Keeping the pump primed for acquisitions

For the last half century the funeral industry has seen tremendous growth of multiple firm businesses getting that growth not necessarily thru growing sales, but by acquisition of other firms.  Firms that wanted to grow by acquisition  had to be ready when a firm from down the road came up for sale, which in many cases might have been only once in three decades or more, or miss out on the opportunity to own that firm for a long time.

I read an interesting article in the Minneapolis Tribune business section yesterday that pointed out that family firms, not exclusive to the funeral industry, may be coming for sale to outsiders more often in than in the past.  The article, which you can read here, points out that family transitions in business come with a special set of challenges and many young people are not all that interested in taking over the family firm anymore.

From my own perspective of raising two boys who had dreams and ambitions that didn’t include funeral service, I see what the author is saying.  The article also talks about the baby boomers who have worked hard building their businesses that don’t want to stay with the businesses until they are 70 years old. . . many want to be out by age 50.

So, even though this article is not about funeral service I think it gives us a great deal of insight that funeral businesses will continually be on the market and if you are in the growth mode it appears that the pump will be primed for some time.  One of the keys will be to know what kind of firms you would be looking to acquire and if the firm that comes up for sale down the street fits that criteria.

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