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  • Writer's pictureAndy Hamer

Maximizing Business Value Versus Long-Term Growth: The Founder’s Dilemma

Maximizing Business Value Versus Long-Term Growth: The Founder’s Dilemma

The recent Techcelerate event brought to light an intriguing debate concerning the motivations behind founding a tech business and how those motivations shape the company's objectives, strategy, and operations. There was a consensus that the initial intention behind establishing a business can significantly impact its trajectory and outcome.

The founders presented three distinct strategic approaches:

Exit-Driven Approach

One group of founders centred their discourse on maximizing company value right from the onset, with the ultimate goal of selling the business and walking away. This approach, often synonymous with the “exit strategy,” points towards a clear endgame in sight even as the company commences operations.

Opportunistic Approach

On the other hand, a different group had a vaguer approach, admitting that they started their business without a defined exit strategy. Surprisingly, some of these founders reported receiving acquisition offers "out of the blue", demonstrating that a well-defined exit strategy is only sometimes a prerequisite for lucrative opportunities.

Growth-Driven Approach

Lastly, another group, composed of founders who had previously established and exited multiple businesses, discussed a more mature approach. Their focus was on growing their current businesses sustainably to sell only at the point of retirement. This indicates a strategy driven more by the desire for long-term profitability than by the aim for a quick exit.

Intriguingly, the overarching sentiment was that having an exit strategy from the start is essential. However, the question of how this strategy affects the approach to the business also came under scrutiny. The consensus was that personal objectives shape how founders handle their businesses.

A further question arose: Does a strategy that aims to maximize company value from the outset return a better exit value than a strategy aimed at growing the business for long-term profitability? The responses varied, with some citing that companies are acquired for many reasons, which can impact the perceived value from both the seller's and buyer's perspectives.

Sometimes, an acquirer may be interested only in a company's intellectual property (IP), as it's cheaper to acquire than to develop from scratch. Alternatively, an acquirer might aim to eliminate competition, resulting in an offer far above the company's actual value.

Another pressing question from the discussion revolves around strategic options to maximize business value for those considering an exit. Founders often need help with the optimal steps to take. For instance, should they aim for international expansion? And if so, how can they best achieve that? Would it be more advantageous to go it alone, form a partnership, or engage in a joint venture?

Moreover, diversification also becomes a point of consideration. Should a business add symbiotic products to its portfolio to boost appeal and value? Or would it be wiser to consider acquiring other companies as a growth and value-enhancement strategy?

These are complex questions and decisions that demand strategic thought and planning and may significantly influence the trajectory and ultimate value of the business.

In conclusion, while there is nothing inherently wrong with founding a company intending to seek investment and eventually sell, this approach may not necessarily be the most rewarding or fulfilling. As a founder, aligning your objectives with your business strategy is crucial, whether that strategy focuses on immediate value maximization or sustainable growth.

I offer a free 60-minute 1:2:1 session to assist founders in defining and aligning their personal and business objectives. This consultation will provide valuable insights and strategies to help maximize the potential of your tech business.

Book your slot today!


Andy Hamer

With a track record of delivering disruptive technologies and a diverse commercial, sales, marketing, and operations portfolio, I offer consultancy services that drive business success.

Think of me as your personal "Google Maps" for business, helping you navigate the complex world of information and variables to find solutions that improve your business, increase profitability, and minimize risk.

I have worked with medium-sized businesses, start-ups, and major technology companies globally, including CodeBook, Xinaps, Invicara, XYZ Reality, IBM, DEC, Apple, Toshiba, Panasonic, ATT, BT, CSC, NTT, KDD, and Deutsche Telecom.

My consultancy services offered in-person, remotely, and in a hybrid format, are founded on aligning businesses for success.

Your business is my business, and together we will develop an aligned commercial-operational strategy to scale and grow your business.

Don't just take my word for it - my clients speak to my expertise and approach.


BA (Hons) Marketing Engineering

Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing FCIM

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