Mon, 3 January 2022
Digital agencies are very different from traditional businesses, thus buyers and sellers of these agencies need to approach M&A in a particular way.
In this episode of the Working Without Pants podcast, I sit down with Amanda Dixon, co-founder of Barney, to discuss how agency owners should be thinking about M&A to maximize their exit. We also talk about what buyers are looking for when acquiring digital agencies.
Amanda shares that M&A for digital agencies requires a different approach because the focus is on the human capital of an agency versus tangible assets, which is the case with many traditional businesses. She also notes that sellers of agencies are typically younger with long careers ahead of them. This creates unique deal structures.
To minimize their risk, Amanda says buyers prefer agencies with a lot of recurring retainer revenue and a more robust management team. Smaller freelance teams with project-based revenue are inherently riskier for buyers.
For agency owners looking to sell, Amanda says not to be scared of scaling up before your exit. Reaching a few more key financial milestones can go a long way for increasing your multiple on the sale.
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