Subject: Green Merger News - It's April and I am Nervous

April 2019
Edited by Ron Edmonds
The Principium Group
In this issue:
Commentary:  It's April and I'm Nervous
Packaging Your Services
Recent Transactions
Tools for Business Owners
  PREScore - Exit Your Business With No Regrets 
  Value Builder Score
  Value Assessment
About The Principium Group
It's April and I'm Nervous
To our clients and friends:
Thirty years ago, I conspired on some pretty cruel April Fool's jokes. I still get nervous every year in anticipation of the retribution I know I still deserve for those thoughtless actions. So, I wasn't too surprised to see the Wall Street Journal report that some companies are banning April Fool's jokes altogether. Even so, I happened on one in our world of lawn and landscape mergers and acquisitions and felt inclined to include it this year.  It is included in the recent transactions list below.
A number of readers have already tried out our new tool called PREScore.  PRE stands for Personal Readiness for Exit.  It is designed to help a business owners assess where they stand personally in anticipation of an exit.  We invite you to check it out.  The questionnaire only takes eight minutes to complete.  It is a companion to the Value Builder Score which focuses on your business's readiness to be sold.

As always, if you are ready to discuss the sale or acquisition of a lawn or landscape business, we would welcome the opportunity to talk.  Give us a call or email.



Ron Edmonds
901-351-1510 (cell)
ron@principiumgroup.com
Packaging Your Services
As a lawn and landscape service provider, it can be difficult to separate the service from the provider. Your customers might demand you service their account personally, which means you can’t scale your business beyond the number of hours you’re willing to work. Not only does it limit your ability to scale, but it can greatly limit your ability to sell your business when the time comes. A buyer reasonably is reasonably concerned whether they can transfer that personal loyalty to them.
As  a service provider, it can be difficult to separate the service from the provider. Your customers might demand you service their account personally, which means you can’t scale your business beyond the number of hours you’re willing to work.  Not only does it limit your ability to scale, but it can greatly limit your ability to sell your business when the time comes.  A buyer reasonably is reasonably concerned whether they can transfer that personal loyalty to them.
In the absence of a point of differentiation, offering generic services leads consumers to evaluate the people doing the work. Referring to your service in a generic way e.g. “landscape design design services”, or “lawn care services”, means you’re lumping yourself in with the other providers of the same service. A quick scan of your LinkedIn profile will reveal that you are likely an expert in your industry which means prospective customers will often demand you, rather than your underlings.
The secret to overcoming this dilemma is to “productize” your service. This involves marketing your service as is if it were a thing. When people start buying the thing, rather than the people providing it, you can grow well beyond the hours in your day.




Recent Transactions
Here is a recap of recently reported merger & acquisition transactions  in the lawn and landscape industry:

Cirque du Soleil has acquired Bob's Lawn Care in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Aspen Grove Landscape Group has acquired Long Brothers Landscaping in North Carolina.

Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (SMG) has sold its approximate 30% interest in TruGreen to an affiliate of TruGreen.  SMG had obtained its TruGreen stake as a result of the merger of its Scotts LawnService unit with TruGreen in 2017,   TruGreen is now wholly-owned by its existing private equity sponsor, Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, its affiliates and management.

Davey Tree has acquired ABS Tree Care in Omaha, Nebraska.

Stay Green has acquired Pacific Crest Landscape in Orange County.

Greenwise Organic Lawn Care in Chicago has been acquired by Austin Hall , a search fund entrepreneur.

Richard Sperber, former ValleyCrest chairman,  announced the launch of Sperber Landscape Companies.
Experience tells us that business owners who have a goal for a successful exit and a plan on how to achieve their goal are far more likely to have a successful and satisfying exit.
The Principium Group offers several tools to assist business owners in planning their business exit.
PREScore focuses in a business owner's personal readiness to exit.
Value Builder Score focuses on your business's readiness for a sale or other exit transaction.
Value Assessment provides an objective view of the value of your business.
We invite you to use these tools as you consider your business exit and develop your goal and plans.
Are you ready to exit your business?
Do you understand your options?
Do you know what is most important to you?

We are making available a new tool to help you explore the answers to those questions.  It is called PREScore.  Exit Your Business With No Regrets.

PREScore™ (or Personal Readiness to Exit Score) is an 8-minute, online questionnaire that evaluates a business owner’s readiness to exit their company on a personal level. Using an exclusive algorithm – developed by analyzing more than 40,000 business owners and conducting more than 200 in-depth interviews with owners who have recently sold – PREScore™ calculates an owner’s readiness by identifying their status on each of the 4 drivers of a satisfying exit. 

The 12 questions that make up PREScore™ are often overlooked by business owners, leaving them unprepared and in a state of crisis after the decision to exit is made. PREScore™ helps identify the at-risk areas and provides personalized recommendations for improvement, helping owners create a personal plan that ensures a happy and lucrative exit. 

PREScore has a different focus from the Value Builder Score.  The PREScore focuses in the business owner's personal readiness while the Value Builder Score focuses ion the business's readiness.


Do you have a business that is valuable & sellable?
Find out by taking a brief online questionnaire to receive an immediate Value Builder Score of between 1 and 100 for your business. You will also receive a 26 page report full of charts and graphs that will give you insights into how buyers evaluate your business.
Do you understand the value of your business?
Understanding the value of your business is a key step in exit planning. We offer cost-effective valuation services which help you understand the value of your business and the factors that drive that value.  Contact us for more information or to get started.
Year in Review 2018 and the Outlook for 2019
Last month, we released a special report, Landscape Industry Mergers & Acquisitions-The Year in Review 2018 and Outlook for 2019Click here to get your copy.
The Principium Group provides merger & acquisition and advisory services  to lawn, landscape, and other service businesses.
Our professionals have assisted business owners in hundreds of transactions. For buyers, Principium provides assistance and counsel in strategic planning, identifying potential acquisition targets, due diligence and planning for successful integration of acquisitions. For sellers, Principium provides assistance and counsel in evaluating strategic alternatives, identifying and negotiating with potential acquirers and assisting with transactions from due diligence through the closing process. In order to provide the highest quality service, we maintain relationships with other professionals serving the green industry and can access those professionals to supplement our internal resources. No matter how large or small your business may be, we have the resources to serve you well. We understand that the decision to buy or sell your business is a profound one, and we pledge to work with you in a professional and confidential manner while we help you navigate this often confusing process.
Whether you have immediate plans to buy or sell a business or may sometime in the future as part of an exit planning strategy, we would welcome the opportunity to talk with you about your business.
The Principium Group

P.O. Box 414
Cordova, TN 38088
901-351-1510
Ron Edmonds
901-351-1510
ron@principiumgroup.com
LinkedIn

Chris Martin
BRE #01966513, LICENSED IN CALIFORNIA
888-229-5740, ext 103
cmartin@principiumgroup.com
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Notice: 
The information included in this newsletter is derived from publicly available sources. Our intent is to give a perspective on the industry taken as a whole. The inclusion of a transaction in this newsletter does not imply that The Principium Group acted as an advisor to either of the parties to the transaction. It is the policy of The Principium Group always to maintain the confidentiality of its client relationships. For those transactions in which The Principium Group did play a role, the information included herein is still limited to that available through public sources.
Principium Group, PO BOX 414, 38088, Cordova, United States
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