When Bookatable met Michelin: Attracting acquisition from a large firm and staying true to the SME mission

The deal opened up new opportunities for both businesses, including accelerated development in the online restaurant reservation sector across Europe. However, despite attracting acquisition, the Bookatable brand, and what it stands for, remains the same.

For many entrepreneurs, acquisition is a significant business goal, with the resultant cash injection enabling the company to develop into a bigger and better brand.

However, the risk of losing your business’ ethos comes hand in hand with input from a bigger and more established company. To stay true to your original mission there are a number of key factors to take into consideration.

Look at what you do well – and the gaps a buyer can fill

When preparing your company for acquisition, the first step is to take a really good look at all of your daily processes, activities and systems. Identifying the strengths and weaknesses at an early stage will not only allow you to right any wrongs which may put off a buyer, but will also help you to drill down on what your business excels at.

When you are confident on what your major selling points are, and what you want to protect, you will be in a better position to shout about them. Importantly, this also means that you will be able to pinpoint what support a bigger company can bring and how they can help grow your brand in the way you want.

Have something to say – and keep saying it

Whichever service you provide, be passionate about it and look to consistently raise the bar in terms of how you deliver it. When consumers get used to hearing from you, you become a voice they can trust. Having a strong and engaged consumer base is attractive to potential investors, and the conversations you have with your audience shouldn’t change when you get acquired.

New financial backing can help you shout even louder about what is important to you. If you have been in central London recently, you will have seen Bookatable’s latest advertising campaign encouraging diners to explore the capital’s vibrant restaurant scene. We know what we want to talk to consumers about, and this hasn’t changed since working with Michelin.

Continue reading on the next page for the three remaining recommendations Bookatable CEO Joe Steele has for SMEs on a quest of attracting acquisition from a large firm.

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