100-Day Plans Offer a Host of Possibilities

The first 100 days in any endeavor are significant. This holds true in the first 100 days post-closing in a private equity transaction. Legal documentation (crucial, albeit dry) has finally been completed. Buyers, management, and employees are eager, and excitement is palpable. There is a permeating feeling of freshness, and an awareness of new opportunities. Motivation to accomplish goals is high. Where all of these phenomena converge, a perfect opportunity arises to set a strong and ambitious tone.

Because of this, a 100-day plan is imperative. Without determined, proactive goals, the window of opportunity afforded in the first 100 days will be lost. Obviously, your company is already a success (we believe that, or we wouldn’t have invested!). You are the experts in your business; we have no desire to interfere. As investors, though, we have promised, “We don’t live in an ivory tower, observing from above. We contribute and we deliver on our commitments.” Planning and highlighting opportunities for growth and improvement are some of our specialties. So, how will we help you capitalize on the crucial window of opportunity in our first 100 days together?

Every 100-day plan will differ due to the idiosyncrasies of each company. There are some broad approaches, though, that are helpful:

  • Recruitment. It’s possible that, to allow for growth, your management bench needs enhancement. Often in our experience, the accounting department is an area that could benefit. We can offer significant assistance in leading the search for a CFO, controller, or supporting accounting staff. This provides a wonderful glimpse into the sweet spot found at our collaboration with your company: our network and ability to conduct a fine-tuned skills search and your feel for fit, culture, and match create a formidable combination. In fact, we were able to support three of our partner companies (Boundary Devices, Southwest Data Products, and Frontier Group) in finding a CFO or controller in the first 90 days after closing. Whether the required hires are in accounting, sales and marketing, operations, or another department, you don’t want to wait too long to start the search, as key hires could make the difference between meeting long-term goals and not.

  • 3-year strategy creation. This one is inevitably fun. There is a sense of exhilaration that comes from setting high—yet still achievable—aspirations and seeing them accomplished over a period of time. We have learned the value of a 3-year strategy in our experiences, and this plan is a big win for all parties. Practically, it keeps the big picture in mind, yet articulates checkpoints to ensure that the company is on track. The plan marries the day-to-day with long-term goals, decreasing the risk of losing sight of priorities. We encourage yearly revisits to the 3-year strategy to evaluate progress; these meetings are both encouraging and motivating, mixing a sense of accomplishment with confidence and excitement to keep achieving.

  • Key risk identification. The first 100 days following closing supply a perfect opportunity to scan for and acknowledge risks, providing occasion to safeguard against potential pitfalls. We can help with such contingencies as insurance choices, supplier or customer concentration, HR precautions, and more. Whether it’s an introduction to a new high-quality insurance broker, strategies for diversification, or support in refining HR practices, we have partnered with you to assist wherever helpful.

  • Refining financial reporting and key performance indicators. An advantage of gaining a private equity partner is the fresh perspective they can offer. Sometimes, all that’s necessary is presenting old questions from a new angle, such as, “where do we really make our money?”, “how sticky are our customer relationships?”, and, “what are our current areas of growth and decline?” We volunteer to bring fresh verbiage, perception, and increased analytics to the table to help stimulate effective articulation of current position and measurements of success.

The first 100 days of partnership offer a host of possibilities. At the same time, blink, and the first 100 days will be behind us. If appropriately seized, these first 100 days can be instrumental in establishing a stable foundation and mutual enjoyment of the partnership. And, you’re likely to have loads of fun as we tackle exciting initiatives. Starting off on the right foot is indispensable; a 100-day plan will afford you the ability to capitalize on this time.

About Montage Partners

Founded in 2004 and located in Scottsdale, Arizona, Montage Partners is a private equity firm that invests in established companies in the western U.S. with EBITDA between $1 million and $5 million. Above all other investment criteria, Montage Partners invests in exceptional people. Montage Partners provides liquidity to those who have spent years of their life building great companies, Montage Partners protects those companies through a transition of ownership, and Montage Partners supports the next generation of a company’s leadership in executing on growth initiatives. For more information, please visit www.montagepartners.com.