If you polled 100 startup founders about the kinds of things to expect during the process of a company acquisition, you’d be hard pressed to find any of them who would suggest that the company being bought would continue to grow exponentially during and after the acquisition process. But that’s exactly what happened as Jason Eckenroth (website) led his team through the acquisition of ShipCompliant by a larger company. It’s a testament to the leadership and relational skill Jason applied to the situation as he remained on the ground in the company to ensure that things went well for his team. You can hear Jason’s inspiring story on this episode, so be sure you take the time to listen.
Intentional personal and company growth
Jason Eckenroth built his company, ShipCompliant, as a Saas provider in a highly niched market. His software was the no-brainer solution for most companies within the space so growth happened fairly quickly. But even with that kind of growth he realized that without a clear focus on intentional growth – both personally and as a company – everything could stagnate. During this conversation Jason shares his story and outlines the path he took to ensure that his company and his team were able to continue breaking through to new levels of achievement and growth, even during an acquisition. It’s an uncommon story that you’ll want to hear.
Devoting more energy to his team during the acquisition
As the acquisition of ShipCompliant moved forward Jason Eckenroth realized that his team was going to need even more of his attention and help if they were to make the transition healthily. He committed to being there through the transition process to help them navigate the questions and uncertainties of the transition. It’s an uncommon move for a founder to make post-acquisition, but Jason felt it was his responsibility to do, for the long term health of the team and the future profitability of the company he had founded. There are many lessons to learn from Jason’s example and he shares the insights and resources he used to lead with such integrity, on this episode of the podcast.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- [0:14] Andy’s introduction to Jason and his company Shipcompliant.
- [0:45] How Jason’s company built and focused on a niche market, then expanded.
- [1:50] The accidental beginning of Jason’s company as he studied structural engineering.
- [4:30] Licensing code to customers as a unique approach to his offerings.
- [6:00] Changing his focus from software coding to a Saas product solution.
- [10:40] The move from playing not to lose TO playing to win.
- [14:36] A series of ceilings Jason had to bust through as the business grew.
- [18:56] The ego trap that offers to buy the company became.
- [23:30] Why Jason pursued an option to sell – finally.
- [26:20] How companies become tenderized and why it’s important for buyouts.
- [32:00] The decision to sell or move into a new market.
- [36:00] Surprises in hashing out the terms of a buyout offer.
- [39:50] Advice for anyone considering selling their company.
- [44:31] The pressure Jason felt surrounding his obligation to others involved in the decision to sell the company.
- [46:24] Jason’s consideration of whether he should stay with the business post-sale.
- [48:27] The varying responses Jason’s team had to the closing of the deal.
- [51:40] Jason’s decision to engage in the transition process even more than expected.
- [54:03] The expectations Jason had about how long he’d be around after the transition.
- [56:10] The two types of acquisitions that are possible and how it impacted Jason’s part in the transition.
- [1:01:58] The high drama of how the transition actually works and what Jason did to navigate it well.
- [1:03:04] How Jason worked to help his team make the most of the transition process.
- [1:08:48] Lessons learned from the acquisition process.
- [1:14:38] The growth that happened in the company during Jason’s leadership during the transition time and how he thinks it happened.
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