If you’re a business owner, you’ve probably experienced the struggles of raising capital and scaling your business.
Maybe you’ve considered selling a stake of your business equity to a larger company who can offer you the capital you need now to expand down the road. While this option is certainly alluring, it isn’t worth the trade off of sharing the rights to your business.
The last thing you want is to find yourself in a position where the values upon which you built your business are shaken by an equity holder.
If you feel like you’re caught in a bind between obtaining the resources you need to grow and preserving the integrity of your business, one man may have a solution for you.
Meet Callum Laing, a New Zealand-born serial entrepreneur, director of multiple companies, author, speaker, and a partner at Unity-Group. Laing recently developed a groundbreaking growth strategy called “agglomeration,” which allows small businesses to experience explosive growth with integrity.
This week on the Unconventional Life podcast, Laing shares how agglomeration is changing the realities of small businesses worldwide.
Laing has been an expert at circumventing the system since he was a kid. Growing up in the UK, he made a profitable side hustle selling homemade ice cream to local bars and restaurants with the help of a Ben and Jerry’s recipe book.
“The problem with the traditional earnout option [of selling equity to a large company] is you’ve poured your life and heart into building this business, you’ve brought on a team you know and love, and then some CFO in a different country tells you you have to change the salary structure or change how you treat your customers. That’s just too painful to deal with,” Laing says.
That’s why Laing decided to create a way for entrepreneurs to scale without sacrificing their values—he calls it “agglomeration.”
Agglomeration works by enabling small businesses to enlist as public entities in the stock market.
With agglomeration, you can obtain the capital you need to scale without selling any of the rights to your company’s operations. Though shareholders invest in your growth, they can never influence how you run your company. You are free to scale in alignment with the values you established from the start.
Success with agglomeration has been astounding. In just months following its launch in June 2016, the strategy has skyrocketed the profits of nineteen small businesses from $1.4M to $19M.
Is agglomeration right for your business? Below, Laing shares the 5 telltale indicators that you’re a good candidate for agglomeration.
1. You’re experienced. The business you’re currently building shouldn’t be your first go around the block. In order to withstand the pitfalls of managing a company, you should have a minimum of a few years of business experience before you consider the added responsibility of going public.
2. You’re already profitable. Laing says the ideal candidate should be generating about $500k in annual profit. This will show potential shareholders you’re a worthwhile investment with the potential to amplify in value.
3. You’ve got a powerful team. Your business should have plenty of employees to smoothly and reliably carry out operations. If you decide to utilize agglomeration, your business will likely scale at a rate that you’ll need to have the manpower to keep up with. Make sure your employees are skilled and capable, and consider hiring more to match your demand.
4. You’re growing. While growth is the aim of agglomerate funding, your current business should still be growing considerably on its own. Think of agglomeration as a multiplier that functions optimally when there is substantial growth to begin with. The higher your starting growth rate, the more successful you can expect to be with agglomeration.
5. You’ve got a vision for your company. Agglomeration is for you if you aren’t willing to compromise on what’s important to you. You have built your business with the utmost integrity and are committed to seeing it through. If you want to have full command over your business, agglomeration will enable you to remain in control while you scale.
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