Photos by Hillary Ehlen
Casey Glandt and Casey McCullough have more in common than a first name. For years, the two have been friendly competitors in the promotional products industry. Glandt and his company Go Promo work with mid-size businesses and schools offering custom apparel and promotional products to fit any brand or budget while McCullough and his company Green Street Promotions have worked primarily with larger corporations for the same needs in essentially the same market. However, the two of them have now merged to fully serve the marketplace.
This merger will open them up to serve more customers of any size with any promotional need. Through a lot of planning and discussions, the two of them have successfully pulled this off and they have some advice for other business owners looking to do the same.
Tip #1: Mergers take a lot of time and planning
Most mergers will take a lot of vetting and time to thoroughly plan and get all the hierarchy, workflow processes and paperwork completed. It is not uncommon for mergers to take months and maybe even years to complete, depending on the size of the companies involved.
“We started discussions about 10 months prior to merging and found that there wasn’t a lot of cross over in what we were doing. What they were good at is where we weren’t and vice versa. It didn’t just happen overnight, though.” – McCullough
“It was A LOT of planning. We tried to think of every scenario that might be uncomfortable down the road; who answers to who, who’s going to do what, who’s going to be in charge of what duties, who’s accounts are whose? etc. This was well before we finalized the agreement. I worked for a company long ago that was part of a merger. It seemed rushed. Ownership was like, ‘This is going to be great’. We got together fairly quickly and it was a nightmare. It didn’t last” – Glandt
Difference between mergers and acquisitions
While the term mergers and acquisitions is often used simultaneously, it’s important to know the difference between the two. A merger is when two separate companies join forces to create a new organization. An acquisition is when one company completely takes over another company.
Tip #2: Look for businesses that complement yours
When you look at Go Promo and Green Street Promotions, the two are very complementary together. There was not a lot of overlap in their two books of business. While both are offering custom apparel and promotional products, Go Promo’s bread and butter is schools and mid-size businesses with creativity and t-shirts being their core business. Whereas Green Street has a lock on the corporate side of things with full-service warehousing and fulfillment being a huge differentiator for them. Combined, there isn’t a customer they can’t serve.
“By combining our efforts, we’re able to leverage each others strengths and better serve our combined client base. Separately we were both very competitive in the market, but together with our combined resources…oh man it’s gonna be great!” – Glandt
“We started looking at our options and what would make sense, and if it made sense, and does it make us a better company. The answer as we continued to meet periodically, was yes. It makes both companies twice as powerful and the go forward plan was that it was a nice fit.” – McCullough
Tip #3: Have a common goal in mind
Go Promo and Green Street’s goal is to become the most efficient and dependable promotional company in the region and to grow while doing so. Often times in the business world, the quickest way to go about doing that is through Mergers and Acquisitions.
“We’ve now got more buying power with apparel and promotional product suppliers.” – McCullough
“More creative brains to come up with ideas.” – Glandt
“And even more industry experience to lean on when clients have questions.” – McCullough
“#MergeAhead” – Glandt