisition. We’re able to compete with other agencies that are acquiring. We’re able to compete for talent. It puts us in a different light.

It allows us to excel and grow that much faster. That’s why for the next three years, we’re in this growth mode. But in this growth mode, we have the resources that most other agencies have now, where we should see a significant increase in revenue, in employees, in clients we serve but also doubling down on the services that we offer.

So we know the most important thing for us is taking care of our clients and making sure that they’re successful. And we have the resources now to bring in better talent, have better software, and spend more time on our clients.


Advice on Acquisitions | 12:13 


Wilbur: The biggest thing for me is to look at the balance sheet. I look at the P&L statements. But I can get everything I really need from a balance sheet. And what I want to know is, are the ROI and cash flow positive on a monthly basis? I want to know the opportunities with the current clients that they have, the services that they’re being offered. And I want to see where that opportunity can grow, and basically assign a number to that.

But for Youtech, it all came in really well as far as cost, revenue, and profit margins go. And we’re able to even increase profit margins based on some of the services that we offer because we were already doing it, you know?

There are costs in there that we don’t have to duplicate as if they were running on their own, because we already paid for it.

Ultimately, we look for a strong balance sheet. We look for strong margins, and we look for opportunities. And that’s the thing that we kind of looked at as far as this acquisition goes.


Michael: Anything else acquisition-wise that you think people should know?


Wilbur: The acquisition is a lot of work, no matter how big or small acquisitions are. It’s a matter of bringing in employees to fit into your culture. It’s a matter of making sure that agreements are in place, making sure that everyone is held responsible for their job roles during the acquisition.

It’s about getting paid. It’s about paying specific bills, cutting costs—all that stuff goes into the acquisition side. And, obviously, that’s not even accounting for all the legal hours that are involved as well.

But my advice, as far as acquisitions– truthfully, this was my first acquisition. And, obviously, I learned about it through my MBA program, but it’s nothing like in class.

It’s something that you have to go through. And I reached out to my mentors. I brought in my attorneys, who ultimately helped me through that process. Now that we have the acquisition under our belt, you know, the one advice I can give is look at everything.

Look at the numbers, and make sure it’s something that you want to go through with. This is not something that you can half-ass. It’s something that you have to really dig yourself into, and make sure that you have the team to help you transition everything. I think it’s really important to know that.

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