When a business becomes part of The Yard Group family, the owner is a key part of the success of the merger. “We don’t buy a company unless the local founder wants to stay and make a career,” said Michael Ferris, a founder of the Rocky Hill, Conn.-based conglomerate, which has four landscape company brands under its parent, The Yard Group.
A company must be a match financially, culturally and philosophically. Here are some of The Yard Group’s priorities when vetting a prospective acquisition.
The owner. “We absolutely look at the DNA of the founding partners of the company before we merge,” Ferris said, adding that a thorough interview process helps The Yard Group dig deeper and find out what make the prospect tick. “A company always takes on the character of the founding partner– we look at that.”
The price point. What does the company charge for services? “We know enough about the Connecticut landscape industry that finding out what a founder is charging gives us a sense of whether the company is able to deliver a quality service and what kind of clientele they have.”
The ‘list’. Who buys from the company, where do these people live and how much are they willing to pay for services? This information is available on the all-important customer list. “We want to join forces with companies that go after similar demographics that we do,” Ferris said. That is, high-end clients looking for quality work and who are willing to pay a higher price tag for quality. “We differentiate ourselves on quality and the broad range of services we offer,” Ferris said.