Many companies may miss out on growth opportunities, including acquisitions, if they do not reassess their strategy in light of today’s economic environment. According to an article in CFO Magazine, a number of companies are not executing acquisitions because they maintain a high hurdle rate, even though the cost of borrowing capital is relatively low […]

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Do you want to grow your business? Of course you do. After all, growth is the key to a successful company and, without it, a business is almost certainly declining. The real question isn’t if you want to grow your business, but how you will go about doing so. The natural trajectory of a new […]

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Multi-million and billion dollar deals dominate the news, and sometimes it can be difficult to see how these transactions apply to your company. But if you look past the zeroes and dig down into the “why” of an acquisition, you’ll find there are many lessons for middle market executives looking to grow their companies through […]

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All companies, even those that are profitable, face pressure from today’s economic environment.  Whether its regulatory hurdles, increased competition, geopolitical risk, or new technology, the world today is constantly changing. Unfortunately, many companies realize this too late and “suddenly” find themselves in an impossible situation that is incredibly difficult to reverse. The best way to […]

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The possibilities may be endless, but your resources are not. For many business owners with limited time and money, deciding which ideas to pursue can be a challenge. Here are three ways to prioritize your options for growth: 1. Start with your company vision The best way to make sure you’re moving in the right direction […]

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Ford announced it would acquire Chariot, a shuttle-van startup based in San Francisco, in order to expand beyond auto manufacturing and become a mobility company. This is the first acquisition by Ford Smart Mobility, which was established in March of 2016 in order to focus on “emerging mobility services.” Ford reportedly paid $65 million for […]

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Sometimes, a business must first become smaller in order to grow. What I mean is that in order to focus on your strategic goals and respond to changes in demand and in the market, you may need to less of something. This includes stopping a specific product line, shedding customers, or even divesting of an entire […]

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Most companies are seeking growth outside of their core business through organic means or mergers and acquisitions, according to a new survey by McKinsey. What’s interesting is that although many companies want to expand beyond their mainstay business, most do not have the capabilities to do so. Here are three best practice steps noted for successfully […]

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Entrepreneurs rarely face the challenge of having too few ideas. In fact, like most entrepreneurs and business leaders you probably have a multitude of great ideas for growing your own business. Your biggest challenge may be figuring out which of all the alternatives is the best way to get from where you are now to […]

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Capstone CEO David Braun will present “Strategic Alliances, Joint Ventures and M&A – the Route to Success?” at the 2014 European Base Oil & Lubricants Summit in Alicante, Spain on September 18. The two-day conference brings together leading executives and experts in the lubricant and base oil industry from established Western Europe and U.S. markets […]

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Choosing the best option for growth. More often than not we find our clients have too many choices rather than too few. The difficulty lies in prioritizing options and determining which one is the best path forward. You may find yourself in a similar situation. With so many options how can you choose? Although it […]

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The polyolefins industry, like so many others, is evolving significantly. Growth in emerging markets and Asia has skyrocketed while European and North American markets have matured. Last week I was invited to speak at the Future of Polyolefins Conference 2014 in Dusseldorf, Germany, where top executives from key industry players such as Borealis AG and […]

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Let’s admit it right away: This is a trick question. The correct answer is usually not the first answer. Here’s a classic example from the annals of corporate America: Union Pacific thought they were in the business of railroads—the commonsense answer. In reality, they were in the business of mass transportation. Had they recognized this early […]

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Facing a stagnant market, retailers of consumer staples have turned to aggressive discounts to drive growth. According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 50% of consumers’ purchases include markdowns! More Discounts is NOT More Growth Businesses in non-growth or declining growth markets understandably must find new ways to capture market share. However, offering more […]

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Verso Paper announced that it would acquire NewPage Holdings in a deal worth $1.4 billion. NewPage rejected a similar offer from Verso in 2012, also valued at $1.4 billion. So what changed this time around? Quite simply, it’s the environment: Both paper companies realize the paper market is shrinking and that’s not about to change […]

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If your company’s organic growth has hit a plateau or is in decline, leaving the current market may be your best option. If the odds against your success are rising steadily, I strongly encourage you to think about divestment. After seven years, British supermarket chain Tesco is exiting the U.S. market. Tesco is selling its […]

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When you think about your company’s growth, ask yourself, “What is our risk tolerance?” The answer is key to formulating your strategy.  You cannot succeed with a plan for growth that pushes too far beyond the level of risk that is acceptable in your company. If you are the sole owner, the level of risk […]

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The fifth and final pathway to growth is external growth. Here, expansion is achieved by engaging with entities outside your company. There are many forms of engagement, of which acquisition is but one. External growth can be one of the most exciting paths to growth and in many cases, it should top your list of […]

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Of course, doing nothing is rarely if ever a pathway to growth. However, it is a choice that companies actually make every day. ‘‘Choice’’ may be an overstatement. Few executives or board members sit down, open their flipcharts, and plan a careful do-nothing strategy. They drift into it by default. When things seem to be […]

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Sometimes organic growth can be achieved by dramatically cutting costs. I call this the “jellyfish strategy” : you go up when the tide is up and out when the tide goes out. There may not be many natural predators, so you will survive, but this approach is unlikely to drive long-term expansion. Note, that being […]

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