Building a valuable company from a distributor or reseller may appear daunting for Australian business owners. Typically, distributors are perceived as having limited worth, as potential acquirers argue that without a unique selling point, these businesses become susceptible to price wars. Instead of acquiring the entire company, a shrewd acquirer might opt to temporarily lower prices for the distributed products, luring away most of the target company’s customers without needing an acquisition.
However, the key to transforming this scenario lies in setting oneself apart through innovation and intellectual property (IP) development.
The Power of Creating Your Own IP
Consider the inspiring journey of Miles Faulkner, founder of Blended Perspectives, a specialised reseller of Atlassian products that provide software solutions for large teams. Faulkner’s story offers valuable insights into how to make a significant impact when selling a business that distributes or resells products from other companies.
Motivated to enhance the value of his reseller business, Faulkner created a unique product: the Marketplace Analytic Research Service, or MARS. This ingenious tool guides Atlassian users in selecting the most suitable aftermarket apps to complement their Atlassian software.
While Blended Perspectives continued to generate most of its revenue through reselling Jira and Confluence licenses, MARS became the company’s distinguishing factor, setting it apart from countless other Atlassian resellers and boosting its appeal to prospective clients.
Additionally, MARS positioned Blended Perspectives as an enticing acquisition target for Contegix, a larger reseller of Atlassian products.
When Contegix acquired Blended Perspectives, some observers may have questioned why the acquiring firm didn’t simply lower its prices temporarily to attract Blended Perspectives’ customers.
However, the acquisition wasn’t solely driven by a desire to expand market share. Blended Perspectives brought a crucial differentiating element to the table.
By owning MARS as their intellectual property, Blended Perspectives transcended the role of a mere distributor within the Atlassian ecosystem. This unique selling point provided Contegix with a compelling reason to acquire the company at a significantly higher valuation than what is typically paid for distributors, highlighting the immense value of creating distinctive products and services in an intensely competitive marketplace.
For Australian business owners operating in fiercely competitive fields such as distribution, it is vital to identify and capitalise on your unique selling proposition. Allocating resources to develop your intellectual property enhances your business’s value and strategically positions it for potential future acquisitions.
With innovation and intellectual property, Australian distributors can unlock their true potential and pave the way for lasting success in the dynamic business landscape.